BAFTSS Colour and Film SIG Report (January 2019)
Colour and Film SIG Convenors: Professor Sarah Street (University of Bristol) and Dr Liz Watkins (University of Leeds).
The BAFTSS Special Interest Group on Colour and Film was founded in 2016 bringing together scholars, archivists and filmmakers interested in histories, theories, philosophies and technologies of colour. The SIG has organised two events – The Journeys through Colour seminar at the Royal Anthropological Institute (London) in February 2018 – and The Colour in Context Symposium at the University of Bristol in March 2018. The SIG hosts a Colour and Film website which includes a list of CFPs for publications and conferences, funding opportunities, film screenings, exhibitions and resources specific to research in colour, film, television, archives, media and art installations. The convenors send regular updates highlighting these notices and opportunities to Colour and Film SIG members. The website also hosts the Notes on Colour blog, which has included contributions from scholars at Kings College London, University of Glasgow, University of Bristol and Yale University. The BAFTSS Colour and Film SIG has been affiliated with the Colour Group, GB since 2017.
Colour and Film SIG Events: Firstly, BAFTSS funded The Journeys through Colour seminar at the Royal Anthropological Institute , which brought together scholars – Natasha Eaton (UCL), Jeffrey Geiger (Essex), Jan Faull (Royal Holloway) and Liz Watkins (Leeds). A second event, the Colour in Context Symposium was part-funded by BAFTSS with the University of Bristol. The symposium was linked with a screening and Workshop event organised by the AHRC project Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema 1955-85 (University of Bristol and University of East Anglia): When the New Wave Came to Bristol: Remembering Some People (Clive Donner, 1962) at the Watershed in Bristol. The keynote speaker for Colour in Context Symposium was Professor Lynda Nead (Birkbeck, University of London) who spoke about ‘Greyscale and Colour: The Hues of Nation and Empire c.1945-60’. The symposium included presentations from members of the Colour and Film SIG and beyond. The event also hosted the second annual SIG meeting, which was attended by members of the Colour Group (GB).
BAFTSS Conferences: The Colour and Film SIG has convened panels at the BAFTSS annual conference in 2017 and 2018.
2017: Liz Watkins organised a panel on experiments with colour realism and the fantastic in travelogues and documentary films (1910-30s) for the BAFTSS 2017 conference at the University of Bristol. The panel was chaired by Professor Sarah Street. The presentations were given by:
- Professor Jeffrey Geiger (University of Essex) on ‘Cinematic Gestures: Flows and Disruptions on the Yankee Voyage, 1936-38’
- Jan Faull (Royal Holloway, University of London) ‘What Colours are at the Top of the World?’
- Liz Watkins (University of Leeds) ‘Experiments with Photography and Colour in Polar Expedition narratives.’
2018: Steven F. Roberts (University of Bristol) organised the SIG panel on ‘Retrochrome: Salvaging Colour Images and Practices for the Historical Present’ at the BAFTSS Conference 2018, University of Kent. The panel was chaired by Dr Carolyn Rickards (Bristol) and included presentations by:
- Steven F. Roberts (University of Bristol) on VistaVision Now: Sensing Large Format Colour Cinematography.
- Liz Watkins (University of Leeds) on Transient Colours and the Discontinuity of Photographic Time in Voyage Narratives.
- Kieron Webb (BFI National Archive) on A Colour Box: Conservation and Representation of Colour Films in Restoration and Remastering.
Additional presentations on colour were given by members of the SIG, including Kirsty Dootson Sinclair – ‘A Chinese Copy: Technicolor in Beijing (Yale University)’ as well as a panel which was convened by The Eastmancolor Revolution in Britain 1955-1985 and chaired by Sarah Street.
- “Art is Either Plagiarism or Revolution”: The Early Adoption of Eastmancolor in 1950s British Cinema (Keith M. Johnston, University of East Anglia)
- Transitions and Transformation in British Horror Cinema of the 1960s (Paul Frith, University of East Anglia)
- Sixties Colour Films and British Wartime History (Carolyn Rickards, University of Bristol).
Colour and Film SIG online: The SIG hosts a Colour and Film website , which includes a list of CFPs for publications and conferences, funding opportunities, film screenings, exhibitions and resources specific to research in colour and film. The convenors send regular email updates highlighting these notices and opportunities to Colour and Film SIG members. The website includes the Notes on Colour Blog. Contributors include scholars from: Kings College London, University of Glasgow, University of Bristol and Yale University on topics including a Conference report about presentations on colour at SCMS, BAFTSS, Colour in Context Symposium and the Colour Group GB’s International Conference on Colour in Film by Kirsty Sinclair Dootson, Yale); a piece about early colour cinema in Aberdeen (Stephen McBurney, Glasgow); on Colour and Vistavision (Steven Roberts, Bristol) and most recently on ‘Weaponised Colour: A Brief History of Dye-Transfer Process in China’s Cultural Revolution’ by Zhaoyo Zhu (Kings College, London).
Affiliations: The BAFTSS Colour and Film SIG has been affiliated with the Colour Group, GB since 2017.
Colour and Film SIG Membership.
Convenors: Professor Sarah Street, University of Bristol, Professor of Film and Foundation Chair of Drama and Dr Liz Watkins, University of Leeds, Research Fellow in History of Art and Film
Professor Birgit Beumers, Aberystwyth University
Professor Erica Carter, King’s College London, Professor of German and Film
Dr Samantha Colling, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lecturer (Film and Media)
Jan Faull, Royal Holloway University of London, Researcher
Dr Paul Frith, University of East Anglia, Senior Research Associate
Professor Jeffrey Geiger, University of Essex, Director, Centre for Film and Screen Media
Sonia Genaitay, British Film Institute National Archive
Dr Victoria Jackson, University of Bristol, Postdoctoral Researcher
Dr Keith M Johnston, University of East Anglia, Reader in Film & Television, School of Art, Media and American Studies
Dr Stephen McBurney, University of Glasgow.
Gillian McIver, University of Roehampton,Researcher and TECHNE Associate
Professor Kathryn Millard, Macquarie University. Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies.
Dr Richard Misek, University of Kent, Director of MA-T Film, School of Arts
Professor Ranjani Mazumdar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Professor of Cinema Studies
Dr Carolyn Rickards, University of Bristol, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Steven Roberts, University of Bristol, PhD Candidate.
Kamalika Sanyal, KU Leuven, PhD student
Sanghita Sen, University of St. Andrews.
Kirsty Sinclair Dootson, University of Cambridge.
Dr Dominic Topp, University of Kent, Associate Lecturer
Kieron Webb, British Film Institute National Archive, Film Conservation Manager
Zhaoyu Zhu, King’s College London, MPhil/PhD Candidate.