Academy Award® winning writer-director George Lucas (Star Wars, American Graffiti) once told a reporter at Variety, “Sound is 50 percent of the moviegoing experience.” But in a recent video interview, Trance director Danny Boyle says that sound makes an even greater impact.
“The truth is, for me, it’s obvious that 70, 80 percent of a movie is sound,” he says. “You don’t realize it because you can’t see it.”
Boyle discusses how Dolby Atmos sound heightens not only the action scenes in Trance but the subtle moments in this story of an art heist with unintended consequences. After receiving a blow to the head, the art auctioneer-turned-thief (played by James McAvoy) loses his memory. He begins meeting with a beautiful hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to help him remember where he stashed a stolen Goya painting.
In his films, Boyle wants to create an experience in which “it becomes almost impossible, hopefully, to tell whether [a story] is real or not, or whether this is an illusion.… If you do it well enough, people believe it. They believe it enough to cry, or to laugh, or to be shocked, as though it’s something that’s happening to them in their real life.”
He strives “to make that illusion as vivid and as visceral as possible” by using all the tools that are available, including Dolby® Atmos™.
Boyle particularly likes the difference that Dolby Atmos makes in quieter sequences, where the filmmaker is “creating space.” He recalls: “When I heard [Dolby Atmos] tested, there was a rain test, a quiet rain test, that I thought was extraordinary. It was like one of those moments where I thought, ‘You can literally make people feel wet when they’re watching a movie.’”
“I’m not a big fan of 3D personally, visually,” says the Academy Award winning director of Slumdog Millionaire, “but I like the 3D element of sound, which is this new system, Dolby Atmos.”
After watching Trance in Dolby Atmos recently, managing editor Ben Bowers had this to say in his Gear Patrol review: “‘Hear the whole picture’ is [Dolby] Atmos’s tagline, and it seems entirely pertinent. Consider us convinced: by opening our ears, Dolby can open our eyes.’”