What are Talkies

It has been often wondered how the dialogues and sound effects are edited into the crucial sequences of films. If you manage to find yourself behind the scenes, you will soon see how the dialogue and sound editors give their all in editing the sounds with the right scenes and characters. Today, with the aid of computers, sound editing has become really convenient and effortless. But try to imagine the old days, when large reels of film had to be edited with the records of sounds and dialogues. Essentially, the early sound films, or the talkies as they were known, would be a ground exercise in merging sound and music with moving images. The result is that we can hear the dialogues, the music and laud them for being melodious or humorous.

Much before musicals and Howard Hughes’s early films, the pioneering inventor of sound editing was none other than Mr. Thomas Alva Edison. Other than the electric bulb, the Kinetoscope is another famous invention from Edison. He first described it as a small projector for individuals. Individuals can watch the films and motion pictures through any of the windows on the sides of the Kinetoscope. This model was largely worked upon by the inventor Eadward Muybridge who devised the first ever mechanism for producing sounds in sync with the moving images and videos.  The model devised by the two inventors would lay down the ground rules for many of the sound editing techniques in the future.

However, it was in the 1920s, when the real sounds were introduced into the films. The inventor Lee De Forest was the first one to come up with a mechanism that would be used in many of the initial sound films. In this technique, the film reels are merged with reels of sound. De Forest found out that the sound and picture could be effectively synchronized. After a string of attempts, the filmmakers were still stuck in films with only music and occasional sound effects. But in 1927, the first ever talkie was made to enthrall the audiences with real sounds and dialogues.

This film was ‘The Jazz Singer’. It was a film that was filmed with pioneering use of the Vitaphone equipment. The Vitaphone was an arrangement in which the recorded sound reels were together operated with the projector for moving images and videos. The film also featured one-time ‘World’s Greatest Entertainer’ Al Jolson who would go on to belt one-liners and perform half a dozen songs and melodies in the film. So, there was much fun for the audiences and viewers.

The introduction of dialogues, sound effects and music has made films much entertaining ever since. The audiences can react to films. They will be able to understand what the scripts of the films are about. Charlie Chaplin was possibly one of the few filmmakers, who would resist the talkies for a long time.


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