Film ID: YFA 5717 Video of YFA_5717 Sounds Exciting SOUNDS EXCITING 1971 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film made by three members of the Mercury Movie Makers – Alan Sidi, Ken Leckenby and Reg White – which explains in detail how they added soundtracks to films using a sophisticated system designed by Alan Sidi. Sidi also provides the commentary to the film. The men give a demonstration showing the audience how to add sound to the film 'On Every Child's Shoulder.’ The film takes place in Sidi’s personal editing room in his house, Val D’or. The film begins showing a twin record deck with ‘Harmonic’ Lps on them. Title – Sounds Exciting Title – A Demonstration of Sound by Title – Alan, Ken, and Reg A 16mm cine projector is showing the film, ‘On Every Child’s Shoulder Sits a Guardian Angel’, directed by Graham Kitts (?). The room full of sound equipment, films, records and other film editing equipment. Reg is seated with the controls of a reel-to-reel tape player, Ken at the twin decks, and Alan at the mixing desk. Alan states that they have to synch the sound to the film at the required quality. He then explains each item of equipment, starting with the mixing desk which can take four cassettes and has a socket for two reel-to-reel players and the twin decks, enabling to have eight different sound tracks. All of this is shown with the help of a diagram. Reg and Alan check through a book which has catalogued their library of mood music and they choose a record to accompany the next sequence in the film which shows a boy who falls off a cliff. Alan explains that the cassettes have been altered to enable them to automatically switch off when the required passage of sound has finished. This is demonstrated with Ken putting on an “Authentic Sound Effects” record (Number 133 on the Elektra Label), which is lined up to the exact spot (marked on the turntable) to start recording. Another scene from the film is shown, illustrating the adding of an additional sound track. Alan states that the mixing desk is almost an exact replica of that used in the Yorkshire Television studios. The three of them are shown working as team as they add sound to the film. At the ends of the day they celebrate with a whiskey. Title – The End Context This is a fascinating film of some of Britain’s most accomplished amateur filmmakers in 1970 demonstrating how to add sound to 16 mm film, well before the digital age. Three members of Leeds Mercury Movie Makers use a highly sophisticated system of twin turntables, reel-to-reel players, a mixing desk, and a cine-synch machine designed by Alan Sidi, who also provides a voiceover explaining the entire process as they use it for a film directed by another member. This is one of a collection of highly accomplished films made by members of MMM, formed as a sub-section of Leeds Cine Club in 1959 to make 16 mm film (hence Group 16). Both Ken Leckenby and Reg White, seen here, were members of the MMM, but Alan Sidi was the inspirational force behind many of their films, as well as over a hundred of his own. As a self-employed engineer, Alan was also the most technically able, inventing his own Cine-Synch machine in the 1960s enabling sound to be added in synchronisation with 16 mm film, in this case to, ‘On Every Child’s Shoulder Sits a Guardian Angel’. The room in the film, entirely devoted to film editing, was in Alan’s house, Val D’or, later purchased by the footballer Terry Yorath.