5

In Fight Club Tyler Durden gets several tapes of film together to make one long reel. Some technicalities get explained in the process. And he has fun inserting some random image in between. I don't think so while I'm reading Palahniuk's book, but:

Does the movie explain how sound & image are attached?

4

To more precisely answer the question: if you look at a frame of 35mm film that is screened in a theater, it has a optical channel on the side of the frame - it is sound encoded as a wavy line, printed right on the film. You don't need to do anything special to get the sound with the frame when you splice it into something else.

UPDATE: Based on what Tyler is working with, in addition to the era, the sound will be on the film as optical only, without having to sync the sound.

  • As a theater projectionist you get shipped the reels, which you then have to splice together, for example on a "platter," i.e. a giant reel.
  • I believe contemporary film format also has the SDDS digital sound on there in between the sprockets... also as an optical print but in an elaborate 2D barcode.

This is the type of conversation that gives Art Directors nightmares!

Source: I was friends with several professional projectionists at the time (1980s-1990s) and edited on film in the late 1990s

  • Only if you splice frames using optical audio to a reel using optical audio, on an optical audio reader. There is magnetic and other types of readers too – cde Jun 18 '16 at 10:29
  • 1
    @cde but the tech used by Tyler Durden is relatively old and modern digital sound is probably a step beyond what Durden is working with. – matt_black Jun 18 '16 at 13:56
  • @cde there is, but if you look at what Tyler is working with, in addition to the era, the sound will be on the film as optical only. As a projectionist you get shipped the reels, which you then have to splice together, for example on a "platter," i.e. a giant reel. I think contemporary film format also has the SDDS digital sound on there in between the sprockets... also as an optical print but in an elaborate 2D barcode. I'll add these details into my answer. – MonkeyWidget Jun 18 '16 at 16:08
  • 1
    Worth noting is that even with optical audio, the splice would not be as portrayed in the film. The audio on the film does not line up with the frame of film it corresponds to, so the audio splice and video splice would be out of sync. Chalk it up to artistic license. By playing the sound effect in sync with the apparent (off-screen) image change, it is clearer to the audience what has happened. – John Sensebe Jun 19 '16 at 15:44
  • 1
    For reference, see wikipedia which has a nice image showing the soundtracks on a piece of film. Incidentally, that's why movie's have "a soundtrack", since it's literally a track on the film itself. – Flambino Jun 19 '16 at 20:01
5

The images come from other movies(often pornographic films). He simply cuts pieces of film from the reels that he wants and splices them in where he wants them (usually between reels of the main film, where it is easiest because he doesn't have to cut the reels of the main film). It isn't explained any more than using a doorknob on the way from one room to another is explained. He has access to the material and the tools needed because he works as a projectionist.

There is some noticeable sound, as he is only adding a few frames, too few to notice a break, consciously, but enough to register subconsciously. At about 29 or 58 Frames per Second (FPS), 6 frames would be a blink. He splices on a frame with a sound channel, almost literally cutting and pasting it in between the regular film, played by the projection system in sync. The film has video and audio on the same cellophane reel, side by side, read by different parts of the projection system. That's how movie projectors work.

  • thanks for effort, but the aim was trying to understand how sounds are involved in the process – nilon Jun 17 '16 at 15:43
  • 1
    @cde that's totally crazy!! and great!! and very please add your comment to the answer so I can check it ok. This is, though, not explained in the movie, right? How do you know this? – nilon Jun 17 '16 at 15:48
  • 4
    The fact that someone didn't know this makes me feel old. :o) – Johnny Bones Jun 17 '16 at 16:51
  • 2
    Now I feel old too. "The tools needed" are: scissors, clear tape, hands – Yorik Jun 17 '16 at 18:03
  • 2
    There is noticable sound! If you recall when the splicing is discussed, there's a shot of the audience when a spliced frame is projected, and we hear just a split second of a woman moaning. Then the little girl in the audience starts crying. As cde pointed out, the sound is printed onto the film (or was, back in the day). When you edit the image part, you edit the sound at the same time. – Todd Wilcox Jun 17 '16 at 18:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .