Chapter 4

Capturing Sound

INTRODUCTION

In the earliest days of sound films, cameras had to be housed in small padded booths on the large shooting stages in use at that time to prevent their very audible mechanical noise from being picked up by the microphone(s). They sounded approximately like a sewing machine, because the pulldown in the camera is something like a machine stitch. The “blimped” camera, with noise-reducing padding around the camera mechanism, had yet to be invented.1 The resulting static pictures seemed like photographed stage plays, not cinema as it had developed over the previous 30 years.

The artistry of silent film that empowered the camera with incarnating not only the world and people in it as moveable, but subjectivity ...

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