Ever since 1926, when The Jazz Singer
broke the silence of the silver screen, sound has played an integral role in the development and appreciation of motion pictures. Fourteen years after the advent of talkies, Disney's Fantasia
upped the ante by introducing fully directional sound called Fantasound to theater audiences. After myriad experimental and moderately successful multichannel processes, motion picture sound really came of age in 1977, when the popularity of Star Wars
helped entrench Dolby Stereo as the dominant surround sound process in theaters. Dolby Surround, and later, Dolby Digital, also became the preferred sound in home theater systems, as more and more people thrilled to the cinematic flybys of jet planes and the ricochet of gunfire in their own living rooms.
This encyclopedia contains the people, processes, innovations, facilities, formats and films that have made sound such a crucial part of the motion picture experience. There are sound-critical entries for every film that has won an Academy Award for Best Sound or Best Sound Effects Editing, from 1933's A Farewell to Arms to 2000's The Matrix. Every sound mixer or editor who has won an Academy Award has his or her own entry and filmography. Entries have been provided for every known sound process, from Vitasound to Dolby Surround EX. For the key developers and innovators of motion picture sound - including Jack Foley, Ray Dolby, George Lucas and Tomlinson Holman - career-related biographies are included. There are additional entries for technical achievement recognized by the Academy, key manufacturers, sound facilities, and much more.