Vitaphone

The Vitaphone CorporationThe Vitaphone Corp.Vitaphone Corporationearly talkielarge soundtrack recordssoundtrack discstalking moviesThe Vitaphone ProjectVitaphone Corp.Vitaphone motion picture sound system
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.wikipedia
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Sound film

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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. Many early talkies, such as The Jazz Singer (1927), used the Vitaphone system.
A major hit, it was made with Vitaphone, which was at the time the leading brand of sound-on-disc technology.

First National Pictures

First NationalAssociated First National PicturesAssociated First National
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.
Warner Bros. acquired access to First National's affiliated chain of theaters, while First National acquired access to Vitaphone sound equipment.

The Jazz Singer

1927 film19271927 film version
Many early talkies, such as The Jazz Singer (1927), used the Vitaphone system.
Produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, the film, featuring six songs performed by Al Jolson, is based on the play of the same name by Samson Raphaelson, adapted from one of his short stories titled "The Day of Atonement".

Phonofilm

DeForest PhonofilmDe Forest Phonofilms
De Forest debuted his own Phonofilm sound-on-film system in New York City on April 15, 1923, but due to the relatively poor sound quality of Phonofilm and the impressive state-of-the-art sound heard in Western Electric's private demonstrations, the Warner Brothers decided to go forward with the industrial giant and the more familiar disc technology. Fidelity versus Sound-on-Film – The fidelity of sound-on-film processes was improved considerably after the early work by Lee De Forest on his Phonofilm system and that of his former associate Theodore Case on what eventually became the Fox Movietone system, introduced in 1927. The De Forest and Case-Fox systems used variable-density soundtracks, but the variable-area soundtrack used by RCA Photophone, introduced in 1928, eventually predominated. Although the fidelity of optical sound never quite caught up with ongoing improvements in disc recording technology, for practical purposes the early quality advantage of discs had been overcome within a few years.
The quality of Phonofilm was poor at first, improved somewhat in later years, but was never able to match the fidelity of sound-on-disc systems such as Vitaphone, or later sound-on-film systems such as RCA Photophone or Fox Movietone.

Phonograph record

vinyl7LP
The soundtrack was not printed on the film itself, but issued separately on phonograph records.
One was a 16-inch, 33 1⁄3 rpm record used by the Vitaphone sound-on-disc movie system.

Don Juan (1926 film)

Don JuanDon Juan'' (1926 film)first publicly exhibited shorts
Warner Bros. introduced Vitaphone on August 5, 1926 with the premiere of their silent feature Don Juan, which had been retrofitted with a symphonic musical score and sound effects.
It is the first feature-length film to utilize the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system with a synchronized musical score and sound effects, though it has no spoken dialogue.

Sound-on-disc

ChronophonephonoscènesVictor disc
Vitaphone was the last major analog sound-on-disc system and the only one which was widely used and commercially successful.
Vitaphone introduced by Warner Bros. in 1926

A Plantation Act

Al Jolson in "A Plantation Act.
Sam then pushed ahead with a new Vitaphone feature starring Al Jolson, the Broadway dynamo who had already scored a big hit with early Vitaphone audiences in A Plantation Act, a musical short released on October 7, 1926.
A Plantation Act (1926) is an early Vitaphone sound-on-disc short film starring Al Jolson, the first film that Jolson starred in. On a film set with a plantation background, Jolson in blackface sings three of his hit songs: "April Showers", "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody", and "When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)".

Al Jolson

JolsonA. JolsonJoley
Sam then pushed ahead with a new Vitaphone feature starring Al Jolson, the Broadway dynamo who had already scored a big hit with early Vitaphone audiences in A Plantation Act, a musical short released on October 7, 1926. The Vitaphone Project has been able to help restore films featuring stars such as Rose Marie and Al Jolson.
This simulation of a stage performance by Jolson was presented in a program of musical shorts, demonstrating the Vitaphone sound-film process.

Harry Warner

Harry
Sam, not wanting to take any more of Harry Warner's refusal to move forward with using sound in future Warner films, agreed to accept Zukor's offer, but the deal died after Paramount lost money in the wake of Rudolph Valentino's death.
After the agreement was signed, Vitaphone was established and Sam and Jack decided to take a big step forward and make Don Juan.

Feature film

feature filmsmoviesfeature
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.
In 1927, Warner Bros. released the first feature-length film with sound, The Jazz Singer, whose audio track was recorded with a proprietary technology called Vitaphone.

Roy Smeck

The only "pop music" artist was guitarist Roy Smeck and the only actual "talkie" was the short film that opened the program: four minutes of introductory remarks by motion picture industry spokesman Will Hays.
On 6 August 1926, Warner Brothers released Don Juan starring John Barrymore, the first feature released in the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system.

Lee de Forest

DeForestLee DeForestDe Forest
In the early 1920s, Western Electric was developing both sound-on-film and sound-on-disc systems, aided by the purchase of Lee De Forest's Audion amplifier tube in 1913, consequent advances in public address systems, and the first practical condenser microphone, which Western Electric engineer E.C. Wente had created in 1916 and greatly improved in 1922.
Warner Brothers introduced a competing method for sound film, the Vitaphone sound-on-disc process developed by Western Electric, with the August 6, 1926 release of the John Barrymore film Don Juan.

