Tuesday - Wk 16 - Movies & Music

Featured Topic: Silent Movies with Lon Chaney

Module 15: Musical Theater *DUE Sunday, May 8
FORUM: Module 15.1: Movies & Music Discussion Forum
SUBMIT: Module 15.2: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Assignment
SUBMIT: Module 15.3: Silent Film Assignment
QUIZ: Module 15.4: Movies & Music Quiz
SONG CHECKS: Module 15.5: Opera Music Song Checks *8 songs

Hello Everyone!

As we view the world of Motion Picture Music be sure to take a close look. This is really a hot market in TV, movies, YouTubes, Vines, Instagrams, and video games. The key is finding cheaper ways to create this wonderful music, because hiring an entire orchestra can get very expensive, (although I would not change that, I love full orchestrated movies, etc!) It is funny how important music really is in these media types.

To think that it all began with Silent Movies, and music was used LIVE, because sound and film could not be synchronized together until 1927. Without the music there were only subtitles in the beginning. Now we have fully synchronized sound in movies and media, but music still plays a very important roll in its success! Can you imagine going to see "Hunger Games: Catchin Fire", "Thor: The Dark World", "Star Trek Into Darkness" (my favorite) or "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" without music? No way, they would be terrible! So always broaden your possibilities into the recording world and don't forget about these media types for job possibilities!

Just a quick note that you need to read the Module text information to be able to complete the Module 15.3: Silent Film Assignment. I am looking for a very big reason as to why LIVE music was necessary in Silent Movies. Many of you are getting that wrong because you have not read this information, so please do yourself a favor, read the information so you don't lose points on this.

The last day of the semester is Friday, May 20.

If you have any questions please let me know and I will be happy to help!

Have a great day!
Mrs. Moncrief
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Silent Movies with Lon Chaney

It is hard to imagine that with all of our 3-D, Blue Ray DVD technology, that movies actually began silent. Thomas Edison was the one who began our fascination of both recorded sound, and recorded pictures with his many inventions, which we will later discuss.

Silent movies were actually very difficult to perform in, because it was all pantomime; no sound. So all physical movements and facial expressions had to be very over-exaggerated to communicate to the audience an event or emotion. Also, the makeup for the skin was very white with black outlines so the expressions would be better seen in the black and white film format.

Lon Chaney was one of the favorite actors in the industry at this time. He was known as “The Man of a Thousand Faces.” Interestingly he was born April 1, 1883 to deaf and mute parents. It was probably because of this that he was such an expert, since he probably used pantomime to communicate with his parents. Remember, American Sign Language though had been invented, was not as widely accepted until mid 1900’s.

Lon was a master of makeup. When the movie industry began there were no makeup artists, actors and actress had to do it themselves. Good makeup was very important to silent movies to be accentuated every facial expression.

One of his most famous films was "The Phantom of the Opera," which also starred the famous silent movie actress, Mary Philbin. Back in 1925 when this movie came to theaters, it is recorded that as the film was shown and Lon removed his mask, audiences would scream and faint (first glimpse of horror movies possibly.) This story would continued to be told for in 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber would go on to make this famous silent movie into a musical, that has continuously been on Broadway since 1986 and is still going strong.

Below is the original 1925 movie, "Phantom of the Opera", this is the entire movie.
*Remember this is a Silent Movie so there is no sound, only subtitles.


"The Phantom of the Opera" video By Rupert Julian (YouTube) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons