‘Sound storyboard crucial for filmmaking’

Chennai, March 21 (IANS) Keeping up with the fast-paced technology, filmmakers should start using a sound-based storyboard to enhance the overall experience of a pictorial narrative, suggests Ioan Allen of US-based audio editing firm Dolby Laboratories.

“Typically, a sound engineer only comes into the picture in the post-production phase and because of which most of the times, the required output is not delivered. To enhance the sound experience in a feature film, a filmmaker should work simultaneously on sound storyboard,” Allen told IANS.
Explaining the purpose of the practice, he said: “Sound storyboard basically helps a filmmaker and sound engineer to collaborate and decide what should be recorded even before the start of shooting of a film.”
Oscar-winning Allen, who has spearheaded Dolby’s audio formats – from Dolby SR to Dolby Atmos, laid emphasis on the blend of sound and picture in storytelling.
He feels the size of a theatre has nothing to do with the overall sound experience of a film.
“It’s a misconception that size is equally proportional to the sound produced in a cinema hall. It’s the reverberation produced from the original sound which is most important for a cinematic experience. For good reverberation, one needs to keep in mind the structure of the cinema hall, what goes on the walls and the acoustics,” he said.
He admits that despite the advancement in sound technology, there is a lack of content suitable for it.
“We have advanced sound technology, but fewer films to watch in it. If more filmmakers don’t show interest in making sound an essential part of their narrative, then there will be a shortage of content. However, sooner or later, it will all change,” said Allen.
Do we have enough theatres to support advanced sound technology?
“We have approximately 100 Atmos-facilitated theatres worldwide and five in India. We are gradually planning on increasing the number. The biggest challenge we are working towards is to have multiple Atmos-facilitated screens in a theatre or complex,” he said.
As many as 12 films, including Indian movie “Sivaji 3D”, were released in Atmos, a surround sound technology, in 2012.
This year, six films have already been released in Atmos, while 10 films are in the pipeline. Two regional films, a Tamil and Telugu each, are likely to be released in Atmos soon.