Western Electric

Western Electric CompanyWestrexWestern Electric Manufacturing Company
In the early 1920s, Western Electric was developing both sound-on-film and sound-on-disc systems, aided by the purchase of Lee De Forest's Audion amplifier tube in 1913, consequent advances in public address systems, and the first practical condenser microphone, which Western Electric engineer E.C. Wente had created in 1916 and greatly improved in 1922.
the Vitaphone system which brought sound to the movies;

Movietone sound system

MovietoneFox MovietoneMovietone system
Fidelity versus Sound-on-Film – The fidelity of sound-on-film processes was improved considerably after the early work by Lee De Forest on his Phonofilm system and that of his former associate Theodore Case on what eventually became the Fox Movietone system, introduced in 1927. The De Forest and Case-Fox systems used variable-density soundtracks, but the variable-area soundtrack used by RCA Photophone, introduced in 1928, eventually predominated. Although the fidelity of optical sound never quite caught up with ongoing improvements in disc recording technology, for practical purposes the early quality advantage of discs had been overcome within a few years.
Movietone was one of four motion picture sound systems under development in the U.S. during the 1920s, the others being DeForest Phonofilm, Warner Brothers' Vitaphone, and RCA Photophone, though Phonofilm was primarily an early version of Movietone.

Sam Warner

SamSamuel L. WarnerSamuel
After its financial failure, Paramount head Adolph Zukor offered Sam Warner a deal as an executive producer for Paramount if he brought Vitaphone with him.
In May 1926, through the company's partnership with Western Electric, Sam formed a subsidiary known as Vitaphone.

RCA Photophone

RCAown sound-on-film processPhotophone
Fidelity versus Sound-on-Film – The fidelity of sound-on-film processes was improved considerably after the early work by Lee De Forest on his Phonofilm system and that of his former associate Theodore Case on what eventually became the Fox Movietone system, introduced in 1927. The De Forest and Case-Fox systems used variable-density soundtracks, but the variable-area soundtrack used by RCA Photophone, introduced in 1928, eventually predominated. Although the fidelity of optical sound never quite caught up with ongoing improvements in disc recording technology, for practical purposes the early quality advantage of discs had been overcome within a few years.
The three other major technologies were the Warner Bros. Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, as well as two "variable-density" sound-on-film systems, Lee De Forest's Phonofilm, and Fox-Case's Movietone.

The Beau Brummels (film)

The Beau Brummels
Funding raised by The Vitaphone Project was used to restore 1928's The Beau Brummels, starring vaudeville duo Al Shaw and Sam Lee, which was added to the National Film Registry in 2016.
The Beau Brummels is a 1928 Vitaphone short film featuring vaudeville duo Al Shaw and Sam Lee.

Why Be Good?

They also worked with Warner Brothers to restore 1929's Why Be Good?, the final silent film made by Colleen Moore.
The film has no audible dialogue, but it is accompanied by a Vitaphone soundtrack with music, sound effects, and some synchronized singing.

Rose Marie

Baby Rose MarieRose Marie Mazzetta
The Vitaphone Project has been able to help restore films featuring stars such as Rose Marie and Al Jolson.
In 1929, the 5-year-old singer made a Vitaphone sound short titled Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder.

Vitaphone Varieties

VitaphonePepper PotsThe Strange Case
Vitaphone Varieties
Vitaphone Varieties was a series title (represented by a pennant logo on screen) for all of Warner Brothers' earliest short film "talkies" of the 1920s, initially done with the Vitaphone disc process before a switch to the sound-on-film format early in the 1930s.

Henry Halstead

Dance band leader Henry Halstead is given credit for starring in the first Vitaphone short subject filmed in Hollywood instead of New York.
Henry Halstead is given credit for making the first Hollywood Vitaphone movie short with Warner Brothers in 1927 called Carnival Night in Paris where Lew Ayres was discovered playing banjo.

Vitagraph Studios

VitagraphVitagraph Company of AmericaVitagraph Company
Looney Tunes of the same period (beginning with that same year's Hopalong Casualty) were credited as "A Vitagraph Release", making further use of the name of the venerable Vitagraph Studios in Brooklyn, which the Warners had bought in 1925, used as a facility for working out practical sound film production techniques and filming some early musical shorts, and from which a name for the previously nameless Western Electric sound-on-disc system had been derived.
The Flatbush studio (renamed Vitaphone) was later used as an independent unit within Warner Bros., specializing in early sound shorts.

Phonograph

turntablesgramophoneturntable
A Vitaphone-equipped theater had normal projectors which had been furnished with special phonograph turntables and pickups; a fader; an amplifier; and a loudspeaker system.
This was a problem for home records, but it became a bigger problem in the late 1920s with the Vitaphone sound-on-disc motion picture "talkie" system, developed in 1927.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. PicturesWarner BrothersWarner Bros. Entertainment
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 Warners signed a contract with the sound engineer company Western Electric and established Vitaphone.