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Sound stage
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Sound stage

A sound stage is a hangar-like structure, building or room, that is soundproof for the production of theatrical motion pictures and television, usually inside a movie studio.

Structures of this type were in use in the motion picture industry before the advent of sound. Early stages for silent movies were built with large skylights until electric lighting became powerful enough to adequately expose film. With the coming of the talkies in the late 1920s, it became necessary to enclose the stages, eliminating noise and distractions from outside.

An enclosed stage makes it easier for the crew of a production to design and build the sets to exact specifications, precise scale and detail. The art director makes an architectural plan and the carpenters build it. After it is painted, the set dresser furnishes it with everything that the set designer, under the direction of the art director, has selected for the interior. The camera can be placed exactly where the director wants it, and achieving the desired lighting is easier because each stage has a metal framework with catwalks and lights suspended from the ceiling. This makes it easier for the cinematographer to have the grips position each light so the camera operator can get exactly the right shot.

Though it is an expensive process, working on a sound stage saves time when setting up. As all the scenes can be filmed on the sets inside the sound stage, it also eliminates having to move the movie company from location to location.

See also