Ohhh, Look…Astonishing 110 Year Old Color Film Prints Discovered and Preserved

Since our interview with Chris Kenneally (writer/director of the doc Side by Side) the other day I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea film preservation. Well along comes this neat video showing newly discovered film from 1902 that is the very first film to be printed in color. It’s quite amazing to see something that we’re so used to seeing in black and white now shown in color, and all through a pretty simple and seminal process.

In 1899, Edward Raymond Turner’s ingenious and patented process “shot three successive frames through red, green, and blue filters, and then projected them on top of each other to create a full-color image”. The result, color film! Crude but amazing it was the first though  credit and widespread notoriety goes to George Albert Smith’s Kinemacolor system, the first working device made in 1906. Recently, some reels of Turner’s test footage have been uncovered proving he was the first to create color film.

Have a look at the video below brought to us by the National Media Museum…

Not much more we can add to it but simply to just take a moment and revel in how mind-blowing it was to have color prior to WWI. Well just goes to show that as one film personality says in the Side by Side doc, “film will never be format obsolete. Thanks to The Atlantic (via Film School Rejects) for the tip. Whatcha think about that video? Pretty awesome huh?