Summer 2015

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40 CINEMONTAGE / SUMMER 2015 by Mel Lambert portraits by Martin Cohen I n the time-crunched world of motion picture post-production, necessity is often the mother of invention. It is common practice for sound editors and designers to pre-dub complex effects sequences in their 5.1-capable edit suites when the goal is to produce a full-blown Dolby Atmos soundtrack in weeks rather than months. However, supervising sound editor Lon Bender, MPSE, knew that he needed to leverage his many years of experience to develop a time-conscious workflow for director Kaige Chen's IMAX 3D Chinese martial arts offering Monk Comes Down the Mountain, which was shot entirely in China in the Chinese language, from Sony Pictures. Visual effects were created in Australia, while dialogue, ADR and background Foley were done by the Beijing-based team. But sound editorial and principal Foley were handled at LA's Formosa Group, with re-recording — which started in early May — taking place at Audio Head in Hollywood. The film was released in Mainland China and Australia in July on no less than 12,600 screens, several hundred of which were Atmos-capable. At press time, there was no US release date scheduled. "Monk was presented to me by the film's editor, Wayne Wahrman, who advised me that Kaige Chen was looking to elevate the soundtrack to the Hollywood standard of creativity and detail," Bender says, by way of explaining how the project came to Formosa. "After meeting Kaige, it was clear to me that he was very detail-oriented and would always ask, 'What would we hear here?' Upon discovering all the things we would hear, I was convinced that we needed the best man in town for the effects mix, which was Doug Hemphill." "I quickly realized I needed to apply some science to the project," continues Bender, who started to block out a viable post schedule for his first Atmos soundtrack. "First, we needed to provide top-quality creative prep and mix organization for an epic film that had a limited budget. While we had many months to develop all the sound for the visual effects, environments and action sounds, the mix was quite truncated for a film like this. We went to extraordinary lengths to get the 'sound' of the film leading up to the mix in order to fulfill creative and budgetary goals. And secondly, we had to develop a solution that would allow the post team to use Dolby Atmos as a creative tool, without impeding the process. If Pro Tools panning and automated bussing could be utilized for access to the Atmos system, then we'd have a chance to be successful!" Aside from seasoned veteran mixer Hemphill, CAS, who oversaw effects re-recording on Audio Head Stage B's Avid ICON D-Control console, 'Monk' Comes to Hollywood for Its Soundtrack Lon Bender and Doug Hemphill Discuss Their Atmos Mix for the Chinese Market Chinese martial arts offering Monk Comes Down the access to the Atmos system, then we'd have a chance Dolby GUI showing a typical Atmos Field Profile.

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