The Strange and Wonderful History of Technicolor

We had no idea how much this format influenced the world!

The scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy goes from a sepia world to a vibrant color dreamland was not filmed exactly as most of us thought and that is because of Technicolor. We were surprised to find out what the producers had to do in order to make Technicolor work for the film. In fact, every Technicolor movie of the era was limited in how the film was shot, how the lighting worked, and key wardrobe decisions in order to make the technology work. We love watching old movies in Technicolor, but the process was much more complicated than we would have ever thought.

Technicolor, Inc. employed a variety of techniques and some pretty heavy duty equipment in order to create the fist major color films, many of which are classics today. In the clip below Vox gives us a detailed history of how the color film was processed in order to make some of our very favorite films. And, if you enjoy this type of thing then click “Next Page” after the video for a look at 1940s San Francisco in rare color!