The Prisoner of Zenda (Bay Area)

The Prisoner of Zenda

Presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council

Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt introduced a rare screening of the 1937 adventure-romance “The Prisoner of Zenda” and discussed its groundbreaking photographic and sound effects.

“Zenda” stands out as one of the first Hollywood sound films to successfully enable one actor (Ronald Colman) to appear as two different characters within the same shot, using in-camera split-screens and an audio playback system.

The presentation included camera tests from the personal collection of visual effects cameraman Clarence Slifer that show how several of the film’s illusions were created, and rare, behind-the-scenes color footage shot by Douglas Fairbanks Jr., from the Academy Film Archive’s Home Movie Collection. Ben Burtt demonstrated how the sound effects from the film’s famous swordfights were achieved.

Event Information

Sunday, June 13 at 7 p.m.
Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 4th Street
San Rafael, CA
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