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June 10, 2017

Beautiful Color Footage of VJ Day Celebrations in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1945

This beautiful color film footage will take you back to August 14, 1945 Honolulu, when the first word hit the streets that WWII was over. Military and citizens celebrate joyfully in the streets and old Waikiki.

No commercial color movie film medium other than Kodachrome has survived deterioration for three quarters of a century. This footage, save for easily-remedied color fading and color shift, which has been color corrected using 2009 technology, is virtually unchanged after nearly 70 years.

Germany's Agfachrome movie film from the 1930s and 1940s, for example, was inferior to Kodachrome from the get-go, with present-day surviving Agfa motion picture and photographic color slide film from that era having shifted dramatically in overall color tint toward green. Even Adolf Hitler turned his back on Agfachrome, preferring instead Kodak's products to document his rule. Today's surviving Nazi-era color films were virtually all shot on Kodak's Kodachrome film.

Properly stored Kodachrome, like this footage was shot by a U.S Navy sailor, has survived amazingly well, but it is ultimately beginning to show its age. Common Kodachrome problems due to the passage of time and less-than-ideal storage conditions are often seen as a shift in overall color toward red, and the crackling of the emulsion in a spider-web-like pattern similar to that seen in the glazes on antique pottery, which dulls the overall moving image and allows mildew and emulsion loss to take hold.

Before natural conditions caused by time's passing can diminish this unique record of the euphoria of VJ Day and the wrapping-up of the military's wartime role, this footage deserves and requires the best quality digital scanning, dirt and scratch removal, and color balancing to return it as close to possible to its original 1945 state.

(© Richard Sullivan, via Kickstarter)


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