Most early forms of motion pictures or film were black and white. Some color film processes, including hand coloring were experimented with, and in limited use, from the earliest days of motion pictures. The switch from most films being in black-and-white to most being in color was gradual, taking place from the 1930s to the 1960s. Even when most film studios had the capability to make color films, the technology’s popularity was limited, as using the Technicolor process was expensive and cumbersome. For many years, it was not possible for films in color to render realistic hues, thus its use was restricted to historical films, musicals, and cartoons until the 1950s, while many directors preferred to use black-and-white stock. For the years 1940–1966, a separate Academy Award for Best Art Direction was given for black-and-white movies along with one for color; similarly, from 1939–1966 (excepting 1957), a separate Academy Award for Best Cinematography was given for both black-and-white and color movies.
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