Sound Stage

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Sound Stage


a building in which motion pictures are filmed using stage sets and artificial lighting. As a rule, sound stages are intended for filming with synchronous sound and therefore are usually continuous-span, windowless buildings with soundproof interiors. As far as the production of feature films is concerned, the main indexes of a motion-picture studio’s capacity are the number and total area of sound stages.

Sound stages are classified according to floor area as small (to 400 sq m), medium (to 820 sq m), large (to 1,400 sq m), and extra large (to 1,800 sq m). The interior (working) ceiling height Hwi is proportional to the diagonal length D. (Under USSR design standards, Hw should not be less than 0.23 D.)

Special “superstages” with an area of more than 1,800 sq m are also built. These are intended primarily for re-creating outdoor settings in feature films. They have a ceiling span of 38 to 48 m, a length of 54 to 72 m or more, and a working height of up to 25 m. Sometimes a superstage is made up of a block of two or three sound stages of increased ceiling height separated by sliding or roll-up soundproof partitions; this enables the block to be used either as two or three separate sound stages or as a single sound stage.

Soundproof entrances provide access to motor vehicles and preassembled stage sets. Entrances for people have sound-proof doors and vestibules. Sound stages are provided with powerful, noiseless ventilating equipment, which usually includes air-conditioning. Special water supply and plumbing systems and sometimes (especially in superstages) even pools are provided for shooting “water effects.”

The basic equipment of sound stages serves to facilitate the assembling and dismantling of sets and the mechanized operation of lighting equipment and to supply electrical power as needed. It is installed on the working ceiling, which is either suspended from or built into the roof. Powerful lighting equipment is mainly mounted on overhead scaffolding.

Sound stages of the type widely used to shoot television films are known as television sound stages.


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Tolmachev, V. B. “Kinotelepavil’ony dlia mnogokamernykh s”emok.” Tekhnika kino i televideniia, 1969, no. 7.
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