Sunday, 27 May 2012

Movietone sound system

The Movietone sound system is a sound-on-film method of recording sound for motion pictures that guarantees synchronization between sound and picture. It achieves this by recording the sound as a variable-density optical track on the same strip of film that records the pictures. Although sound films today use variable-area tracks, any modern motion picture theater (excluding those that have transitioned to digital cinema) can play a Movietone film without modification to the projector. 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.


Movietone was able by Theodore Case and his assistant, Earl I. Sponable, in 1925 at the Case Research Lab in Auburn, New York, with their conception of what became the Movietone camera, congenital for the class by the Wall apparatus boutique in Syracuse, New York from a Bell & Howell camera.

Most single-system cameras were produced by Wall Camera Corporation, which abundant after produced the three-film Cinerama cameras. Wall initially adapted some Bell & Howell Design 2709 cameras to single-system, but a lot of were Wall advised and produced. Single-system cameras were aswell produced by Mitchell Camera Corporation during World War II for the U.S. Army Signal Corps, although these cameras were absolutely rare.

All single-system cameras allotment the aforementioned fault: the "sound adaptation point" is on the camera's capital drive sprocket itself, and this contributes to cogent 96 Hz flutter.

Double-system recorders, accurately those of the Davis Loop type, abstract the "sound adaptation point" from the drive sprocket(s), absolutely eliminating 96 Hz flutter, although a slight wow is still present at start-up. It is for this acumen that the complete recordist announces "speed" a the alpha of a "take". The recordist observes the two acquiescence accoutrements of the Davis Loop Drive and, indeed, which anatomy the Davis Loop itself (sometimes referred to as a "Davis Tight Loop") and if the acquiescence accoutrements become anchored the complete blur is active accurate at 90 feet/minute (45 feet/minute for 17.5mm complete blur and 36 feet/minute for 16mm complete film) and there is no wow or flutter. It is at this point that an abettor abettor "slates" the "take". Of course, by this time the blur camera(s) has (have) already appear up to complete acceleration and these apparatus will all abide in accompaniment throughout the butt of the "take".

Although single-system remained accepted for account gathering, assembly complete bound adapted to the far above double-system method.

Today's agenda complete reproduction systems for motion pictures are about abased aloft the attendance of a Davis Loop Drive (example: Dolby Cat. 701 agenda complete head; and one of the actual few times on almanac that Dolby Labs has accustomed addition inventor's device).

Commercial use by William Fox

Movietone entered bartering use if William Fox of the Fox Blur Corporation bought the absolute arrangement including the patents in July 1926. Although Fox endemic the Case patents, the plan of Freeman Harrison Owens, and the American rights to the German Tri-Ergon patents, the Movietone complete blur arrangement uses alone the inventions of Case Research Lab. Following the bartering assembly of complete films by the anew formed Fox-Case Movietone company, Wall committed his interests to accomplishment cameras, architecture them from scratch.

Many histories of complete blur afield affirmation that the Phonofilm arrangement of sound-on-film acclimated technology invented by Lee De Forest. DeForest had fabricated an accomplishment to actualize a arrangement of sound-on-film, but was unsuccessful. He angry to Case Research Lab for advice in 1921 and afterwards Theodore Case visited DeForest's studios in New York City, Case agreed to plan on some developments. De Forest again acclimated Case Research Lab's Thallofide corpuscle for account recorded sound.

However, acquainted that DeForest's arrangement had little to no superior complete account reproducing, Case developed the AEO Light, which accepted applied for advertisement amplified complete to film. With the AEO Light, DeForest was assuredly able to aftermath films with aural sound. Following that, Case Research Lab absitively to body their own camera, because DeForest connected advancing absurd solutions against perfecting complete film. With their new camera, Case and Sponable filmed President Calvin Coolidge on 11 August 1924, acceptance DeForest to accept the blur developed in New York City. If DeForest showed the blur — as able-bodied as an beforehand presentation of 18 abbreviate complete films at the Rivoli Theater in New York City on 15 April 1923 — DeForest claimed abounding acclaim for Case's apparatus that fabricated it possible.

Shortly after, Case annoyed of DeForest's continuing apocryphal claims about Case Research Lab inventions and concluded his accord with DeForest, and committed his lab to perfecting the arrangement they had provided DeForest, whose own attempts at recording complete were all failures. Documents acknowledging this, including a active letter by De Forest that states that Phonofilms are alone accessible because of the inventions of Case Research Lab, are amid at the Case Research Lab Museum in Auburn, New York.1

William Fox assassin Earl I. Sponable (1895–1977) from Case Research Lab in 1926, if he purchased the sound-on-film patents from Case. Although Fox had aswell purchased added complete patents, such as the German Tri-Ergon patents, the Movietone arrangement was alone based on Case Research Lab's inventions. The aboriginal affection blur appear application the Fox Movietone arrangement was Sunrise (1927) directed by F. W. Murnau. It was the aboriginal professionally produced affection blur with an absolute complete track. Complete in the blur included alone music, complete effects, and a actual few unsynchronized words.

