Story: Documentary film

Sound test by Ted Coubray, 1929

The sound quality is so poor that the words are barely intelligible in this 1929 test film by Southland-born film-maker and inventor Ted Coubray. Yet, prior to this, no New Zealand-made films had any sound at all. By 1929 the first 'talkies' were arriving in New Zealand from overseas. Coubray developed his own Coubray-Tone system to duplicate them. This short film shows his assistant, Eric Platt, speaking on camera, then listening to his own voice being played back. Coubray also worked on a new type of camera tripod, 3D and colour film-systems and other technical innovations.

Using this item

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Reference: F22828

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How to cite this page:

Helen Martin, 'Documentary film - Early documentary film', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/43582/sound-test-by-ted-coubray-1929 (accessed 15 August 2020)

Story by Helen Martin, published 22 Oct 2014