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Author Topic: Sound films for silent projectors
Dominique De Bast
Film God

Posts: 3366
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted October 30, 2014 02:30 PM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw an ad for standard (regular) 8 accompanied with a 33 rpm record (in English). The system is easy to understand : you screen the (silent) film with your silent projector and at the same time you play the record with your record player. Does any one know if there had been many films relased this way ?

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Dominique

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

Posts: 4024
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 30, 2014 02:39 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dominique,

Americom Films released silent Standard 8 & Super 8 films along with a soundtrack record. The films also were subtitled.
Here's one thread about them.

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Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Maurizio Di Cintio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 838
From: Ortona, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted October 30, 2014 03:53 PM      Profile for Maurizio Di Cintio   Email Maurizio Di Cintio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How did they keep in sync???? [Confused]

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Maurizio

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

Posts: 4024
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 30, 2014 04:27 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maurizio,

I got some of these when I first started collecting. I had a variable speed Ricoh projector and I'd have to adjust the speed every so often. It was never in perfect sync, but I didn't care! I could show movies with sound!

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Dominique De Bast
Film God

Posts: 3366
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted October 30, 2014 05:06 PM      Profile for Dominique De Bast   Email Dominique De Bast   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you, Doug !

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Dominique

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John Yapp
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 146
From: Telford England.
Registered: Dec 2011


 - posted October 30, 2014 05:32 PM      Profile for John Yapp   Email John Yapp   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Start Projector on tone."

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1075
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 30, 2014 05:57 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The audio was modulated to play at 18fps. When you listen to the records today it's so apparent that the audio has been slowed down a tad. It sounds pretty awful. Years ago it was a big thrill to be able to actually have the audio accompanying the film and at the age of 12...Who knew? The Americom film with records were a great novelty that unfortunately didn't last long being that Americom went bankrupt some time in the mid 70's. The film prints were actually printed by Triangle Laboratories in New York and the licenses were held by Columbia in partnership with Americom (a flexi-disc company) also based out of New York. Triangle did the prints for Columbia's 8mm home movie division. I've heard that Triangle also did many prints for Blackhawk after Blackhawk's lab suffered considerable damage due to a fire in their building. This would explain the vast quality differences that collectors often refer to during Blackhawk's last few years in the 8mm game. Many of their 16mm titles were printed by a different lab, but I don't know whom.

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Maurizio Di Cintio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 838
From: Ortona, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted October 31, 2014 08:51 AM      Profile for Maurizio Di Cintio   Email Maurizio Di Cintio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, Doug. One of the previous posts mentioned the fact the sound was slowed down without altering the pitch- How was that possible considering the era's technology? Would it be possible to put some mp3 samples of these discs on here?

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Maurizio

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

Posts: 4024
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 31, 2014 08:58 AM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If any members have an mp3 file of sample audio from an Americom release and can send it to me, I'll provide a link.

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 968
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 31, 2014 09:15 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had to tape the records onto reel to reel and later to cassette to run them....and yes the sound was a bit odd and never in perfect sync...but I remember Curse of Frankenstein worked pretty well since it had little or no dialog.

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Jean-Marc Toussaint
Film God

Posts: 2361
From: France
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted October 31, 2014 10:11 AM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Same here, although it was for "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea".

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The Grindcave Cinema Website

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1075
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 31, 2014 11:18 AM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gary's correct... "Curse Of Frankenstein" is mostly music and sound effects, but "Birth Of Frankenstein", "Horror Of Dracula" and the "Fu Manchu" titles have more dialogue that is very difficult to sync up to. They're still fun to watch, though. My kids, of course, think the whole concept is outrageous and can't wrap their brains around any of it. You had to be a collector back in the day to really grasp how this was (as kids today say) "bangin'". My Lord how things sure have changed. Including the english language. I asked my daughter if "bangin'" was a word she learned in class. To which she replied (fortunately) "No..Silly....It's something kids say when something is really cool. Dad... you're so out of touch". Then she giggled and said "enjoy your movie, Dad" and left the room.

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Brian Fretwell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1067
From: London, UK
Registered: Jun 2014


 - posted November 01, 2014 08:16 AM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had/have a Laurel & Hardy one and a cartoon "Beetle Bailey". At the time I had a battery/mains projector which could be slowed down by touching the manual frame advance and a turntable that could be slowed by putting a finger on it. I could keep sync roughly like that,.

I'm not sure where they are now, but do still have the projector - now unused as it has a flat gate and scratches all films.

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Len Horowitz
Junior
Posts: 7
From: Culver city CA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted August 07, 2017 09:33 PM      Profile for Len Horowitz   Author's Homepage   Email Len Horowitz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I purchased some Offical Films that were 8mm Vitaphone with lip synch. I want to find that projector. One 12 " record with each 200 ft reel of film. Can you help me?

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Len Horowitz

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Guy Taylor, Jr.
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 563
From: Galveston, Texas, U.S.A.
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted August 08, 2017 05:08 AM      Profile for Guy Taylor, Jr.   Email Guy Taylor, Jr.   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually it is "Birth of Frankenstein," an extract from "Curse of Frankenstein," that is the one with little dialog. It begins with the scene in the graveyard with them cutting down the body from the gallows.

This was the only one I had from Americom. Like Warner Brothers, the Vitaphone Sound System was my first method of sound movies.

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Guy Taylor

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William Olson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 199
From: Dobbs Ferry, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2010


 - posted August 08, 2017 10:47 AM      Profile for William Olson   Email William Olson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I still have Americom's Curse of Frankenstein with the original packaging including the record.

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Panayotis A. Carayannis
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 768
From: Athens,Greece
Registered: Jul 2008


 - posted August 09, 2017 02:03 PM      Profile for Panayotis A. Carayannis   Email Panayotis A. Carayannis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
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[ August 10, 2017, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: Panayotis A. Carayannis ]

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Panayotis A. Carayannis
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 768
From: Athens,Greece
Registered: Jul 2008


 - posted August 13, 2017 03:49 AM      Profile for Panayotis A. Carayannis   Email Panayotis A. Carayannis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This topic and "Vitaphone 8" should be joined together as they deal with the same question. Yes,there were other companies selling films with discs.I have seen an ad from the thirties of a 16 mm projector/disc player combined unit. For some reason I couldn't upload all four pictures I took from my (only!) film- with-disc,(the first photo was appearing four times) So,I am posting them separately.  - Now, a similar thing happened.I posted another picture,it looked ok at the preview post but,it also changed the previously posted picture into the recent one.Pleaase explain someone [Confused] [Confused] [Confused]

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 4260
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted August 13, 2017 05:58 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Western Electric had a 16mm sound-on-disc projector in the early thirties. The projector was made by Victor, and the sound by W.E.
https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/motion-picture-projector-western-electric-16mm-sound-on-disc-projector-and-speaker/HAHiNr81u2IWAQ

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Maurice

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

Posts: 4024
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 13, 2017 02:40 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Panayotis,

The change in picture has to do with how you've named it. If you upload a picture with the name "picture 150" it will replace the previous picture named "picture 150". Try using a combination of your first name, the subject and a different number to differentiate between the pictures you upload.

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Panayotis A. Carayannis
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 768
From: Athens,Greece
Registered: Jul 2008


 - posted August 14, 2017 12:50 AM      Profile for Panayotis A. Carayannis   Email Panayotis A. Carayannis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you. I will ty it.

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