British Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound

Lead Research Organisation: De Montfort University
Department Name: School of Media and Communication

Abstract

In recent years the advent of digital, CGI and 3D technologies have been heralded as revolutionising our experience of cinema, but these are nothing compared to the impact of new sound technologies in the late 1920s when silent cinema as an art form was subjugated to the spoken and sung word. In Britain the films produced in this transitional period, with the exception of Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929), produced in both silent and sound versions, have been largely overlooked. Early British sound films have suffered from critical denigration due to their supposedly clumsy attempts to deal with the spoken word. However, their reappraisal is now long overdue, particularly in the wider contexts proposed by this study which will look comprehensively, for the first time, at the ways in which British cinema responded to the coming of sound across all aspects of production, exhibition, distribution and reception - from the frenzied international competition to patent and install new sound equipment in studios and cinemas, to the impact on film stars and the thousands of cinema musicians who played to silent films, to the kinds of films that were produced and the critical and popular responses to them.

The economic burden of equipping studios and cinemas for sound required massive domestic and foreign investment and coincided with global recession, the Wall Street Crash and the need for fundamental changes to financial investment in cinema. This project will examine British cinema's response to these conditions alongside the various positive and negative drivers for and against sound cinema; from the increasing influence of popular radio and audiences' desire to hear the sung and spoken word and the various equipment manufacturers competing to dominate global markets, to victims such as the musicians and composers who relied on the cinema for their livelihood, the silent stars whose voices did not respond to the microphone, and the scenarists who wrote intertitles for silent films.

In order to carefully periodise this transition, the study will be divided into three key periods corresponding to the project's workplan:

1927-1928 - the period immediately before the arrival of The Jazz Singer in the UK
1929-1930 - the transition between silent and sound when films were made in both formats and the industry experimented with different technologies and methods
1931-1933 - the early sound period when silent cinema technologies and personnel were adapting to the new medium

Using this historical framework, the research will investigate and draw together, the following three areas:

1. The British cinema industry and infrastructure in terms of producers, studios and production companies and the changes caused by new sound technologies including the development of studio recording and cinema exhibition technologies, the rush to patent new systems and those who succeeded or failed. The overall effects on businesses and industrial organisations associated with cinema; the winners and losers including impacts on:
i. personnel with the rapid need for new skills and the loss of those associated with silent cinema and related changes in the organisation of labour.
ii. audiences, cinema-going and the response of press and critics.
iii. the source material for new sound cinema.
iv. international relations in the spheres of co-production and distribution

2. a critical reappraisal of the films themselves in the light of the above including how film techniques and aesthetics changed and developed over these three periods.

3. historical evidence explaining how 'the talkies' changed British cinema forever and the significance of their legacy.

Planned Impact

This study will build upon and extend impacts achieved by the work of the PI in organising the British Silent Film Festival since 1998, and her experience in bringing new research on the first 30 years of British cinema history to wider academic, media and public attention. Participants and audiences range from international academics and public figures to family audiences and children. The Festival has an international profile and an associated multi-disciplinary research community including public academics, music and cinema historians such as Mark Kermode, Neil Brand and Matthew Sweet and a history of engaging with the media including BBC TV and radio, regional and national press; all of which will be approached to maximise the profile and impact of this project. In 2011 the Festival created a precedent for this project in presenting 'The Great British Talking Picture Show' at the Barbican, (Brown and Murphy, 2011) which sparked significant public interest in this period of cinema history. Two four-day public conferences and screenings (2015 and 2017) and a two-day colloquium (2016) will use a similar format in presenting rare films, new research and discoveries and making them accessible to a wide audience spectrum.

Through knowledge-exchange and partnership working, this project will benefit:

i. Independent cinemas, including those involved directly in delivering this project - Phoenix Square, MacRobert Cinema, The Cinema Museum and BFI Southbank - and those involved in hosting aspects of the project's findings such as screening educational materials and packages. 35 independent cinemas across the UK will be targeted using the BFI Film Hubs to disseminate information about the project.
ii. Voluntary sector organisations such as The Cinema Museum will benefit from research into its archive and collections which will be disseminated through events staged there as part of the project including screenings and presentations.
iii. Voluntary sector collections and datasets including BECTU History Project, the CTA and CEA rely on researcher-led contributions and these will benefit from having their datasets referenced, catalogued and promoted.
iv. Teachers of cinema studies in schools will have access to teaching materials produced and disseminated from this project in collaboration with Film Nation and Film Club.
v. independent and private archives benefit from their having their collections and materials promoted.
vi.The BFI National and Scottish Screen Archives will benefit from qualitative and quantitative research into their collections and subsequent cataloguing and disseminating of their films.
v. Future cinema and social historians will inherit more coherent and accessible datasets.
vi. Local cinema historians and study groups will benefit from the value attached to their work from this project.

