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There's a good book cataloging the Vitaphone titles "Vitaphone Films" authored by Roy Liebman. Shorts and features and not just the elements that are known to exist.

The Vitaphone Project's " Winter/Spring 2006 Vitaphone News" lists corrections and additions. As far as I know this is the first time that anything close to a real catalogue has been compiled.

Hope this is useful.

Bob Hodge 



-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Biel
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Vitaphone (was: Recording Innovations)

From: Roger Kulp <[log in to unmask]>
> I would like to see a listing of these.Someone once told me there
> are classical records,including one of Mischa Elman.Is there ?

                                            
Elman's film is catalog #275, and it was in the first batch shown in
1926 and restored in 1976 for the 50th Anniversary celebration at MOMA. 
Check out the web site of The Vitaphone Project.  
http://www.picking.com/vitaphone.html    The public database listings
have not been kept up to date, but by looking at them and the quarterly
bulletins you can see what is known.  There are many classical and
operatic films and discs, but they are usually are not on the front
burners to be restored.  The grant by the Getty family to restore a
large group of operatics had to be withdrawn due to death, so donations
to restore that group are again being accepted.    

Some of the films are shown on Turner Classics and have been released on
LaserDiscs and DVDs, usually as extras.  The best grouping of these are
on the three-disc set of The Jazz Singer that was released last year. 
There are annual screenings in NY and LA of the recent restorations, and
last weekend at the NJ Jazz Bash, Ron Hutchinson repeated this year's
show for us.  If any collector and archive holds any soundtrack disc,
please report it to the Project.  Likewise, if any film without the
discs are known, the Project needs to know this too.  

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]  


--- On Thu, 6/25/09, Jack Theakston <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Jack Theakston <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording Innovations
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 3:08 PM

The Vitaphone discs did have a start point, which was ultimately your
sync mark.  It was a little arrow on the inner point of the film, on
which you synced up to a start point on the film.  The difficulty, of
course, was if the film broke, you couldn't just slug it with one frame
of leader because the cement splice couldn't take the stress.  Instead,
you had to cut two or more frames out, leaving a noticeable slug. 
Sound-on-film, of course, was no problem, because there's no way for it
to drop out of sync.

With proper care, even on manual rewinds (which should all have a
tension brake on them), a film should be returned in the same condition
as the day it came in.

J. Theakston


________________________________
From: George Brock-Nannestad <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 4:45:52 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording Innovations

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

just a short remark, re Bob Hodge:


> Competent projectionists would splice in black film equal to the number of
> frames damaged. Just a normal part of projection. 
> Ideally, the rotational pivot should be midway in its travel for maximum
> flexibility. It couldn't rotate 360 degrees due to the leads from the
> tonearm. But more than enough to compensate for subtle difficulties. And why
> a second set of discs were shipped with each film requiring them.  
> 

----- at first I thought that having the pivot midway would compensate
for 
having put too many black frames into the gap, but then I remembered:
there 
is no synchronization mark on the Vitaphone disc, so when it is first
put on 
the turntable you do not know where it is on the turntable. For this
reason 
you might have to go back or forth to find the sync.

----- by the way, the black film replacement would only work for silent 
stock. When a frame was lost in a sound film, the best you could do as a

projectionist was to paint fade-in and fade-out on either side of the
splice. 
Re-sync would not happen after 20 frames anyway. I think that my worst 
experience as a projectionist in our little cinema (35 mm Ernemann,
though!) 
was in manual rewind. If you got the reels up to speed and lost power in
your 
winding arm towards the end, the loop would rise above the reels, and if
you 
were not diligent, above 3 feet in height would threaten with havoc.
What 
could you do, except clamp your hand on the other reel, getting burn
tracks 
in your hand. I wore a left-hand leather glove after that. You did not
want 
to use the brake, because it would slow down the process to a safe
speed. 
Films had to take a lot of abuse (the reason why nitrate survived for so
long-
-it was not only more transparent but also much tougher than acetate)