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Earliest color film discovered


clore
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I think this technique uses black and white film, with a spinning 3-color filter wheel behind the camera lens, and a spinning color filter wheel on the projector, in front of the lens. This alternates each frame being photographed and projected through a red, then a green, then a blue filter, and also projected through the same color filters. So the color comes from the filters and is not on the film (I think).

 

Years ago I saw a b&w film of some sort of street demonstration in Europe early in the 20th Century, and I noticed that peoples clothes and signs changed contrast rapidly, alternating between black, white, and gray, frame by frame. It was an odd effect. But, that told me that each frame being exposed was being photographed through a spinning color filter wheel. For example, red objects would show up as white or clear on the film, and thus would show up being red when projected through a red filter. Green objects would be clear and shown through the green filter when projected. So, there are other of these early color films in museum archives, but they are actually on black and white film, so not every archivist can recognize what they are. They need to be projected through a 3-color spinning filter wheel for the colors to be revealed.

 

See the spinning filter wheel at the end of this clip:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo4HcHBCwgo

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Thanks for your link. Here's what it says:

 

A complicated process, it involved photographing successive frames of black-and-white film through blue, green and red filters. Using a special projector (which you can see in the gallery) these were combined on a screen to produce full-colour images.

 

That's what I said in my previous post. :) I figured out this process when I was in high school in 1959. I won some science fairs by making a daguerreotype from scratch. I was about 16 years old. I had a local mirror company make a silvered plate but without a backing, leaving the bright silver exposed to the air. I turned that into a light sensitive surface by holding it over heated iodine fumes, forming silver iodide, which is light sensitive.

 

I made a two-hour exposure and developed it with heated mercury fumes.

 

Anyway, I saw the old b&w film with the alternating contrast on an old TV documentary, and I figured out how it must have been made, and that was with a spinning color filter wheel. So there might be a lot of these kinds of b&w color-filter-films avilable in museum vaults. It was more of a mechanical process rather than a color film chemical process. The color is vivid and not faded because the color comes from the spinning color filter wheels.

 

As the documentary says, the process can be convered with computers now, by alternating each frame from red to green to blue, so that a spinning filter wheel is not needed.

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Fred,

 

That's amazing that you figured out all that stuff yourself while in your teens ! Took me three years just to master lipstick.

 

Maybe this will appeal to you -- it's Wide Screen Museum's excellent history of Technicolor:

 

http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/oldcolor/technicolor1.htm

 

Also this 1922 Kodachrome test on YouTube featuring Mae Murray ... (I wish some lip-reader would tell us what she says) ...

 

http://tinyurl.com/8hutyzz

 

MaeColor.jpg

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}I think this technique uses black and white film, with a spinning 3-color filter wheel behind the camera lens, and a spinning color filter wheel on the projector, in front of the lens. This alternates each frame being photographed and projected through a red, then a green, then a blue filter, and also projected through the same color filters. So the color comes from the filters and is not on the film (I think).

But...it is still a full color process which predates color-on-film, even though it's not color-on-film.

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>But...it is still a full color process which predates color-on-film, even though it's not color-on-film.

 

Yes, and it looks better to me than 2-strip Technicolor. It's too bad this technique didn't catch on, along with DeForrest sound on film in the early 1920s. It would have been great to see old newsreels in both sound and full color.

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It seems like an arduous proccess that costs more time than money, but remarkable for the times nonetheless. Notice the prism effect on the flowers and the perch the macaw is on. Somewhat reminiscient of those textured plastic screens sold in the '50's that supposedly turned your black and white television into a color set.

 

 

This HAS to be most interesting for history buffs. Especially FILM history buffs!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}

> Notice the prism effect on the flowers and the perch the macaw is on. Somewhat reminiscient of those textured plastic screens sold in the '50's that supposedly turned your black and white television into a color set.

I was thinking more of those color wheels people used on their Christmas trees (we had one in our family for years when we had an aluminum tree). Those wheels not only cast the colored lights, but because the plastic was usually rippled, it also cast a rippling pattern with the lights.

 

rotating-color-wheel.jpg

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> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}I thought that some may find the info at the other end of the link interesting:

>

> http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/sep/12/colour-film-1901-earliest-world

 

 

BFI (British Film Institute) page on Facebook today had this about the film:

 

http://www.bfi.org.uk/news/worlds-earliest-colour-moving-images-view

 

The National Media Museum website is here with information about their discovery:

 

http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/PlanAVisit/Exhibitions/LeeAndTurner.aspx

 

I actually know where Bradford is, as I have a friend who lives in Sheffield...

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