World's First Color Motion Picture?
These days we take “color moving pictures” for granted. We all go to the movies. And nearly every smartphone on the planet can shoot/show color “movies”.
But, before color films and video there was black and white films and video. And now we know that there was also early turn-of-the-20th-century color too.
Dedicated souls at Britain's National Media Museum have painstakingly worked with this ancient motion picture film more than 100 years old and figured out the secret to viewing it's hidden color content.
The rudimentary system used to shoot the color film (on monochrome film stock) and then play it back was invented by British photographer Edward Raymond Turner. It utilized rotating red/green/blue gel wheels in front of the camera - and also in front of the projector lens - to create color motion pictures.
Similar color wheel techniques were also tried in the early, experimental days of “color” TV broadcasting.
The Museum was able to find Turner's instructions then transfer the ancient movie to new,16mm black and white film stock to recreated the effect of watching what might have been the first color motion pictures.
Watch the video. It's pretty amazing.