Colouring in the margins: George Hoyningen-Huene’s work in film, 1952-1963

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


George Hoyningen-Huene (1900-1968) is best known as an influential photographer of the twentieth century, but from 1953-1962 he worked as a colour consultant in Hollywood, on a total of thirteen films. Huene’s position is one on the margins of the film industry, as a freelance worker not contracted to a major studio or company and as a queer artist. This paper explores Huene’s potential as a case study to expand previous histories of both colour consultancy and queer craft in the mainstream. While existing scholarship concerned with the colour consultant has highlighted the remarkable work of women - Natalie Kalmus and Joan Bridge - in an era of filmmaking when women had little power, the presence of figures like Huene complicate these established narratives. On the other hand, queer film histories have tended to privilege more visible figures, such as directors and stars, in order to argue for queer authorship and therefore influence. This paper seeks to address ‘world-making’, in recognising the material contributions of colour consultancy in shaping a film’s world, and ‘world-building’, in the potential of the archive to develop our understanding of filmmaking worlds (in this case, 1950s Hollywood) which connect personal and production histories.
Period1 Jul 2023
Event titleScreen conference
Event typeConference
LocationGlasgow, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational