In 1927 Claude Friese-Greene shot some of the first-ever color film footage around London. He captured everyday life in the city with a technique innovated by his father, called Biocolour. Friese-Greene’s technique captures London in striking detail, as if putting the whole city in a time capsule. The people, most now long since gone, pass before us like ghosts. What’s striking is, apart from the noticeably formal clothing and a few old cars, how familiar and unchanged everything seems.
Watching this film is truly remarkable when you fully realize this was one of the world's first pieces of color cinematography. Friese-Greene's 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. Urban Peek notes British Film Institute used computer enhancement to reduce the flickering effect of the original Biocolour and bring us this striking rare film which transports us back through time.