Jay Horan: We’re talking about Wilfred Jackson’s contribution.

Bill Cottrell: One of the important things that he did was in the first days of sound he brought in a metronome. And the metronome would beat so many times per minute, depending on how you adjusted the pendulum. So, by establishing a beat every eight frames, for example, that would be three times in 24 frames and film moves through a camera 24 frames a second. That established a method of putting down on an exposure sheet where the steps were if you were going to march to a band. So, depending on the tempo of the metronome, the tempo of your music, the steps would fall accordingly. That was important later in recording the film because the recording had to match the animation.

JH: This was in the early days where you did the animation first and recorded the music later. In subsequent years you did it the opposite, didn’t you?

BC: No, not necessarily. At first, they would run the picture and rehearse it on the screen and the orchestra leader would establish the beat from that. So he would follow the beat of the animated cartoon and the orchestra would follow him.


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