Tom Holman, the Academy Award-Winning engineer behind Lucasfilm's THX sound certification system, has once again leaped ahead of the field. He has created a truly immersive sound: "10.2". A professor at USC in both the school of Cinema-Television and Engineering, he developed this system with Chris Kyriakakis of the Engineering school and his company, TMH Labs.
The sound design was created by Leon Rothenberg (MFA-CalArts), one of LA theatre's most sought-after designers. Currently working as the resident Assistant Sound Designer for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas and Montreal, Leon conceived the sound and the music for the film at the same time so as to allow for greater interplay between them within the 10.2 theater surround space. "The idea was to have a seamless connection between the two elements, to allow the sound the latitude to be more symphonic and the music to create physical atmosphere. At times the flute plays the part of the wind and the wind plays as a vocal accompaniment. The hope is that within the 10.2 sound field, each element finds the other a good dance partner as they waltz around and through the audience in an immersive sensory experience."
We mixed in the facility in the engineering school on a Digidesign ProTools|HD system. Our rerecording mixer, Joe Dzuban, took the challenge of 10.2 to heart. Knowing that his work would be laying the groundwork for future 10.2 mixes, he came up with a spread sound that puts the audience in the middle of both the diagetic and the nondiagetic sound.
Combined with the HD visuals, the experience of watching Seven Swans is unparalleled.