Charles Ashton and British Silent Films

British Silent Film Star – Charles Ashton

Silent Filming Speed

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A foot of 35mm motion picture film has 16 frames. The typical feature-length movie in the 1920s was six reels, or 6000 feet long.

Silent films were shot and projected at various speeds using hand-cranked cameras and projectors; though 1000 frames per minute (16⅔ frame/s) is generally cited as a standard silent speed, research indicates most films were shot between 16 frame/s and 23 frame/s and projected from 18 frame/s on up (often reels included instructions on how fast each scene should be shown).

When sound film was introduced in the late 1920s, a constant speed was required for the sound head. 24 frames per second was chosen because it was the slowest (and thus cheapest) speed which allowed for sufficient sound quality.

Source: Wikipedia on Film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film

See also  article by Kevin Brownlow  (1980)  Silent Films. What was the right speed? Sight and Sound, 1980 http://cinemaweb.com/silentfilm/bookshelf/18_kb_2.htm

Written by anneramsden

March 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm

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