Dolby's immersive new sound format Atmos is continuing to gain momentum. Among the latest upcoming titles that will be offered in Atmos are Universal’s Oblivion, Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, Dreamworks Animation’s The Croods, Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, and Marvel’s Iron Man 3 for Disney, according to Dolby.
Oz — which was mixed at Disney Stage A and opens March 8 — premiered in the new Dolby format at the El Capitan in Hollywood.
Director Joe Kosinski’s scifi adventure Oblivion is the second Universal title to take the Atmos route, following Guillermo del Toro’s thriller Mama.
Oblivion is currently being mixed in Dolby Atmos at Skywalker Sound by Academy Award winning re-recording mixer Gary Rizzo (dialogue) and re-recording mixer Juan Peralta (FX), as well as Ren Klyce (music). This is expected to be the first native Atmos mix on a Hollywood title.
“Joe is very big on technology,” Dolby’s Stuart Bowling said, adding that for the making of Oblivion “he chose the F65 (Sony’s 4K digital cinematography camera), and he really wanted to push the boundaries of sound. … All of the [sound] elements were being designed primarily for the Atmos mix."
“For Oblivion, I chose Dolby Atmos for both its immersive quality and clarity of sound,” Kosinski said. “Sound effects can be placed very accurately in almost any direction pulling you deeper into the story. Music elements can be split among different channels giving the sensation that you are hearing them played live. And when you need to go big, it delivers a spectacular punch.”
Mixing in Atmos from the start is expected to save time on the mixing stage by allowing the sound team to render a 5.1 and 7.1 mix from the Atmos mix, rather than creating a second mix, which has been the typical process since the Atmos format was launched last spring. Oblivion is scheduled to open on April 19.
Iron Man 3 is the first title scheduled to be mixed at Todd-AO’s Stage 1 in Hollywood, which has been upgraded with what Todd-AO’s director of engineering, Steve Bartkowicz, claims is the largest Atmos installation yet on a mixing stage, as it includes 56 speakers, including 22 on the ceiling to create the immersive experience.
Re-recording mixers Mike Prestwood Smith and Michel Keller are scheduled to mix Iron Man 3.
Mama was given the Atmos treatment by re-recording mixer Marc Orts and sound designer and editor Gabriel Gutierrez at Soundub Barcelona.
“There are several scenes in Mama where immersive sound is used as a critical component to the storytelling, but it’s the horror scenes where Dolby Atmos had the most impact," said Orts. “The sequence where the character Anabel is rehearsing in the kitchen is treated exclusively with a particular sound for which sound designer Gabriel Gutierrez and I used the overhead surrounds that Dolby Atmos makes possible. The sound justifies the character looking up, and you feel like you are in the house with the Anabel.” As previously announced, Del Toro’s Pacific Rim is also getting an Atmos mix.
DWA’s March 22- release The Croods will get its Atmos mix at Skywalker. (The film will additionally be mixed in a second new sound format, Barco’s Auro 11.1.)
The Atmos sound mix for Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University will be led by Academy Award winners Michael Semanick and Gary Summers at Skywalker. It is scheduled to open June 21, a year after Disney/Pixar’s Brave became the first Atmos release.