Colourised footage of a snowball fight dating back 125 years has wowed the internet.
Ordinarily, colourising black-and-white movies and TV shows is a cardinal sin; all it does is separate different eras of cinema, removes the essence of the original and further discourages people from checking out classic movies, because they’re ‘old’.
However, sometimes in the nature of showing off today’s technology, it can be a fascinating experiment. Back in 1896, Louis Lumière of the Lumière Brothers – responsible for some of the first-ever motion pictures – captured footage of a snowball fight for Bataille de boules de neige. With a fresh lick of paint, it’s dazzling.
The revamped video was actually produced back in October last year, courtesy of YouTuber Dmitriy Badin. Using a moderated version of the AI-powered software DeOldify, he was able to colourise the film, upscale it to 1080p and add additional frames all the way to 50fps, lending it its smoother look.
In the lead-up to the Christmas season and (hopefully) some snowy weather, it’s a reminder that it’s always been fun to chuck snowballs at your pals. That said, the boy on the bike gets a pretty raw deal.
The footage has done the rounds over the past year, and recently resurfaced as we descend into the colder months of the year. It was shared to the r/MadeMeSmile subreddit by u/Zee_Ventures, racking up nearly 700 comments.
‘I’ve been watching this for the past 20mins… I’m not in the best place of my life right now but this put a smile on my face and a couple tears in my eye,’ one Redditor wrote. ‘It’s amazing they had any sort of technology to even rudimentarily capture something like this back then, love it,’ another commented.
Others have honed in on a particularly sobering realisation. ‘The crazy thing about this video is that not a single person alive when this was shot is alive today. In other words, the world had a completely different set of humans in it,’ one wrote.
‘What’s weird for me is that it looks like no more than 30 years old footage, as we aren’t really used to seeing such “ancient” footage in correct colour and speed,’ another commented.