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Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - February 6, 2014

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Summary

Tonight CRAS AES presented a slideshow about post production history, beginning with "The Jazz Singer". "The Jazz Singer" was the first notable moving picture with sound, and was released in 1927 by Warner Bros. This film employed Warner Brothers vitaphone 'sound on disc' system, which improved many aspects of film sound in those days including: amplification, fidelity, distribution, synchronization, etc. We also discussed the birth of what we now call stereo in the 1930's. Alan Blumlein thought of his "binaural sound" idea while watching a movie at a cinema. He noticed that the sound did not follow the actor on the screen and began to come up with a way to make this possible, creating the earliest version of stereo. We also talked about how filmmakers experimented with High Fidelity stereo sound such as Cinerama, and 3 dimensional films known as Natural Vision and the invention of Dolby Stereo in the seventies. Brandon talked about influential figures of film in the 1980's such as Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Tim Burton etc. and the significance sound played in the exhibition of these people's ideas. Colby talked of the 1990's until today portion, and included movie montages from the late eighties, nineties, and today to compare and contrast the evolutionary steps of post production. As far as the 1990's are concerned, we discussed Titanic and the successful partnership of James Horner and James Cameron. The duo also worked on Avatar together, and both movies are the highest grossing films of their decades. With the change in technology came a change in the economics of film, and people began enjoying movies at home rather than in the theatre. We discussed the attempt to bring back moviegoers with 3-D and IMAX. We wrapped the presentation up with an overview of our current technology and how lucky we are that we get to enjoy movies like Avatar when less than a hundred years ago, our films did not even have sound.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society