Edward Raymond Turner
|Edward Raymond Turner|
Clevedon, Somerset, England
|Died||9 March 1903
|Occupation||Film maker, inventor|
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Turner was born in 1873 in Clevedon, North Somerset, UK. In later life, Raymond and his wife Edith lived near the centre of Hounslow in West London. Some of Turner's colour film experiments were carried out in the back garden of this house in Montague Road and showed his three young children, Alfred, Agnes and Wilfrid.
The Lee-Turner colour process
Turner is noted for his attempts to develop what is believed to be the first actually implemented colour motion picture system, initially with financial backing from Frederick Marshall Lee, then later from Charles Urban.
On 22 March 1899, while Turner was employed in the London workshop of colour photography pioneer Frederic E. Ives, Turner and Lee applied for a British patent on a 3-colour additive motion picture process. It was granted on 3 March 1900. In September 1902, Urban bought out Lee's interest and continued funding research and development.
Turner's camera used a rotating disk of three colour filters to photograph colour separations on one roll of black-and-white film. A red, green or blue-filtered image was recorded on each successive frame of film. The finished film print was projected, three frames at a time, through the corresponding colour filters.
The system suffered from two types of colour registration problems.
- First, because the three frames had not been photographed at the same time, rapidly moving objects in the scene did not match up on the screen and appeared as a blurred jumble of false colours.
- Second, and apparently much worse, mechanical instabilities in the system caused serious overall registration problems, so that the three superimposed images ceaselessly jittered and wove about relative to each other.:42
When Turner died in 1903, Urban passed on the development of the process to George Albert Smith in the hope of creating a commercially viable process. Smith however found the process unworkable, and instead developed Kinemacolor, a greatly simplified two-colour version that enjoyed a moderate commercial success for several years.:118
Turner's role in the development of colour film technology was not widely appreciated until the UK's National Media Museum produced digital colour composites of his 110-year-old test films and unveiled them publicly on 12 September 2012.
The modern digital restoration allows present-day viewers to see a more successful combination of the three colour elements than was possible with the original mechanical projection system.
- "World's first colour film footage viewed for first time". BBC News England. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "World's earliest colour movies shown for first time an incredible 120 years after they were shot". Daily Mail. London. 12 September 2012.
- "Turner, Edward Raymond". PhotoLondon. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "The Race for Colour". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Edward Raymond Turner". Who's Who of Victorian Cinema. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
Turner died of a heart attack at his workshop on 9 March 1903
- British Patent (B.P.) no. 6,202 (1899), 22 March 1899, 'Means for taking and exhibiting cinematographic pictures'. http://www.brianpritchard.com/GB189906202A.pdf
- Pritchard, B. (2012). "Lee-Turner Project with the National Media Museum". Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Robert Allen Nowotny (1979). The Way of All Flesh Tones. University of Texas at Austin. ISBN 978-0-8240-5109-9. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Roberts, Christine (13 September 2012). "First-ever color movie found at Britain's National Media Museum in Bradford". NY Daily News. New York.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-19598445 Martin Scorsese on world's first colour film discovery BBC
- on YouTube
- Lee and Turner on Timeline of Historical Film Colors, with primary and secondary sources, patents, and photographs of historical film prints.
- Edward Raymond Turner entry at Who's Who in Victorian Cinema