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Posts from the ‘1930s’ Category

The Music of Movietonews

Movietonews had an advantage in that, before the war and during the war, they had access to the Movietone Music Corporation music library.  Much of this material emanated from 20th Century Fox movies.

The famous 20th Century Fox opening fanfare was written by Alfred Newman, father of the Newman dynasty that is still producing music for the movies.  Alfred Newman was nominated forty-five times for an Academy Award. He won nine Oscars. Read more

Saturday Morning Cinema in the 1930s

I did not visit the cinema very often during my childhood.  The seats cost four to six pence during the week, so I would be taken by my mother or my father.  My mother would take me in the afternoon so that we could get home for her to get dinner on.

I always knew why my father took me to the cinema.  He would always fall asleep soon after arrival and would sleep through until it was time to go home.  My father relied on me to wake him up at the appropriate time and then tell him what the film was all about. I think that, maybe, at this time I started the process of learning to be a film editor for which memory is everything. Read more

The art of captions and titles

In the beginning, we had silent movies.  Artists were engaged to design and complete the intertitles which gave a rough indication of what the actors would have been saying, if they had been saying anything that had anything to do with the plot.
Only lip-readers would have been able to tell if the actors were saying something meaningful. Read more

British Movietonews – the process from idea to screen

G.R. – Movietone’s General Release

At Movietonews in the thirties, forties and fifties, there was a regime that produced two newsreels a week.

It was a team effort.  On the fourth floor at 22 Soho Square we had the News Department. It was their job to look out for stories and, having found them, to act upon them to ensure that we could cover the event, hopefully from the best camera positions. Read more