Media | 1930 | Sound | B/W
How sound films work. Filmed at Gainsborough Studios.
View of a street vendor selling magazines. Close up of magazines on the stall, including "Film Weekly" which is picked up by a customer. The magazine is opened to an article entitled "Behind the Scenes" with a photograph of a film set in a studio. Cut to real action of the same scene. A film crew busies itself moving cameras and lights while the actors prepare themselves on set. The microphone is pulled down and adjusted. The director's chair is empty, but his assistant sits nearby, and in the background a camera is made ready. The director enters and sits down and consults with his female assistant - they are "wating for sound". Three actresses sitting on a balcony discuss how long they've been waiting. Shot of the main actress waiting. The instruction is called: "Turn 'em over", and sound and camera are run. A large clapperboard in front of the female lead marks the scene. The director beats in time to the music as she sings. Wider shot of the scene shows the microphone and camera recording the action. Close up of the microphone itself, as the voice over describes the technical details of sound recording. In the recording room we see the amplifier, and the camera "which photographs the sound only". Close ups of details of the equipment explaining how an image of the sound is captured. Shots of the film with etails of how the light falls onto it and a demonstration of the sound being recorded onto the film. Shot of the electrical motor which drives the camera, and the fly wheel which ensures that the speed never varies. Back in the studio the action continues. The conductor directs a small group of musicians. When the scene ends, the director checks with sound and cameras that all is well, and the cast and crew pack up for the day.
In the laboratories, however, work continues in order to process the sound and pictures. Close up of an optical negative track on 35mm film, also picture negative with space left below the sprocket holes for the sound, and then a married print - a positive with both picture and sound track. Close up of a single frame with the sound track clearly visible down one edge.
Shot of a 35mm projector, and the beam of light coming from the booth and over the heads of the audience. Close ups of the workings of the projector with the sound head to reproduce the track via the amplifier to the loud speaker behind the cinema screen. Then the action as it was shot - the girl sings. Primarily the sound track is in view for the benefit of the demonstration, then it disappears, and we see the movie as a normal cinema audience would.
(12 mins 34 secs)
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