At first there were movies without any sound. The earlier movies had challenges when it came to sound enhancements. However, music accomplishments and card titles were used for talking purposes. Luckily, there was introduction of a microphone which also presented a question of how to effectively use it. Here is a discussion of the journey of sound in movies resulting in first talking films:
The inter-titles were used for brief explanatory explanation to the audience. It was at the discretion of the director or writer to be poetic or lush. Some artists chose positively purple poetry like the 1928 Erich von Stroheim’s Wedding March movie. He never invented sound but he is credited as one who believed in the phonograph and visual medium to lead to the first talking films. His dream began as early as 1885. However, there were several obstacles that restricted sound inclusion in movies. One notable issue was the satisfaction of the audience with silent movies. The use of a raconteur inhibited the development of sound technology. In addition, the pinnacle of silent acting, film writing, music and photography was 1920s.
The 1927 Jazz Singer is what most of you consider starting line of the first talking films. On the contrary, Vitaphone and Warner Brothers are the pioneers of sound films considering their short movies with some jokes and songs. It is worth mentioning that they released Don Juan in 1926. This is a year before Mammy was sang by Al Jolson.
Despite the desire to increase audience utility, technology presented numerous challenges to film makers. Matching visuals and sound in a way that allowed everyone to get it vividly was an uphill task. This was an amplification and synchronization technicalities. The solution to these problems originated majorly in America unlike the film origin history. Warner Brothers, RCA, AT&T and Western Electric are corporations that invested heavily in this front. Two of them merged to form Vitaphone that produced a pioneer commercially viable audio system. It was a phonograph platter hooked on a film projector using large belts. This was later replaced by standard celluloid strip that enabled easier synchronizing.
Furthermore, film still had many problems. The sound cameras and other equipment were noisy and big hence portability was a problem. There was also the need for sound proofing them in a blimp as first talking films were being perfected. After years of hassles, it discovered that you could move the microphone around thus a boom stick was designed. This is why first talking films were very static due to static microphones hence the cast spoke from one spot. In addition, the cameras lacked desired supple and graceful fluidity. You can see the film sound difficulties in son 1952 films. The non-technological problems like cast sound mismatch were solved after sound advent. Striking a balance between dialogue and action was also a problem to screen writers.
The transition from silent to first talking films had some actors flourish in both technological eras. Some of those who did this are William Powell, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford. The role of women in film sound is also great. It is believed that a female director called Dorothy Arzner invented the boom microphone. First talking films were shot in various languages like the 1931 Dracula.
In conclusion, sound revolutionized the film industry. Production had to change with the introduction of sound technology. Scenarists had to become dialogue writers. Actors also had to change with the changing film norm in terms of fluency among others. The musical film genre could not survive without this development that produced first talking films.
click here to learn more about our sponsors!