Claude Friese-Greene, one of the earliest British pioneers of film, filmed a series of short clips around London documenting major attractions of the city nearly 90 years ago, specifically in 1927, using a primitive color process developed by his father William Friese-Greene.
Looking at this footage almost a century later, it gives an ultimate feeling of precious value, knowing that it was one of the very first colored motion pictures ever made. The father, William Friese-Greene was a British portrait photographer and a well known inventor. His experiments in the field of motion pictures led him to be known as one of the fathers of cinematography.
As described by PetaPixal, One of William’s inventions was an additive color film process known as Biocolour. He exposed every other frame of standard black-and-white film through a different-colored filter, and then stained the resulting monochrome prints either red or green. Once projected, these prints provided an illusion of real color. A process that was used for many films between 1923 and 1943.
In the video below, the British Film Institute used computer enhancement to reduce noticeable flickering that was seen in the original footage, a major downside to the Biocolour method.
1927 London – It’s like a beautiful dusty old postcard you’d find in a junk store, but moving: