Sound was incorporated into the cinema, provoking a series of important changes in the entertainment industry, as it unleashed a process of industrial transformation that ended up expanding to all the film companies in the world. With the resolution of some technical problems that had arisen with the appearance of sonorous cinema, the volumes in movie theatres were also increased, making these innovations reach the cinema we enjoy nowadays.
Sound film consists in the synchronization or introduction of technological sound into films. It incorporates within the film, the correct synchronization of the images with the sound.
Among the most outstanding characteristics of sound films we mention:
Sound film originated in the kinetoscope, a device created by Edison, which, after a series of experiments could combine images with the phonograph, also invented by him, in this way sound film was born. The first existing kinetoscope classroom was inaugurated in Broadway, New York.
The idea of combining moving images with recorded sound is as old as cinema. On February 27, 1888, Eadweard Muybridge and Thomas Edison, both inventors met. Muybridge proposed a plan for sound film that would combine his zoopraxiscope of image casting with Edison’s recorded sound technology. Although they failed to reach an agreement, Edison commissioned the development of the Kinetoscope, essentially a peep-show system, as a visual complement to his cylinder phonograph.
In 1899, a projected sound film system known as movie macrophotograph or Phonogram was exhibited in Paris, based mainly on the work of the inventor François Dussaud; the system required the individual use of headphones. Phérom-Cinema-Théâtre, an improved cylinder-based system was developed by Clément-Maurice Gratioulet and Henri Lioret of France, allowing the presentation of short theatre films, opera and ballet extracts at the 1900 Paris Exhibition. These seem to be the first publicly exhibited films with recorded image and sound projection.
In 1907, Eugene Lauste, born in France and resident in London, who had worked in Edison’s laboratory between 1886 and 1892, received the first sound technology patent on film, which involved changing sound into light waves that were recorded photographically directly on celluloid.
Although sound on film would become the universal standard for synchronized sound cinema, Lauste never exploited his innovations successfully. In 1913, Edison introduced a new sound device, instead of films that were shown to individual viewers being projected onto a screen. The phonograph was connected by an intricate arrangement of pulleys to the film projector, allowing, under ideal conditions, synchronization. In 1914, Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt received the German patent for his sound work on the film.
Lee De Forest is considered the true inventor of sound film in 1922.
Its main importance is because with the sonorous cinema the creation was also given, changing the conception of the expressivity and communication. In sound films, the use of soundtracks within the film and the acoustic environment was intensified. In addition, through sound film, the work for actors was expanded, becoming one of the most lucrative activities in the industry.
The first known public screening of screened sound films took place in 1900 in Paris, but it took many, many years before synchronization became commercially practical. The first commercial screening of films with fully synchronized sound took place in New York City in April 1923. The first film originally presented as a soundtrack was The Jazz Singer, which was released in October 1927.
Some of the most prominent actors in sound cinema are: