Discovering Kinemacolor

Kinemacolor was the world’s first successful natural colour motion picture system. It was preceded by some trial colour systems that did not work in practice, and it competed against artificial systems which painted colours onto film stock. Kinemacolor was the first system successfully to achieve one of the primary goals of the pioneers of motionRead More

Lost colours

I’ve been adding more images to my Flickr pages reflecting the works of Charles Urban. Having started with pictures from his 1903 catalogue We put the World Before You, I’ve turned to another treasure among his catalogues, the Catalogue of Kinemacolor Film Subjects (1912). Copies of this catalogue are rarer than hen’s teeth, and I’mRead More

Popular science

The birth of the popular science film – Francis Martin Duncan appears as the scientist in Cheese Mites, the notorious film he made for Charles Urban in 1903. The full film was only recently discovered by Oliver Gaycken (lurking on YouTube under a made-up title) Two books are to be published shortly which cover theRead More

Visual education

I was rather thrilled to read a piece in the Times Educational Supplement, in which Sanjay Sarma, director of digital learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, called for teachers to stop relying on traditional teaching methods and instead use ten-minute videos. He is quoted as saying: The way we teach today is based onRead More

Charles Urban

On 1 August University of Exeter Press is publishing my book, Charles Urban: Pioneering the Non-Fiction Film in Britain and America, 1897-1925. It is based on my PhD thesis, which I completed in 2003, but it has been updated with reference to new research in the field, though equally the word-length has been cut downRead More