Publication Details

Yecies, B, Transformative soundscapes: innovating De Forest Phonofilms talkies in Australia, Scope: an on-line journal of film studies, 1, 2005, 1-18.


The coming of sound to cinemas around the world traditionally has been included in the writings about great men and all-powerful companies and how their visions and integrated industry connections helped them maintain a dominating monopoly of the motion picture industry. Important and canonical reports of these business histories have been documented and offered by Tino Balio (1976; 1985; 1993), David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson (1985), Douglas Gomery (1986), Thomas Schatz (1988), John Belton (1994), Robert Sklar (1994), Donald Crafton (1997) and Ruth Vasey (1997) in the US and by Sally Stockbridge (1979), Susan Dermody (1981), John Tulloch (1982) and Graham Shirley and Brian Adams (1989) in Australia and by Rachael Low (1971) and Ian Jarvie (1992) in the UK. Also included in this history is a focus on the pioneering efforts of great experimenters and innovators such as Theodore Case, Lee de Forest, Earl Sponable in the US and Raymond Allsop, Arthur Smith and Clive Cross in Australia, who were all working outside and/or alongside the motion picture industry.