While photos certainly do a great job taking us to the past, early footages are definitely history’s time travel gems. If you’re up for a quick trip back to London of yesteryears, let Claude Friese-Greene be your tour guide with his beautiful color footage from 1927.
Life in the past has been captured countless times on film, both in still photos and early motion pictures. The footage below is part of a fascinating series on a trip traversing Land’s End to John o’ Groats, filmed in 1927 by Claude Friese-Greene, a British-born filmmaker, cinematographer, and cinema technician. The series, called The Open Road, is done in travelogue fashion, with interesting notes to provide viewers additional information and context.
Claude Friese-Greene was the son of William Friese-Greene, the cinematography pioneer who developed the additive color film process called bicolour. After his father’s death, Friese-Greene continued to improve his the process and later renamed it Friese-Greene Natural Colour. The process involves staining black and white film frames with either red or green filters alternately to create the illusion of full color. The downside to this process was noticeable flickering when frames involve rapid movement. The footage went through computer enhancement by the British Film Institute (who now has the film in its archives) to remedy the flickering problem.
Are you ready to tour around London’s famous landmarks? Friese-Greene says it’s time to bring those classic postcard scenes to life!
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