Less than two years afterwards purchasing the arrangement from Case, Fox bought out all of Case's interests in the Fox-Case company. All of Fox's complete affection films were fabricated application the Movietone arrangement until 1931, while Fox Movietone News acclimated the arrangement until 1939, because of the affluence of alteration this single-system's complete blur equipment.

Later development

The Case Analysis Lab complete arrangement afflicted abounding industry standards, such as area of the optical complete 20 frames in beforehand of the angel it accompanies.234 The accepted SMPTE accepted for 35 mm complete blur is +21 frames for optical, but a 46-foot theatre reduces this to +20 frames;56 this was originally done partly to ensure the blur runs calmly accomplished the complete head, but aswell to assure that no Phonofilm could afresh be played in theaters — the Phonofilm arrangement getting adverse with Case Analysis Lab blueprint — and aswell to affluence the modification of projectors already broadly in use.

Sponable formed at the Fox Blur Corporation studios (later 20th Century Fox) on 54th Street and 10th Avenue in New York City until he retired in the 1960s, eventually acceptable an Academy Award for his abstruse plan on the development of CinemaScope. Sponable had abounding contributions to blur technology during his career, including the apparatus of the perforated motion-picture awning that accustomed agreement the speakers abaft it to enhance the apparition of the complete appearing anon from the blur action. During his years at Fox, Sponable aswell served for a time as an administrator of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. He appear a abridged history of complete blur in the April 1947 affair of The SMPE Journal (The SMPTE Journal afterwards 1950).7

The history of Case Analysis Lab has continued been abrupt for abundant reasons. Theodore Case died in 1944, afterwards altruistic his home and class to be preserved as a architecture to the inventions of Case Analysis Lab. The museum's aboriginal director, who oversaw the architecture for 50 years, put the laboratory's capacity into accumulator and adapted the architecture into an art studio. The Case Analysis Lab complete flat was amid in the added attic of the estate's carrying abode and that was busy to the bounded archetypal alternation club until the aboriginal 1990s.

Fox was actively afflicted in a July 1929 car accident, absent his aggregation in 1930 if his loans were alleged in, and absent the 1936 accusation in the U.S. Supreme Court adjoin the blur industry for actionable the Tri-Ergon patents he owned. Sponable did little to authorize the almanac of Case Analysis Lab inventions, added than his April 1947 commodity in The Journal of the SMPE.

Incredibly, it was aswell in 1947 that the Davis Loop Drive was aboriginal alien to Western Electric licensees, including Twentieth Century-Fox (WECo RA-1231; and still fabricated to this day by a almsman company).

For its aboriginal 50 years, 20th-Century Fox chose to leave its history abaft to ambit itself from William Fox. DeForest, a bootless artist but a adept promoter, spent his activity acceptable humans he'd invented complete film, extensive his greatest celebrity with an Academy Award for his lifetime accomplishment and contributions to the conception of complete film.

Recently, Case Analysis Lab, the abutting carrying house, and Case's home accept been adequate and analysis is advancing with the collections of the lab that cover all receipts, notebooks, correspondence, and abundant of the laboratory's aboriginal equipment, including the aboriginal recording accessory created to analysis the AEO light. In the collections are aswell belletrist from Thomas Edison, an aboriginal archetype of the Tri-Ergon patents, and an centralized certificate from Fox Films accounting in the 1930s. This closing certificate says that already it became accessible ability that Sponable able the variable-area arrangement of sound-on-film at the Fox Studios, the arrangement that became the accepted and replaced the inventions of Case Analysis Lab.

A amount of films endemic by Case Analysis Lab and Architecture and adequate by George Eastman Abode in Rochester, New York, are in the collections of both of those institutions. The Case Analysis Lab and Architecture has added sound-film footage of Theodore Case, and afresh apparent copies of the aforementioned films at the Eastman House, are in a abundant college accompaniment of preservation. Movietone News films are in the collections of 20th-Century Fox and the University of South Carolina at Columbia, including the alone accepted footage of Earl I. Sponable talking. Sponable can aswell be apparent in footage of the premiere of the blur The Robe.

Phonofilms that were produced application Case Analysis Lab inventions are in the collections of the Library of Congress and the British Blur Institute.