The Whir of a Movie Projector Before video, home movies were mostly a visual experience. But playing them also created a background sound that listener Bob Brenneman of South Bend, Ind., found evocative. He offers the sound of his grandfather's movie camera and projector.
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The Whir of a Movie Projector

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The Whir of a Movie Projector

The Whir of a Movie Projector

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Images captured on film, still or moving, stay etched in our memory. And in today's SoundClip, there's something for the ear too.

Mr. BOB BRENNEMAN (Student, University of Notre Dame): My name is Bob Brenneman. I live in South Bend, Indiana. And I'm a student at University of Notre Dame. I'm a graduate student studying sociology. My sound is my grandfather's Kodak brownie projector.

(Soundbite of a projector)

Grandpa makes some really wonderful movies with this thing. And one thing I Realized when I first discovered this stash of Grandpa's old 8 mm films is that when I set up the projector and started watching them, part of what gave them such a mystique was the sound of the projector running behind.

(Soundbite of a projector)

Mr. BRENNEMAN: It's an obsolete sound or it's, I guess, it's the sound of silence. These old home movies were silent movies. But they're not really silent because you hear the projector running in the background and that really gives these movies a special kind of mystique or a special kind of feel.

And the nostalgia is really strong. So when I showed family and friends some of these movies that had been in the closet since the '70s, people were just really taken in. When you hear the sound of the projector in the background, it kind of changes the way you experience the movie.

(Soundbite of a projector)

Mr. BRENNEMAN: I also noticed, because I started doing some 8 mm and Super 8 mm filming of my own, that people get nervous when you point a whirring 8 mm camera at them.

(Soundbite of a projector)

Mr. BRENNEMAN: Something about the sound of that reel turning makes people nervous and shy and sometimes, they want the limelight or something. I like making Super 8 and 8 mm films because I'm fascinated with old things and relics, and old fashion in technology.

(Soundbite of a projector)

NORRIS: Bob Brenneman of South Bend, Indiana, with his grandfather's 8 mm camera and projector.

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