Inventory of research on the “control marker”, the evolution of a little-known workshop practice
At a time when the Pathé company was intensifying and organizing its assembly line approach to film production, a system of markers appeared (black and white stripes) began to appear in the image on many films shot in the studio by 1904 and onwards. By questioning these markers’ function, a first hypothesis positing a need for “quality control” during post-production emerges, with the markers presumably intended to be visible in the frame. However, the transformation and displacement of these markers to the edge of the film in 1906, made possible by the evolution of cameras, leads us to rethink its use. Beyond the actual study of the use of this marker, the question arises of the professional gesture acquired through experience and oral transmission around the new professions linked to the cinematographic image. Through an essay on typology and analysis of reference points based on documented examples, and supplemented by the testimonies of camera operators, we will try to understand better this practice and to predict its continuity in the visual professions.
Camille Blot-Wellens (Université Paris 8 & FIAF Technical Commission) & Anne Gourdet-Marès (Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé)
Camille Blot-Wellens has been an archivist, historian and researcher for almost 20 years. She worked with the Filmoteca Española, then directed the film collections of the Cinémathèque française before moving to Stockholm where she works as a freelance archivist. She collaborates with international archives on research, restoration and training projects, notably as a member of the Technical Commission of the International Federation of Film Archives. She teaches at the University of Lausanne and at the University of Paris 8, where she is also preparing her PhD. She has published two books and numerous articles. In 2018, she received the Jean Mitry Award (Giornate del Cinema muto, Italy) and the Outstanding Achievement Award for Film Preservation (Film Heritage Foundation, India).
After studying history, Anne Gourdet-Marès worked as a projectionist and camera assistant. Fascinated by the history of film techniques, she is responsible for the film technology collection at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé. She specializes on the history of the cameras and their medium – film. Her research projects have been the subject of several publications. In addition, she offers magic lantern shows and educational workshops on the technical inventions of cinema. In 2018, she wrote Si on allait au cinéma!,aimed at young audiences and published by A dos d’Âne.