The mix team, from left: mix tech James Spencer, re-recording mixers Jurgen Scharpf and Juan Peralta, and sound editors Frank Clary and John Loose
Dolby Labs recently hosted a media screening of the Curt Morgan–directed action sports movie The Art of Flight (Brain Farm Digital Cinema, Red Bull Media House), ostensibly to showcase two technologies: the company’s new video reference monitor and 7.1 True HD. They scored on both levels, with stunning, consistent picture and a pulsing music-driven soundtrack. Snowboarding legend Travis Rice and friends are the focus, with the film following them to helicopter drop-offs on mountain peaks throughout North and South America, but the picture and sound definitely take center stage.
“This film was already epic in the visual,” says John Loose, Dolby senior manager, A/V and media production. “We wanted the sound to do the same thing. Although they take a back seat to the music, there are a lot of sound effects in the film. The helicopters are a character, moving in and out. The snow. And then the music, of course, is big. It’s big for this audience, and it’s big on screen.”
The collaboration with Dolby came about from a meeting at NAB, where a Dolby creative director saw the trailer and thought it would be a good pairing for Dolby in the action-sports world. In all, the audio team had two weeks on the project. Loose and Dolby’s Jurgen Scharpf created stems and rough premixes in Dolby’s 7.1 production room, where they are more used to working on trailers and demos. They then took the tracks to Skywalker Sound for six intense days of finals, with re-recording mixer Juan Peralta on music and dialog on the Neve DFC in Mix G. Loose then had a single day to master for 7.1 True HD, Dolby Digital, Blu-ray, iTunes and stereo, making use of the Dolby DMU mastering unit to create the Lt/Rt and the DP563 encoder for the ProLogic II pass. “We wanted to keep the music cranking in the subs for the stereo version,” Loose explains. “It was a long day.”