Fasten your seat belts because you will travel through time to discover the history of color in Cinema. Let’s go!
A brief history of film
In 1876 the Englishman Eadweard James MUYBRIDGE used 12 and 24 cameras set up on a racetrack. He takes a horse to activate the images. His goal was to take several progressive pictures and then reconstruct movements with the pictures taken.
After his experience, he invented the ZOOPRAXISCOPE, the device’s name for taking moving images. But since his invention requires the help of an animal, its creation will not yet be the beginning of the film.
It was in 1891 that the scientist Thomas EDISON set up the first camera. At the time, he used a KINETOSCOPE device to view the images. The problem is that we couldn’t project it. This attempt is not the birth of cinema either.
Real cinema made its debut in 1895 in France. What would later become the seventh art was born thanks to the Lumière brothers. If the first filming occurred in 1894, the patent was only filed on the 13th février 1895.
The public screening took place at the Indian salon of the great coffee in Paris on December 28, 1895. On display are: The watered sprinkler, The baby’s meal, and The exit of the light factory in Lyon And, of course, there is an entry fee.
What is a silent movie?
With or without a voice, no one cares.
The audience is delighted to watch the animated images. But with time, other directors joined the film industry. George Méliès was the first to enlarge the circle and put art in it. Thus the public greeted his first science fiction achievement, “A Trip to the Moon ,” in 1902 with great applause.
George Méliès published more than 500 short films between 1896 and 1913. The images in his movies were excellent and were painted mainly by hand. Let’s not forget the great Max Linder either. This director, a little later, inspired many talents such as Charlie Chaplin and Louis Feuillade.
Because of modernity, few people still watch silent films. Additionally, productions are no longer made because they are films made with film stock.
The beginnings of sound in film
As the world of motion pictures evolved, watching still images in motion became less fun. Without forgetting, cinematographers are also thirsty for new things. Suddenly the search for a solution to have sound is like the gold rush. The French production Gaumont takes the first steps in the cinema sound system. By creating the first cinema house called Gaumont Palace in 1912. The success of France explodes in the production of sound films.
For their part, competitors do not look favorably on this development. The sound production of French film companies is not welcome among the big neighbors: the Americans and the Danes. It should be noted that they also wanted to enter the part of the film market. But the French did not let them be taken so quickly. From 1929 to 1937, 4250 sound chambers were built in French towns. In addition, these successes allow the discovery of stars of French cinema such as Michel Simon, Jean Gabin, etc.
Initially, the images were only in black and white. Color is the least of the worries. As long as it pleases the public, it’s okay. If the invention of black and white motion pictures is a real big bang for the public, it is nothing compared to the entry of color. Imagine the habit of looking at white-colored bananas, black-colored strawberries, the white-colored sky… And then BOOM, the images sparkle with all the rainbow colors. Imagine the noise it could make!
This time Americans won the race. The giant Technicolor, a company specializing in color in the cinema, takes the first steps to implementing the first color images. In the 1930s, Warner Bros purchased color video editing equipment to screen director Victor Fleming‘s film The Wizard of Oz. One of the best musicals in American film history at the time.
As the touch of color adds aesthetics and appeal to motion pictures, inventors and professionals in the motion picture industry are moving heaven and earth into their corner to finalize the issue of color once and for all. Hence the appearance of other competing companies from the 1940s to the 1950s. Small color imaging companies mushroomed. Mention can be made of Agfacolor, Eastmancolor, Technicolor, Cinecolor, and Gasparcolor
Of all, Technicolor stands out. First, by his way of knowing how to impose himself. That with good advertisements and posters everywhere. Then the quality of the images is taken by a D-camera and produced by an imbibition printing technique. This mode of shooting ended in 1951 with the conversion of the D camera into a DF camera. These suitable old methods stopped in the 2000s.
The adventure doesn’t stop there. Currently, color is still evolving: HD, BLU-RAY, 4K, 8K images, etc.