LOS ANGELES — NBCUniversal StudioPost (www.universalstudioslot.com) recently opened the new Hitchcock mixing stage on the Universal Studios Lot. Sound Stage 6 was transformed over the past year into an advanced theatrical mixing stage. This project is part of a $1 billion NBCUniversal investment in the studio lot over the next five years.
Designed as a stylish, creative workspace for directors, producers and post production teams, the new Hitchcock stage features an open-air lobby with a two-story window bank to maximize natural light. Directors have a private office with a port view onto the mixing stage, as well as sound and picture feeds directly from the stage. The stage technology includes a Meyer nine-ring Atmos speaker system, 4K laser cinema projection and a 96-fader Avid S6 console. Four editorial rooms connect to the stage via a secure fiberoptic network that connects all StudioPost facilities. Two full kitchens, conference and lounge areas, and an adjacent outdoor patio make the new stage facility a creative, relaxed, and productive place to finish a motion picture or streaming project.
The new Hitchcock mixing stage is home to the award-winning mixing team of Jon Taylor and Frank A. Montaño. The team has mixed commercial and critical hit films, including Fast 9: The Fast Saga, First Man, The Revenant, Straight Outta Compton and Unbroken, among others.
Photo (L-R): Jon Taylor, Thoma Thurau and Frank A. Montaño.
“The mixing stage is designed to match how theaters are being built today so films easily translates from mix stage to movie theater,” Taylor explains. The sound is tight, pristine and microscopic. You hear everything.”
“With the architects, we were able to map out a one-of-a-kind mixing environment,” adds Montaño. “In today’s mix, elements are constantly in flux, so we added four editing bays inside the facility to handle changes in dialogue, music and effects to react instantaneously to filmmaker requests. People are blown away by this space.”
The Hitchcock stage came online in January 2022. The first film to mix on the new stage was the A24 feature X, written and directed by Ti West, and starring Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, and Scott Mescudi.
Built in the 1930s, Universal’s Sound Stage 6 has held such famous productions as Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), Spartacus (1960), The Blues Brothers (1980), and Scarface (1983). To honor the stage’s rich storytelling legacy, wood reclaimed from the stage’s lighting grid structure has been used in wall paneling and in custom tables for the facility. The technical infrastructure buildout was led by the NBCUniversal StudioPost engineering team, headed by Mike Morongell and Gary Gorman. The stage’s versatile systems enable Bill Meadows, in-house mix tech, to securely deliver files in all formats and specifications seamlessly. The stage featured a custom mixing credenza constructed on-lot by the Universal Studios Facilities Mill and Metal Shop.