|Product :||BOFA (Optical Sound Head)||
|Produced from :||1932 - n/k|
|Designed by :||Peter Bang & Harold Murray|
Alongside radio gramophone and radio transceivers manufactured by Bang & Olufsen came film equipment for the recording of sound film. In 1932 Peter Bang and Harold Murray manufactured their first complete sound system for Palladium Studios. The first film shot with the new equipment was “Han, Hun og Hamlet” (“He, She and Hamlet”) - one of the first Danish combined sound films * and which starred Marguerite Viby (see image below). The movie astounded the cinema-going audience with its excellent sound quality.
Even today, where it’s possible to clean film sound using digital audio equipment, Bofa pre-dated digital enhancement with almost no distortion.
Palladium was originally a Swedish company founded by Lars Björck (1884-1926). In 1915 Björck had founded Skandinavisk Filmscentral, which distributed films and owned a big chain of cinemas in Sweden. The chain’s flagship was the palatial Palladium cinema in Stockholm. Looking to add a production company to his operation, Björck in spring 1919 acquired the studios of two Danish film companies, Kinografen and Dania Biofilm, in Copenhagen. The new production company, named Palladium, was conceived as a pan-Scandinavian film company with studios in Denmark and stage facilities in Sweden. The company had big ambitions and its films were intended for the world market. One of its first films was supposed to have been an adaptation of Selma Lagerlöf’s The Story of Gösta Berling, but it never came to fruition, like so many of the other big productions Palladium had planned. Among the films Palladium did make was Jeftas Dotter (1919), directed by the former Nordisk Film director Robert Dinesen, but neither it norÖdets redskap (1919), another film by Dinesen, was successful.
* Combined sound was the process by which both the image and soundtrack shared the same piece of celluloid. “The first Danish combined sound film was ‘Woe To Him Who Lies’ (1930), a short featuring the popular comedy star of the thirties, Marguerite Viby. Unfortunately, Axel Petersen and Arnold Poulsen were too late with their patent for the USA, where American companies had developed their own systems and secured their central patent rights. Warner’s part-talkie The Jazz Singer opened in 1927 when the Danish inventors visited New York. One year later, the world saw and heard the all-talkie ‘The Lights of New York’. The audience in Copenhagen experienced Fox Movietone Follies in August 1929 in the Roxy cinema, which was sold out for months. The English language did not scare people off. Some weeks later The Colosseum showed ‘The Singing Fool’ with Danish subtitles and ‘Show Boat’ in the Palace Theatre.“ Source
See also: BOFA Cinemachine