dimanche 9 mars 2008


Alice Guy-Blache

Above left: Alice Guy-Blache (1873-1968);
From the very early days of moving pictures, experimenters had attempted to add sound to the silent film. Pioneer Alice Guy was one of at least three exhibitors at the 1900 Paris Exposition, who demonstrated their own rudimentary movie sound systems to intrigued members of the public.
First director, Alice Guy, like most of the other early experimenters, used discs to make sound recordings which she crudely synchronised to her films. Between 1902-7 she produced and directed over 160, one or two minute musical shorts, using a device called the 'Chronophone'.

During 1908-10,
Oskar Messter produced hundreds of sound shorts in Germany and in the USA, also using a sound-on-disc system. But like Alice Guy, his presentations were limited by the lack of amplification for the gramophone and the short playing time of the discs. The insensitive nature of the recording machines also meant that performers had to mime to pre-recorded phonographs. To record them live would mean the phonograph's horn would be in shot.

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