Sound in Cinema the End of the Research Paper

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Sound in Cinema

The end of the era of silent film and the movement to sound effects was an inevitable occurrence in cinema. As the viewers clamored to identify a more realistic portrayal of subjects in the film, the worldwide industry of cinema transitioned quickly from rudimentary sound effects to the prospect of "talkies" by the 1930s. However, even with the vanguard and innovation of synchronized sounds at the peak of Golden Age cinema, many critics and directors alike were uneasy with this rapid movement from silence to sound.

The beginnings of silent film era produced motion animation based on black and white still photography. The idea of montage became a further artistic expression in the industry, popular amongst experimental photographers and directors of the early 1890s to 1920s (Alexandrov). Once life and movement became achievable in films, however, viewers and filmmakers saw the opportunity to include sound within the work. Many silent film viewers brought up the same concerns that directors felt about their photographed stills; that the scenes were "soundless specters" (Bottomore). Some films illustrated a bustling of city life as well as a blacksmith at his work; both scenes, when lacking the sound effects, seem colorless and deficient of cinematic life (Bottomore). The remedy, then, was to plow onward and risk the movement into sound addition.

Early sounds in cinema included primitive effects, some from the use of sound machines patented overseas, to pre-made tracks of effects (pig noises, drumming, babies crying, etc.). Cue sheets were implemented to "guide musicians and effects" on certain films (Bottomore). By 1907, sound deficiency gradually decreased, as a worldwide movement of sound cinema began to rise up; chief among the industry were the United States, France, Spain, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The early 1930s spawned the introduction of synchronized voices, of the "talkies" that spanned worldwide acclaim and lingering effects that outlasted Hollywood's Golden Age of cinema. In 1931, Universal Pictures risked the idea of voice synchronization into cinema by releasing Tod Browning's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula (Spadoni).…

Sources Used in Document:

Resources

Bottomore, Stephen. "An International Survey of Sound Effects in Early Cinema." Film History 11.4 (1999): 485-498. History Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 7 Apr. 2011.

Alexandrov, Grigori, Sergei Eisenstein, and Vsevolod Pudovkin. "Statement on Sound." Film Theory and Criticism. Seventh ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 315-17. Print.

Spadoni, Robert. "The Uncanny Body of Early Sound Film." Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film & Television 51 (2003): 4. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 7 Apr. 2011.

Doane, Mary Ann. "The Voice in the Cinema: The Articulation of Body and Space." Film Theory and Criticism. Seventh ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 318-30. Print.

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