'Poltergeist': The Dub Stage mixes paranormal feature
Issue: May 1, 2015

'Poltergeist': The Dub Stage mixes paranormal feature

BURBANK, CA — The Dub Stage (www.thedubstage.com) provided mixing services for the new Poltergeist film from 20th Century Fox, which opened in theaters on May 22nd. The film was directed by Gil Kenan and produced by Sam Raimi. It plays as a contemporized version of the ‘80s supernatural thriller, in which a suburban family’s young daughter is held captive by ghostly forces. Poltergeist stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, Jared Harris and Kennedi Clements.

The Dub Stage’s president Marti D. Humphrey, CAS and Chris M. Jacobson CAS served as sound re-recording mixers on the project.  According to Humphrey, the studio finished the mix back in November, but then made some revisions, based on further developments to the visual effects. Director Gil Kenan was on-hand for the mixing sessions. 

“Gil knew what he wanted, and was great to collaborate with,” recalls Humphrey. “He enjoyed the post sound process. Every opportunity he had, he was at the stage.”

As for the film’s sound, Humphrey says it’s tough to describe with just a few adjectives. “It was more of a direction,” he explains. “We used restraint, but at same time, there was great opportunity to sonically flex and create a broad sound palette. It wasn’t flat out ‘10’ all the time. It’s a dynamic, tight mix, and there were opportunities to weave together the sound design and the score, and showcase certain things at certain times.”

The Dub Stage created 7.1 and 5.1 theatrical mixes for the film, as well as created home theater mixes too. Humphrey says the mix brought together over 900, including 250 music tracks and 500 sound effects and Foley elements. He handled the dialog and music portion of the mix, while Jacobson mixed sound effects and Foley. 

A 64-fader Avid Icon D-Control console was used for the mix. And while The Dub Stage is home to a Barco Auro-3D 11.1 system, equipped with a 37-speaker Meyer Acheron Cinema Sound System, this film was not prepared for that format - mostly due to a condensed release schedule.

The Dub Stage did use its Barco 2K theatrical projector, which is fed by an Avid Satellite System, and projects onto a 28-foot-by-12-foot screen.