Dickson Experimental Sound Film
This short film is the world's first known experiment in producing a motion picture with a recorded synchronized soundtrack. Although the kinetophone combined recorded sound with moving pictures, even approximate synchronization was elusive. Still, William K.L. Dickson and his crew pursued serious efforts in this direction, in this instance simultaneously photographing the image and recording the sound (note the gramophone horn on the left). The R (for Raff and Gammon) that appears in the scene suggests that someone may have felt this film had commercial potential; so far as is known, however, it was never shown publicly. The musical selection, performed by Dickson himself, is from the operetta "Les cloches de Corneville" (known in English as "The Chimes of Normandy") by Jean-Robert Planquette. The wax cylinder recording of the soundtrack was discovered several years ago at the Edison National Historic Site in West Orange, New Jersey (Maryanne Gerbaukas, Superintendent) and was preserved by the staff there. Walter Murch and Rick Schmidlin resynchronized the sound and image.