Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Cross Process Neg Film

Please forgive the seemingly elementary nature of this question, but I have seen much reversal film cross processed as negative but I have recently been told that you can take negative film and cross process it as reversal and get a positive image. Is this so, and what are some of the results obtained?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

Ed Colman

3 stops according to the stills lab that I used. My experiments came out very dark and fairly flat even though it was pushed two stops, I would go for a much thicker neg next time. The colour effect and contrast was much less extreme than reversal processed as neg - a muddy and quite warm look, closer to bleach bypass but without the increased contrast, colours skewed somewhat but skin-tones still reasonable if a little orange. Grain was very visible, but the push-processing probably had more to do with this than the cross-processing. My material was not a very neutral test environment, however - NYC at night, available light from vehicles, signs and street lights (sodium lights could explain some of my colour weirdness), with fairly long exposures, so I can't comment on daylight or other lighting conditions and how they might affect it. Testing is obviously essential, and bracketed stills would be very helpful in nailing exposure issues.

If you are going to go beyond stills, the same things may apply for processing MP neg through an E6 bath as for the more usual reversal processed as neg, in that very few labs will do it because of chemical contamination. It might not apply this way round (lab people?), but even straight E6 processing is hard to come by for MP stock, in this country anyway. I would think that the rem-jet situation might well be a problem.


Tom Debenham

Visual Effects Designer Computer Film Company,



Send any motion picture film, be it neg or trany, to a stills processing house.

The corespondent who mentioned the "Ram Jet Backing" was absolutely right.

Still emulsions do NOT have this backing and the processing machines they use do not have the bath to remove it. Therefore the stuff comes off as sticky bits and adheres to everybody else's film that happens to be in that bath. The processing house has then to shut down the entire machine, throw away all the chemicals and reload completely.

If they find out it was you may not be very popular!

If you send cassettes to a motion picture house that can handle them then there is no problem as they will put them through the motion picture bath - with the necessary removal chemistry.

Best wishes,


Paul Wheeler BSC FBKS


I recently requested a demo reel from CineFilm in Atlanta. On it they have examples of cross-process and bleach-bypass. I talked to Mike Wofford. Drop him a line he's a very nice person to chat with. As far as the look goes it is definately wild looking. Greenish cast to the mid tones, pinkish highlights and pitch black shadows. Very weird.

Joseph T McDonnell III

The corespondent who mentioned the "Ram Jet Backing" was absolutely right.

Technical Foul! Obstruction of the English language! its actually rem jet backing.

rem jet can be removed with denatured alcohol and a blush pad. (if you must)

Referee caleb

Wouldn't you have to do that in the pitch dark? BEFORE processing?

Robert Rouveroy csc The Hague, Holland

The darker the better.

Before processing should work best.


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