Members of the project's research team have experience in presenting cinema history research to libraries, special interest groups, adult and University of the Third Age learners, and as part of local cinema education and screening programmes. The project will promote its findings among such groups, offering bespoke talks and presentations.

This study will also re-appraise and re-evaluate the significant output of early British sound films, largely held by the BFI, which have had only rare public screenings, and bring them back to public and critical attention, not only in terms of their qualities as films, but for their significance in working with the new sound technologies and what they reveal about the choices made and the avenues explored by the British industry during this period. A direct beneficiary of this will be the international community of interested public and film historians for whom access to this material is limited, and the 250 or so films in the BFI National Collection covering this period which merit a higher profile and fuller integration into future studies of British cinema.

Publications


10 25 50
 
Description Findings have been used in the British Silent Film Festival held in Leicester in September 2015, which featured a two-day screening and presentation programme open to, and attended by members of the public. The PI and Senior Researcher curated and presented a programme of films related to the project.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal
 
Description British Film Institute Festivals Award
Amount £8,180 (GBP)
Funding ID 2015-39254 
Organisation British Film Institute (BFI) 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2015 
End 10/2015
 
Description 'Getting Kitty to Talk: A Trans-Atlantic Adventure' at the CATH Centre's Associate Research Fellows Symposium. De Montfort University, Leicester. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation by Project Researcher Geoff Brown to the Cinema and TV History Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester on 10 June 2016. The presentation delivered the project's research to a wider group of researchers and sparked a debate around a rarely-screened transitional part-talkie film, the development of new technology and the relationship between Britain and the US during this period.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description "Directing the Kingsway Cinema, 1927." Paper presented at the British Silent Film Festival Symposium, King's College London, London, April 28-29, 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation by PhD student Nyasha Sibanda on research into the transition to sound cinema in Birmingham and the use of localised data and records as part of his PhD research which is revealing significant local characteristics, hitherto largely unrecorded or unacknowledged. The presentation also acknowledged the work of so called amateur local historians in uncovering data and records and how these may be used and interpreted in academic research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description "The Conversion to Sound of the Kingsway and the Ideal Cinemas in King's Heath, 1929-1932." Paper presented at the Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound Colloquium, University of Stirling, Stirling, 23-24 May, 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation by Nyasha Sibanda at the project's symposium at the University of Stirling on PhD research and findings in relation to Birmingham cinemas during the transition to sound looking at and interpreting extant business ledgers and papers in relation to two specific cinemas and interpolating how these reflect wider social and cultural changes in their localities during the late 1920s and early 1930s
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 'A Fly on the Wall in 1929: The Production Diary of David Cunynghame' at the CATH Research Centre/BAFTSS postgraduate conference Production Studies: Film, Television and their Industrial Contexts. De Montfort University, Leicester. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation by Project Research Geoff Brown as part of the BAFTSS Post Graduate Conference at De Montfort University, Leicester attended by post-graduate students and academics. The presentation, which focused on a particular film producer working in the transition between silent and sound cinema sparked a debate about the transitional period among post-graduate students who were not, hithero familiar with this period or the repercussions of the transition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 'Al Jolson, The Singing Fool, and the Advance of Talkies in Britain' at the annual British Silent Festival/King's College symposium. King's College, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation by Project researcher Geoff Brown on the arrival and advance of talking films in Britain around 1929 at the Kings College British Silent Film Annual Symposium which attracts a range of participants including members of the public, cinema historians working outside of HE and academe, as well as post grads and scholars of British cinema history. The presentation was received with considerable interest and sparked ideas for future research and project development. The event is co-organised by the project PI, Laraine Porter, the BFI and Kings College.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/filmstudies/eventrecords/2016/British-Silent-Film-Festival-Sympo...
 
