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The Coming of Sound: A History - Douglas Gomery - Google Книги

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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Coming of Sound: A History by Douglas Gomery. Sound transformed not only the Hollywood film industry, but all of world cinema. This text examines how the arrival of sound brought a boom to the industry and why its social impact deepened in complexity.

The Coming of Sound: A History

Published December 7th by Routledge first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Coming of Sound , please sign up. Lists with This Book. The multiple defects of previous systems demonstrated that in order to solve any of the problems, it was necessary to solve all of them.

Western Electric offered its sound-on-disc system to an indifferent film industry. One way to gain bookings would be to provide small-city theaters with the kind of symphonic score available at deluxe movie palaces, where the feature was preceded by songs, organ solos, even ballet. If Warner's could provide these "canned," it might even gain access to the theaters of its competitors, who were burdened by the overhead of live performance.

Agreement was reached in June to develop what Warner's named Vitaphone.

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Its intent was not to produce talking features. What it had in mind was best exemplified by the Vitaphone premiere program of 6 August A spoken introduction by movie "czar" Will H. Hays was followed by an overture and six shorts, three with Metropolitan Opera stars. The feature picture, Don Juan , was accompanied by a recorded score punctuated by rudimentary sound effects.


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Case and Sponable severed ties with de Forest and made improvements intended to render Phonofilm obsolete. The sound attachment, formerly above the projector, was moved below with sound pickup twenty frames ahead of the corresponding picture, the subsequent worldwide standard. Fox Film, another second-tier company that looked to move into the top rank, formed the Fox-Case Corporation in July Western Electric's "sound speed" of ninety feet per minute was adopted for its first commercial entertainment short, starring singer Raquel Meller — and produced in November Public showings of Movietone, as the Fox-Case system came to be called, began in Western Electric offered Warner Bros.

The appeal of sound-on-disc was familiar technology. The discs were pressed by Victor, the leading record label. Movietone required precise exposure, processing, and printing. Vitaphone's turntable ran at constant speed while the Case reproducer had "wow" and "flutter. Records could arrive at the theater cracked or broken, they wore out after twenty playings, and the operator might put on the wrong disc.

If the film broke, damaged frames had to be replaced by black leader to restore sync. Sound-on-film was easily spliced, but words were lost and a jump in the image was followed by a delayed thump from the track. Western Electric manufactured equipment for both systems and all its sound-on-film installations could also play disc.


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  • Throughout , audiences were exposed to musical and comedy shorts and symphonic scores for the occasional feature. In May they were thrilled by the sound of the engine of the Spirit of St. Louis as Charles Lindbergh — took off for Paris, then by the voice of Lindbergh himself upon his return, a foretaste of the regular issuance of Movietone newsreels beginning in October. It was not the first sound film. It was not even Al Jolson's first appearance for Vitaphone; he uttered his newly prophetic catch phrase, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!

    The Coming of Sound