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Transition to Talkies. American Film Study Mrs. Niemi. Silent Films. Silent films were never truly silent Musical accompaniment Piano player in smaller movie theaters Full orchestras or giant organs in more opulent movie palaces, including sound effects. The Jazz Singer.

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transition to talkies

Transition to Talkies

American Film Study

Mrs. Niemi

silent films
Silent Films
  • Silent films were never truly silent
    • Musical accompaniment
      • Piano player in smaller movie theaters
      • Full orchestras or giant organs in more opulent movie palaces, including sound effects
the jazz singer
The Jazz Singer
  • Warner Brothers in financial difficulties
    • Looking for a “gimmick”
  • 1st talking picture, though still basically a silent
  • Contained snatches of dialogue & 4 singing numbers
    • Actor Al Jolson
  • Saved WB studios and the film industry as a whole
  • 1st full length, all talking motion picture: The Lights of New York (1928)
problems
Problems
  • With the release of The Jazz Singer all silent films in production were converted to talkies
  • Smaller, independent studios buckled
    • Control in industry left to: Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Twentieth Century-Fox, WB & RKO (The Big 5)
  • Microphones
  • Talkies meant success for new people, but ended the careers of others
  • End of title writers, new type of writers needed, plot & dialogue matter even more now
sound development
Sound Development
  • 1928, developed a method of recording sound on the upper ridge of the film itself
    • Simplified the editing of a sound film
  • 1929, a need for more natural sounds
walt disney
Walt Disney
  • 1934, Flowers and Trees Disney’s 1st three-color Technicolor film
  • The Three Little Pigs gave hope for the nation during the GD
  • Other animated features had a similar effect making audiences feel young and happy.
the great depression
The Great Depression
  • Films used as an escape
  • People could momentarily forget their troubles
  • Other things to remember
    • Musicals very popular 1930’s-1950’s
    • Experiments with 2 & 3 color films
    • First full length, full color film Wizard of Oz, then Gone With the Wind
long term effects
Long Term Effects
  • Studio contract stars started to guarantee box office success for any motion picture in which they appeared
    • Relevant to today?
  • Success of a particular type of movie at anyone studio would result in a cycle of similar movies from other studios
    • Relevant to today?
  • Public started demanding a greater degree of realism
    • (A manner of treating subject matter that presents a careful description of everyday life, usually of the lower and middle classes.)
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