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Sound-on-film

optical soundtracksoundoptical
Innovations in sound-on-film led to the first commercial screening of short motion pictures using the technology, which took place in 1923.
Sound-on-film is a class of sound film processes where the sound accompanying picture is physically recorded onto photographic film, usually, but not always, the same strip of film carrying the picture.

Sound-on-disc

ChronophonephonoscènesVictor disc
Reliable synchronization was difficult to achieve with the early sound-on-disc systems, and amplification and recording quality were also inadequate.
Sound-on-disc is a class of sound film processes using a phonograph or other disc to record or play back sound in sync with a motion picture.

Silent film

silentsilent erasilent films
A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film.
Early sound films, starting with The Jazz Singer in 1927, were variously referred to as the "talkies," "sound films," or "talking pictures."

Vitaphone

The Vitaphone CorporationThe Vitaphone Corp.Vitaphone Corporation
A major hit, it was made with Vitaphone, which was at the time the leading brand of sound-on-disc technology. Vitaphone, as this system was now called, was publicly introduced on August 6, 1926, with the premiere of Don Juan; the first feature-length movie to employ a synchronized sound system of any type throughout, its soundtrack contained a musical score and added sound effects, but no recorded dialogue—in other words, it had been staged and shot as a silent film.
Vitaphone was a sound film system used for feature films and nearly 1,000 short subjects made by Warner Bros. and its sister studio First National from 1926 to 1931.

The Jazz Singer

1927 film19271927 film version
The first feature film originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927.
The first feature-length motion picture with not only a synchronized recorded music score but also lip-synchronous singing and speech in several isolated sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of sound films and ended the silent film era.

Cinema of the United States

HollywoodAmericanUnited States
In the United States, they helped secure Hollywood's position as one of the world's most powerful cultural/commercial centers of influence (see Cinema of the United States).
The United States produced the world's first sync-sound musical film, The Jazz Singer, in 1927, and was at the forefront of sound-film development in the following decades.

Cinema of India

IndianIndian cinemaIndian film
Conversely, in India, sound was the transformative element that led to the rapid expansion of the nation's film industry.
Ardeshir Irani released Alam Ara, the first Indian talkie, on 14 March 1931.

Eric Tigerstedt

In 1914, Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt was granted German patent 309,536 for his sound-on-film work; that same year, he apparently demonstrated a film made with the process to an audience of scientists in Berlin.
He was a pioneer of sound-on-film technology and made significant improvements to the amplification capacity of the vacuum valve.

Optical sound

opticalexciterfilm soundtrack
In 1919, American inventor Lee De Forest was awarded several patents that would lead to the first optical sound-on-film technology with commercial application.
Optical sound eventually superseded all of other sound film technologies until the advent of digital sound became the standard in cinema projection booths.

Exposition Universelle (1900)

Exposition UniverselleParis Exposition1900 World's Fair
An improved cylinder-based system, Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre, was developed by Clément-Maurice Gratioulet and Henri Lioret of France, allowing short films of theater, opera, and ballet excerpts to be presented at the Paris Exposition in 1900.
The fair, visited by nearly 50 million, displayed many machines, inventions, and architecture that are now nearly universally known, including the Grande Roue de Paris Ferris wheel, Russian nesting dolls, diesel engines, talking films, escalators, and the telegraphone (the first magnetic audio recorder).

Theodore Case

CaseCase Research LabT. Case
Over the next four years, he improved his system with the help of equipment and patents licensed from another American inventor in the field, Theodore Case.
Theodore Willard Case (December 12, 1888 – May 13, 1944) was an American chemist, physicist, and inventor known for the invention of the Movietone's sound-on-film system.

Cinema of Japan

Japanese filmJapaneseJapan
In Japan, where the popular film tradition integrated silent movie and live vocal performance, talking pictures were slow to take root.
A later version of The Captain's Daughter was one of the first talkie films.

Feature film

feature filmsmoviesfeature
The earliest feature-length movies with recorded sound included only music and effects.
The Centre National de la Cinématographie in France defines it as a 35 mm film longer than 1600 m, which is exactly 58 minutes and 29 seconds for sound films, and the Screen Actors Guild gives a minimum running time of at least 80 minutes.