Description 'C'mon feel the noise: what happened when the talkies came to Britain? Guardian Newspaper online review of British Silent Film Festival 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A substantial review in The Guardian Newspaper (online) on the key findings of the project in relation to their public presentation as part of the British Silent Film Festival in September 2015 at Phoenix Cinema in Leicester. Key elements of the Festival form major impacts and outputs from the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2015/sep/21/the-talkies-silent-film-british-cinema-alfred-...
 
Description 'Cinema Design and the Coming of Sound: The Construction of Ritz Cinema in Edinburgh, 1929', Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound Symposium, Stirling, 23-4 May 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The presentation by Dr Sarah Neely was part of the Project's symposium at the University of Stirling in May 2016. The symposium included screenings and public presentations of films related to the Project's research at the MacRoberts Arts Centre at the University of Stirling. Outcomes from this symposium are to be published by the Journal of Popular British Film and TV and the symposium sparked interest in developing European research links, particularly with the European scholars and researchers present.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.silenttosound.org.uk/university-of-stirling-symposium-details/
 
Description 'THE PROBLEM OF THE FEMALE VOICE WOMEN WORKING IN THE TRANSITION BETWEEN SILENT AND SOUND FILM IN BRITAIN' 18 May 2016, Phoenix Cinema, Leicester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation on how women responded to and influenced the coming of sound cinema in Britain as part of the three-day Doing Women's Film and TV History Conference 18-20 May, 2016 focusing on their role as critics, public intellectuals as well as performers. The presentation given by Laraine Porter sparked considerable debate about how women's physical and intellectual voices fought to be heard and against marginalisation or otherwise becoming silenced during the transitional period and the role played by early sound technology in this respect.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/research-faculties-and-institutes/technology/cath/wwbft-conference-201...
 
Description 'The Americanisation of England' Anti- American sentiment and the arrival of the Talkies' at Kings College, London as part of the British Silent Film Festival Symposium 28-29 April 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation by Laraine Porter on popular and political anti-American sentiment and various governmental responses to the British film industry and associated manufacturers and developers of new sound technology at the end of the 1920s. The presentation sparked wider debate about the repercussions of American globalisation of new technology and how this cemented the global dominance of American multi-national corporations such as Western Electric.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/filmstudies/eventrecords/2016/British-Silent-Film-Festival-Sympo...
 
Description 'This New Noise' Women working in the transition between silent and sound cinema' as part of the Women in Film and TV Network day Breaking the Sound Barrier: Women Sounding Out In British Film & Television 18 June 2016at BFI Southbank 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation as part of a day event organised in conjunction with the Women in Film and TV Network group which unites industry practitioners with academics and researchers into women working in the media. The presentation by Laraine Porter considered the role and influence of women working in the British film and broadcasting industries during the transition to sound. This offered a rare opportunity to present research to industry professionals and to get feedback on the current situation regarding women working in sound.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://womensfilmandtelevisionhistory.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/breaking-the-sound-barrier-women-sou...
 
Description 'When Britannia Ruled the Sound Waves: Britain's Transition to Sound in its European Context' at the Stirling University symposium Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation by Geoff Brown at the British Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound Symposium at the MacRoberts Arts Centre, University of Stirling on 23 May, 2016. The symposium was attended by international range of scholars and cinema historians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.silenttosound.org.uk/university-of-stirling-symposium-details/
 
Description 'Windjammer': a Film Journey from Silent Documentary to Sound Fiction Film 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A presentation given at the British Silent Film Festival on 12 September, 2015 to accompany a screening of a lost film that the project's PI and Researcher rediscovered in the National Film and TV Archive. The purpose was to explain the provenance of the film and to examine the ways in which it was shot as a silent documentary and re-purposed into a sound fiction film.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://britishsilentfilmfestival.com
 
Description 'Women Not Strong Enough to Do Much Beyond String Instruments': Changing Attitudes to Women Musicians in Silent Cinema 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation at the 'Working in Music: The Musicians' Union, Musical Labour and Employment' conference at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow on 15 January 2016. The aim was to explore the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration with scholars and practitioners in music, labour and music history. The event was organised by the University of Glasgow and the MU.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.muhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/Working-in-Music-programme.pdf
 
