World’s First Ever Colour Film Unveiled

The world’s first color moving pictures ever made have been unveiled, dating back to 1901 earlier than previously known.

Cinematic pioneer Edward Turner is credited with making the world’s first ever color films in 1901 and 1902. Picture Source: National Media Museum

Stunning clips of the world’s first color movies were unveiled Wednesday by the UK’s National Media Museum, which just found the films, shot in 1901-1902 by Edward Turner, a British photographer who invented a complex three-color process previously thought to have been unsuccessful.

Cinematic pioneer Edward Turner is credited with making the world’s first ever color films in 1901 and 1902.

 A British museum has found the world’s first-ever color movie – a whopping 110 years after it was made.

The stunning clips, unveiled Wednesday by the National Media Museum, were shot in 1901-1902 by Edward Turner, a British photographer who invented a complex three-color process well before Technicolor caught everyone’s eye.

“We believe this will literally rewrite film history,” Paul Goodman, the museum’s head of collections, told The Guardian. “I don’t think it is an overstatement.”

Turner, who died suddenly at the age of 29 in 1903, colored his films by recording frames through red, green and blue filters. He then projected the images and superimposed them on top of each other to create the strikingly hued clips.

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Turner’s invention was largely thought to be a flop when it was patented in 1899.

His films feature a variety of bright subjects: from a multicolored macaw to his children playing with a goldfish — to his daughter, Agnes May Turner, swinging in the family’s garden.

Turner’s invention, backed by wealthy horse breeder Frederick Lee, was largely thought to be a flop when it was patented in 1899 because the clips often came out blurry.

In 1906, it was eclipsed by George Albert Smith’s commercially viable Kinemacolor system — a two-color process believed to be based on Turner’s invention.

The National Media Museum in Bradford, England, came into possession of Turner’s record-breaking films nearly three years ago after they were relocated from the Science Museum in London.

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His films feature a variety of bright subjects, including his daughter, Agnes May Turner, swinging in the garden of their home.

The London museum received the clips in 1937 from Charles Urban, a wealthy businessman who started backing Turner’s invention when Lee became wary of its potential.

After discovering the film, researchers at the National Media Museum, with the help of the British Film Institute’s National Archive, set about to prove that Turner — not Smith — is the father of color movies.

Edward Turner colored his films by recording frames through red, green and blue filters.

“Film historians had known about [Turner’s] process but always regarded it as a failure,” Michael Harvey, the museum’s curator of cinematography, told The Telegraph, adding that they were able to validate Turner’s invention by reconstructing the color films.

WATCH: THE FIRST COLOR MOVING PICTURES AT THE NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM

Source and author: Christine Roberts


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