Record #628

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Gerald F. Rackett, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Technical Bureau)
Reel 7
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League of Nations

'The Sound Motion Picture in America," (3 pp.) prepared for use by Herron.


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LEAGUE OF NATIONS. 1929. Excerpt from 'The Sound Motion Picture in America', by G.F. Rackett, 10 June 1929: ... Technically this combination [of picture and sound] materially amplifies the latitude of story telling. Actually in its early stages, it restricted the amplitude of story telling because of the mechanical rigidity of the equipment. Thus it was only possible at first to take a scene in its entirety within the confines of a small space and with only dialogue or music as the sounds. With this as a start, the American industry has developed to a point where it has almost the same flexibility of the original silent picture, photographing successive scenes both within sound stages and out in the open, recording sounds of dialogue and music attended with the inanimated [sic] effects which add so much realism to a presentation. This advance from the first single scene "talkie" to the present feature picture containing about four hundred separate but correlated scenes has only been accomplished with a vast expenditure of money and the energies of a great army of skilled technicians. This development has very far to go before all of the possibilities of synchronized pictures are exhausted, and this development is spurred on by the competition and rivalry between the American film companies, the same type of competition and rivalry that has placed many phases of American industrial life in the forefront of world activity. It naturally follows that the means whereby many of these excellent presentations are accomplished are the possessions of the producers who have accomplished them at a vast expense. ...

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