Factory on delivering the Atmos mix for new Vue campaign

Award-winning sound design facility Factory has opened up about the Dolby Atmos mix it provided for cinema chain Vue as part of the brand’s ‘This Is Not A Cinema’ campaign.

Working with advertising agency Joint and director Rama Allen at The Mill+, Factory sound designers Anthony Moore and Phil Bolland were tasked with creating an immersive soundscape utilising Dolby Atmos technology in Factory’s purpose-built Dolby Atmos suite.

The aim of the film is to put the viewer at the heart of the Vue cinema experience, and this idea was key to the initial sound design brief as Factory founding partner and creative director Anthony Moore explained: “Every sequence of the film is designed to immerse you in what Vue has to offer as a cinema. From the outset of this project, we set about designing our sounds so that they would fully utilise the creative possibilities offered by mixing in Dolby Atmos. We wanted to make the cinema audience have a physical reaction to the sound. We wanted them not only to hear it, but to feel it.”

Working with the music track The Rift by Solomon Grey, Factory was able to create a bespoke mix of the track in Dolby Atmos using the music stems. Being able to accurately place and move the music within the cinema created a ‘spine-tingling experience’ in the room, according to the company.

“The Solomon Grey track was a perfect choice for this project. It’s a beautiful wash of warm pads that simply sounds wonderful when mixed in Dolby Atmos,” Moore continued. “We specifically started the music in the rear speakers and slowly brought the lush pads forward and over the heads of the audience as the track revealed itself to the room. It immediately got the ‘hairs on the back of the neck’ tingling and was a really fresh way to open the film."

Moore and Bolland then set about creating sound design elements to enhance the story-telling and cinematic experience of each sequence of the film. These sounds were then placed as objects within the Dolby Atmos environment to create an immersive final mix. The film was delivered nationwide to Vue cinemas in Dolby Atmos, 7.1 and 5.1. with the 7.1 and 5.1 mixes accurately created using the Dolby Atmos re-render technology of the RMU.

Ben Firth, Factory’s head of technical, oversaw the final delivery. “It was imperative for this project that the audience experienced the full impact of our Atmos mix regardless of the in-cinema surround sound setup. Being able to utilise the re-rendering tools available through the Dolby RMU allowed us to smoothly manage the delivery of the 7.1 and 5.1 mixes without compromising the integrity of our original Atmos mix,” said Firth.

‘This Is Not A Cinema’ is designed to highlight Vue’s event cinema prowess. The film forms part of Vue’s in-cinema experience and will be played before every film, in every screen, at every Vue location nationwide. It’s estimated the film will be viewed over 37 million times each year.

The film also shows Factory’s commitment to pushing the creative capabilities of Dolby Atmos since the installation of their Atmos suite in 2015; it has lined up a host of new Dolby Atmos projects for the remainder of 2017.

Vue ‘This Is Not A Cinema’ can be viewed online as a stereo mix on the Factory website, but is best enjoyed in one of Vue’s Dolby Atmos-equipped cinemas.