From an Advertisement for Synchrodisk Turntables  Source: Motion Picture Projectionist 3 (November 1929): 38.

From an Advertisement for Synchrodisk Turntables. Source: Motion Picture Projectionist 3 (November 1929): 38.

Project (2019)

Sound Effects: Technicians and the Talkies in the American Film Industry, 1925–1933

The story of the transition from silent to sound motion pictures in the United States is a tale filled with drama and conflict, but this history has long been told almost exclusively from the impersonal perspective of “the industry,” or from the privileged perspective of famous directors and actors. My goal is to tell the stories of the countless other people who effected the transition, focusing on the craft workers—musicians, sound engineers, editors, and projectionists—who have for too long been silent on their role in making the movies talk. Their lives, as well as their livelihoods, were forever changed by the coming of sound. Their stories elucidate our understanding of this important industrial transformation, and they also illuminate more generally the meaning of change­—both technological and aesthetic—as it is experienced on a human scale. The resulting book will strive to contribute to conversations within American history, labor history, history of technology, film history, and sound studies.