Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The Thirties

Sound was still in it's infancy in the early thirties. Many of these early films were studio bound, due mostly to the restraints of sound recording equipment, cameras were noisy, microphones were large and cumbersome. The cameras being noisy had to be placed in sound proof boxes, making them even more un-managable. Films set around places such as theatres, houses or hotels were the order of the day. Films that required shooting outdoors, these scenes were almost alway shot silent. The other way around the outdoor location was the rolling backdrop which gave the impression of action taking place outdoors, where all the bulky equipment stayed put.

Cartoons, with the like of Mickey Mouse were quite prolific in these early days. As were the introduction of Newsreel films, and instructive films. A series of films were made by the golfing professional Bobby Jones.

As we move on to the mid thirties advances in technology had made the leap over to colour. The first all colour film to be shown in Edinburgh was Becky Sharpe in November of 1935. Disney's silly symphonies had been in colour, and other films had been colourised, but it was Becky Sharpe the first true tri-colour film.

Names like Alfred Hitchcock were making a name for themselves at around this time too with films like The Thirty Nine Steps and The Lady Vanishes.

The New Victoria, like other cinemas not only showed films, but broadcast radio show too, yet another way to get people in through the door.

In October of 1938, a film that all the critics said would fail made it's debut in the New Victoria, the film a classic of the cinema even today was that of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney had proved the critics wrong. From then on people waited eagerly for the next Disney feature length cartoon.

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