Joseph Tykociński-Tykociner

zetetics
At the University of Illinois, Polish-born research engineer Joseph Tykociński-Tykociner was working independently on a similar process.
Within a year of his arrival at the University, he conducted the first sound-on-film motion picture recordings at a physics demonstration that showed how pictures and sound could be synchronized to produce a "talkie", a motion picture with sound.

Phonofilm

DeForest PhonofilmDe Forest Phonofilms
On April 15, 1923, at New York City's Rivoli Theater, came the first commercial screening of motion pictures with sound-on-film, the future standard: a set of shorts under the banner of De Forest Phonofilms, accompanying a silent feature.
Coolidge became the first U. S. President to appear in a sound motion picture when DeForest filmed him at the White House on 11 August 1924.

Studio system

Golden AgeHollywood's Golden Agestudio era
The following July, Case joined Fox Film, Hollywood's third largest studio, to found the Fox-Case Corporation.
The period stretching from the introduction of sound to the beginning of the demise of the studio system, 1927–1948, is referred to by some film historians as the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Soundtrack

Feature film soundtrackOSToriginal soundtrack
Vitaphone, as this system was now called, was publicly introduced on August 6, 1926, with the premiere of Don Juan; the first feature-length movie to employ a synchronized sound system of any type throughout, its soundtrack contained a musical score and added sound effects, but no recorded dialogue—in other words, it had been staged and shot as a silent film.
In movie industry terminology usage, a sound track is an audio recording created or used in film production or post-production.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. PicturesWarner BrothersWarner Bros. Entertainment
In 1925, Sam Warner of Warner Bros., then a small Hollywood studio with big ambitions, saw a demonstration of the Western Electric sound-on-disc system and was sufficiently impressed to persuade his brothers to agree to experiment with using this system at New York's Vitagraph Studios, which they had recently purchased.
Warner Bros. was a pioneer of films with synchronized sound (then known as "talking pictures" or "talkies").

Lee de Forest

DeForestLee DeForestDe Forest
In 1919, American inventor Lee De Forest was awarded several patents that would lead to the first optical sound-on-film technology with commercial application.
Although De Forest had only a limited understanding of how it worked, it was the foundation of the field of electronics, making possible radio broadcasting, long distance telephone lines, and talking motion pictures, among countless other applications.

Cecil B. DeMille

Cecil B. De MilleDeMilleCecil DeMille
In February 1927, an agreement was signed by five leading Hollywood movie companies: Famous Players-Lasky (soon to be part of Paramount), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Universal, First National, and Cecil B. DeMille's small but prestigious Producers Distributing Corporation (PDC).
Between 1914 and 1958, he made a total of 70 features, both silent and sound films.

Thomas Edison

EdisonThomas Alva EdisonThomas A. Edison
On February 27, 1888, a couple of days after photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge gave a lecture not far from the laboratory of Thomas Edison, the two inventors privately met.
He thought that talkies had "spoiled everything" for him.

Paramount Pictures

ParamountParamount StudiosParamount Home Entertainment
In February 1927, an agreement was signed by five leading Hollywood movie companies: Famous Players-Lasky (soon to be part of Paramount), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Universal, First National, and Cecil B. DeMille's small but prestigious Producers Distributing Corporation (PDC).
Paramount was also one of the first Hollywood studios to release what were known at that time as "talkies", and in 1929, released their first musical, Innocents of Paris.

Part-talkie

part-talkingPart Talkiepart talking
No studio besides Warner Bros. released even a part-talking feature until the low-budget-oriented Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) premiered The Perfect Crime on June 17, 1928, eight months after The Jazz Singer.
In the case of feature films made in the United States, nearly all such hybrid films date to the 1927-1929 period of transition from "silents" to full-fledged "talkies" with audible dialog throughout.

Film Booking Offices of America

FBORobertson-ColeFBO Studios
No studio besides Warner Bros. released even a part-talking feature until the low-budget-oriented Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) premiered The Perfect Crime on June 17, 1928, eight months after The Jazz Singer.
In June 1928, using RCA Photophone technology, FBO became only the second Hollywood studio to release a feature-length "talkie."

RKO Pictures

RKO Radio PicturesRKORKO Radio
In a variable-density process, the lines are of varying darkness; in a variable-area process, the lines are of varying width.) By October, the FBO-RCA alliance would lead to the creation of Hollywood's newest major studio, RKO Pictures.
Its success prompted Hollywood to convert from silent to sound film production en masse.