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Researchers Unearthed World’s First Color Film Footage

Researchers of UK’s National Media Museum have claimed that they have found world’s first color moving pictures footage. According to the BBC, Edward Raymond Turner first made this footage as a test purpose in 1902, where he shot images of marching soldiers, birds and his children in the garden of their home in Hounslow. The film discovered by Michael Harvey, Curator of Cinematography at the National Media Museum from a tin. The film was stain in the tin for 110 years.


World's first colour film footage, image credit: bbc.co.uk

Mr. Turner patented his color process on 22 March, 1899 through getting support of American entrepreneur Charles Urban. Unfortunately, Turner died of a heart attack at the age of 29 in 1903 and then Urban continued the process. Eventually in 1909, Mr. Urban successfully developed Kinemacolour by using two colors. Till the discovery by Harvey since 1909, the film was considered as the world’s earliest natural color footage.

As the footage was shot in a non-standard 38mm format, so it was not easy to restore by researchers. Miss Dixon (wife of Bryony Dixon, curator of silent film at the British Film Institute (BFI) National Archives) said that “It’s 38 and a bit millimetres, which is larger than the standard 35mm, and it wouldn’t work on any of the 35mm machines.”

Mr. Harvey and other film archivists such as Brian Pritchard and David Cleveland ran the film as per Turner’s guidelines. They successfully copied the film from 38mm to 35mm format by using a custom-built gate.

Miss Dixon said that “This is definitely the first example of trying to get color photographically or naturally, so it’s very significant.”

Bryony Dixon said, Turner’s film discover is an important moment for the cinema world. He added, “It’s really quite beautiful.”

Source: The Verge

Courtesy: BBC

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