Description 3MT competition (global) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Having won the University of Stirling's 3MT competition I was asked to record my speech to be included as a podcast and downloadable file. My speech, which is based on my research is available on iTunes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description A Brief History of Independent Cinema Exhibition in Leicester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An illustrated presentation to the general public at Phoenix Cinema in Leicester on the ways in which Leicester cinemas responded to the coming of the talkies. This was part of a wider public event on the history of cinema-going in Leicester repeated on 2 March 2016 after a sell-out performance on 9 September 2015. The event engaged widely with local people who were invited to share their memories of cinema going in Leicester
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description A Cottage on Dartmoor (Anthony Asquith, UK, 1929) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An introduced screening of A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929) a late silent film with live music by Stephen Horne and introduced by Bryony Dixon, Curator of Silent Film at the British Film Institute. The event took place at the MacRoberts Arts Centre at the University of Stirling in as part of the project's symposium between 23-24 May 2016 and was attended largely by members of the public who were not previously aware of the issues raised by Dixon's presentation. The event was organised in conjunction with the MacRoberts Arts Centre who have requested further public events of this kind.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.silenttosound.org.uk/university-of-stirling-symposium-details/
 
Description Anthony Asquith's Prophetic 'A Cottage on Dartmoor': British Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound: 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation at the 'New Directions in Film and TV Production Studies' conference at Watershed Cinema in Bristol organised by the Universities of Bristol, Portsmouth and West of England. The purpose of the presentation was to use a particular film case study to examine the effects of early sound cinema on audiences as represented by Anthony Asquith's late silent film, 'A Cottage on Dartmoor'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Britain's Screen 'Inferiority Complex': Union and Institutional Responses to the Coming of Sound, 1929-35 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation given at the Cinema and Television History Research Centre Postgraduate Conference at De Montfort University, 18th June 2015. The purpose was to present research findings to UK-based post-graduate students and to garner feedback for future directions. The presentation elicited debate on the role of Trades' Unions in the coming of sound in the UK in relation to employment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description British Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound: influences and implications of new sound technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A presentation at Kings College London on 24 April 2015 which introduced a number of key themes of the project's research around new technology. The purpose of this was to publicise the research at a London venue and to request further information, feedback and participation from peers. The audience included a mixture of academics, post-graduates and interested members of the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/filmstudies/eventrecords/2015/bsff-2015.aspx
 
Description British Silent Film Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The British Silent Film Festival was a four-day event at Phoenix Cinema in Leicester featuring presentations and screenings of silent and early sound films from the British Film Institute and other international archives. It provided us with a public platform to present research and discoveries linked to our project. It was intended to promote further interest in late British silent and early sound film and was attended by around 450 people, including families with young children for a matinee screening and presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://britishsilentfilmfestival.com/
 
Description His Master's Voice Goes to the Movies: New Technology, the Gramophone and British Cinema's First Sound Features 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Geoff Brown presented his research at two separate events:
14 April, 2015 at University of the University of Bristol 'New Directions in Film and TV Production Studies' and on 24 April at the British Silent FIlm Symposium at Kings College, London. The purpose was to disseminate the project's research to wider audiences and to receive feedback and engagement from academics and 'amateur' historians who attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invasion: Legitimate Language and the Coming of Sound in the Nottingham Evening Post, 1928-1930 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The presentation was given at the British Silent Film Symposium on 24 April 2015 to mixed group of interested public and study participants. The purpose was to communicate research findings from local newspaper archives on the resistance to the Americanisation of the English language as a result of the arrival of the Talkies in Nottingham. The presentation sparked debate about the linguistic issues associated with early sound cinema.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Magazine article in Sight and Sound, January 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An article in the film magazine Sight and Sound entitled "Primal Screen: Geoff Brown explores the early years of the talkies in Britain" p.63
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/january-2016-issue
 
Description Musicians' Union Campaigns in the Late 1920s. Working in Music: The Musicians' Union, musical labour and employment, 14.1.2016 - 15.1.2016, Glasgow. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation by Prof John Izod as part of the Working In Music Conference, Glasgow on research findings related to the history of the Musicians' Union which prompted further ideas for conferences, publications and public engagement activities. This conference was part of the Celtic Connections Music Festival in Glasgow and was aimed at music practitioners as well as academics and music historians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.muhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/Working-in-Music-programme.pdf
 
