Sound is one of the inputs that are mostly taken for granted when people are watching a film. The truth is an era in which films were silent before innovation of sound existed. These were known as silent films, which did not have any synchronized sound, recorded and no dialogue that was spoken. These films used title cards, mime, and muted gestures to entertain the audiences (Obrien, 2005). The thought of combining the motion pictures with recording of sound is almost as old as invention of film form itself. However, this idea was not crystallized into synchronized dialogue until the late 1920’s due to the technological challenges that were involved (Chion & Gorbman et al., 1994). Introduction of the system known as Vitaphone and perfection of the amplifier tube known as audion were among the first archaic technologies to pave way for modern day sound in film.
Sound films were the motion pictures which sound had been synchronized with picture. Edison conceived the synchronization of the visual medium and a phonograph he invented would make sound film. This was around the year 1885 more than thirty years before commercial feasibility of sound film. There were several problems to be overcome by inventors and entrepreneurs before actualization and acceptance of sound into film form (Livingston &Plantinga, 2012). Silent film lovers were perhaps content with silent movies because they were always accompanied with some kind of music and the presence of narration seemed to augur well with the small town folk. Another obstacle was the fact that by the 1920s the industry of silent film was the mainstay of film form in the aspects of film writing, photography, music and acting.
Technologically, there was difficulty in matching sound and the visuals such as was audible to all in the audience. Synchronization of looks (of the actors) and their voices was also important in giving sound film acceptance (Obrien, 2005).