Talking pictures : how they are made and how to appreciate them (1937)

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Talking Pictures A middle-aged woman whose needle-pricked hands betray her profession, stands in readiness. She is from the wardrobe. She will save a great deal of time during the day by adjusting flounces and pressing wrinkled materials, or making quick repairs if a dress should be torn. When the stars arrive, make-up experts and hair- dressers accompany them. In a scene full of action, make-up suffers. The deft, quick touches of a waiting expert again save time. Everything is prepared for the presence of the actors. The boom man stops adjusting the microphone. He steps before it, calls, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eleven, sixty-six!" The emphasis on the letter s is to test the ability of the sound recording system to record satisfactorily consonants with hissing sounds or sibilants. Through a loud-speaker a hollow voice calls, sound- ing very odd and different in the echoless room, "O.K. for sound." The company sound engineer, or "monitor," or "mixer," has declared the delicate apparatus he con- trols ready for the day. The operative cameraman makes his final physical adjustments. We stated that the "camera" is fastened to a platform of the rotumbulator. Over the camera is attached its "blimp" or "bungalow." The cast-aluminum blimp or camera cover fastens over the camera when it is in action and makes it sound tight. This is necessary, for as yet no fully effective method of silencing a motion picture camera has been discovered. The "clicking" noise one hears is integral to motion [172]