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A series of films about the early days of colour photography

In late 2021 Chocolate Films was commissioned to make a series of films introducing some of The V and A gallery’s incredible collection of colour photography which spans a period from its origins of photography in the 19th century all the way to the present day. Chocolate Films first produced content for the V and A back in 2010, and we have always enjoyed working at this incredible institution. Check out the films above or on the V and A’s Youtube channel.

3 historical processes brought to life

The films focus on three processes, Autochrome, Kodachrome and Polaroid. Autochrome was invented by the Lumière brothers in 1907 and revolutionised photography, ringing soft, natural colour into images for the first time. This technique made photographs the most realistic that they had ever been. Then, in 1936, the 35mm Kodachrome was introduced, and effectively replaced Autochrome as the leading colour photography process. The vivid coloured images, ease of use and affordability meant that it was adopted widely. When Polaroid was launched, it’s instant processing offered a quick way to capture memorable moments or artistic compositions. At the click of a button, a fully formed photograph emerged directly from the camera. By 1963, Polacolour offered ‘instant’ colour photographs and was adopted by many artists.

Filming in the V&A’s photographic archives

These four films were shot over two days by a two person crew from Chocolate Films: Daniel Onyia and Jenny Rygalska. Working closely with curator Catlin Langford and her colleagues, our team captured beautiful footage deep from the archives of the V and A, their cameras investigating the details of the images. We shot extensively using a high end slider, enabling us to capture beautiful moving images across the photographs. One of the key reasons for producing the films was to enable the images to be seen by a wider audience. Many of the images we shot are too light sensitive to go on display, meaning that we had to be very careful on the shoot to ensure that they were not exposed to light for any longer than absolutely necessary.

More documentaries about photography

Chocolate films has shot many documentaries about photography as an artform in recent years. Our film for the Sony World Photography Awards in 2021, featured documentary sequences from 16 countries as far afield as Vietnam and Syria. Our films for The Krasna Krausz Photography Prize took us to South African and a high end print studio in France. We have produced films about the very first photographic processes for an exhibition at the Queens Gallery, and made films for photography exhibitions at galleries such as the Serpentine and The National Portrait Gallery. Our team, many of whom are keen photographers themselves, love working on these projects.  If you’re looking to produce an art documentary or films for your gallery, contact us at info@chocolatefilms.com

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