Silent film was a distinctly cosmopolitan medium, as diverse language versions could be produced by simply replacing intertitles. Coexisting with this, so-called applied color techniques, such as dye-tinting, toning and stencil color, flourished. The process of positive cutting, in which colored images and intertitles were assembled by hand to create each individual projection print, remained dominant in German-speaking countries until the mid 1920s.
From the mid to late 1920s, machine processing enabled to finish an entire roll of projection print without splices. Furthermore, newly released film stock specifically designed for duplication purposes made it easier to produce negatives for each language version with sufficient image quality. With this completion of the modern system of negative cutting, applied colors became a disincentive to the overall post-production process and the frequency of color changes decreased. Monochromatic tinting remained partial but eventually disappeared completely.
The negative cutting was a prerequisite for the transition from the silent to sound film that took place around 1929. Sound film as a technological innovation was only possible after multi-year struggles in the areas of cutting, duplication as well as film processing, which transformed film from a hand-crafted artifact into an industrial product.
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