Description Okay for Sound? The reception of the early Talkies in Britain as part of Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound The MacRobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling 23rd-24th May 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A keynote presentation on the various intellectual, scholarly and popular responses to early sound cinema in Britain at the MacRoberts Arts Centre at the University of Stirling which was delivered to conference delegates and members of the public. The presentation will be published in the Journal of Popular British Film and TV.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.silenttosound.org.uk/university-of-stirling-symposium-details/
 
Description Paper Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact University of Glasgow's Centre for Robert Burns Studies Annual conference. I presented a 30 minute paper to an audience of circa 80. I was then invited to contribute a chapter to the new Oxford Handbook on Burns by the conference Chair who is also the editor of the book.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at the British Silent Film Festival in Leicester, Sept 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An illustrated presentation entitled "Was Blackmail Really Britain's First Talkie?" given by Geoff Brown, the project Researcher and illustrated with film clips. The audience were given programme notes outlining the results of the project's research and the purpose of the presentation was to change our understanding of early British sound films and to introduce newly-discovered and rare archival films into the public domain.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.britishsilentfilmfestival.com
 
Description Presentation at the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, Bo'Ness, Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The presentation was entitled 'You ain't heard Nothing Yet!' and featured PhD Researcher John Ritchie presenting clips and newly-discovered early sound films to the Festival audience. Films included The Loves of Robbie Burns (1930), Harry Lauder in a Series of His World Famous Songs (1931)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Preview of British Silent Festival in the Guardian Guide 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A preview of the British Silent Film Festival in the Guardian Guide Saturday 5 September, 2015 p.22
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Silent to Sound: Britain and Europe in Transition', preceding screening of Prix de Beauté, Cinema Museum, London, 10 November 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A presentation and screening by Geoff Brown at the Cinema Museum in London to a packed audience of members of the public who expressed considerable interest in the research and the relationship between Britain and Europe during the transition to sound cinema. The event which received some very good Twitter responses was considered very successful by the Cinema Museum who have requested further events from the Project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/2016/kennington-bioscope-special-silent-to-sound-in-europe/
 
Description The Americanisation of England: Anti-American Sentiment and the Arrival of the Talkies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation of the project research findings at the What is Cinema History Conference at the University of Glasgow in June 2015. The purpose was to present the research to peers and to obtain feedback
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://earlycinema.gla.ac.uk/blog/2015-conference/
 
Description The Loves of Robert Burns (Herbert Wilcox, UK, 1930) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A screening of a re-discovered early sound film about Robbie Burns introduced by Project PhD student John Ritchie to a public audience at the MacRoberts Arts Centre at the University of Stirling. This film sparked considerable interest due to the rarity of the film screened, which had been rediscovered by Project PI and Researcher at the BFI National Archive. The subject matter was particularly relevant to audiences in Scotland and the film will be screened more widely in Scotland as part of the Project's follow-up activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.silenttosound.org.uk/university-of-stirling-symposium-details/
 
Description The Magnetic North: pulling away from metropolitan-focused approaches to the study of cinema (conference paper) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact What is Cinema History (A Homer Conference), Glasgow, 22-24 June 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The Technology and Impact of Early British Talkies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation given at the Centre for Film and TV History at DMU to members of the Research group with the aim of disseminated and profiling the research among peers and British cinema historians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The Transition from Silent to Sound Cinema in Leicester: a Local Case Study 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation as part of a wider panel on the History of Cinema in Leicester at 'What is Cinema History?' conference, Glasgow June 2015. The purpose was to focus the project's research on a smaller geographical area and to test the amount and scope of data and information available to use.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Women! Have You a Happy Voice? Women Film Stars and the Transition between Silent and Sound Film in Britain 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A presentation delivered at the Women and Silent Screen Conference a the University of Pittsburgh, US on 17 September 2015, looking at the ways in which women's voices, accents, intonation and vocal delivery, became the focus of attention during the transition to sound cinema. The purpose was to bring this aspect of cinema and social history in the UK to a wider audience and to look at the comparative situation in the USA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://wssviii.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/wss-viii-conference-program-20151.pdf