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Lecture 13

film lecture 13.docx

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Film Studies
Course Code
Film Studies 1020E
Barbara Bruce

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Lecture 13: Sound 01/06/2014 • Silent Film­ not completely silent, always had some form of sound (music) • First film to include dialogue was Crosland’s The Jazz Singer (1927), sound had to be recorded onto a  separate disc and had to keep going to keep it synchronized, the success of it made it clear sound was  what audiences interested • 1921­1939: total conversion to sound, mid 1930’s technical glitches were worked out • Companies worked together (instead of competing with each other)  to develop sound systems  because they had to have the same system to make it compatible for theatres, adopted a sound on film  system­ the system in which the soundtrack was recorded would be along the side of film strips, was an  optical soundtrack, later sound became a magnetic strip that ran down the length of the film Setbacks in filmmaking: • Early microphones had a limited range, actors had to be motionless when delivering their lines • Within the limited range mics were highly sensitive and directional, they picked up every sound in their  range, when they first started the mics would pick up the sound of the camera motor, eventually  developed a system to confine the camera, eventually smaller and quieter cameras were developed.  Lighting was also a problem, silent films had been lit with arc lamps but they made a humming noise so  studios converted to quieter but less intense lamps • Camera had to be fixed, no mobile framing, no tilting, long takes were static. Editing became  completely functional rather than expressive, couldn’t cross cut because you couldn’t edit the sound to  match the image, restricted/stilted approach to filmmaking   • 1928­1930: most basic style of film making, film becomes sophisticated in the silent era  What to shoot? • screenwriters weren’t used to writing dialogue and full blown sound scripts • Hollywood borrowed from musicals, plays and musicals were transferred to the screens, films went  back to art style, became known as “canned theatre”, brought a lot of Broadway actors/directors to  Hollywood, sound created a boom in Hollywood A lot of silent film actors could transition to sound films because of their accents, voice pitch’s, a lot of  • actors had to be replaced if audiences didn’t like their voices • Hollywood needed actors who knew how to speak and who could take actions before 
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