The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 was recently screened at Dolby Laboratories’ specially equipped 36 loudspeaker Dolby Atmos cinema room in London, making it the first Dolby Vision film to be screened to invited UK press.

Dolby Vision claims to transform the cinema (and TV) viewing experience by producing ‘astonishing’ brightness, contrast, and colour – making the choice of film selected to showcase it an unexpected one; for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 is inescapably bleak.

The fourth instalment picks up where Part 1 left off, revealing a particularly hoarse Katniss, a brainwashed Peeta and a sulking Gale on the brink of war, holed up in the very grey, District 13.

In fact, much of the film’s cinematography is intentionally bleak: the bunkers, the severe, grey uniforms, the destroyed landscapes – this is a country at war, after all.

It is in the moments of contrasting colour that Dolby Vision makes itself known, standing out all the more vividly next to the bleak backdrop.

This is particularly effective in scenes set in the capital, which – although under attack – still shows signs of wealth in its inhabitant’s choice of rich coloured clothing.

An exterior shot of fallen President Snow’s mansion in the snow was so dazzlingly white after the desaturated scene preceding it, that for a few seconds it was hard to look at.

Similarly, the vivid and saturated colours as seen in the president’s blood-red coat, in President Alma Coin’s suspiciously piercing green eyes, in the white roses in the presidential greenhouse, in Katniss’ borrowed blue cape, in the golden hues in the end scene and in the many explosions throughout the film – were excellent showcases of Dolby Vision.

When combined with Atmos, it was indeed a truly immersive experience.

Atmos was particularly effective in scenes where the soldiers navigated (and set off) pods set by the capital; a latter scene taking place in the sewers was straight out of a horror film. (CIE may or may not have watched between fingers).

After the screening, CIE spoke to Javier Foncillas, senior regional director, Western Europe, Dolby Laboratories, to get Dolby’s take on the imaging technology.

Why does the latest Hunger Games film lend itself to Dolby Vision?

The Hunger Games film franchise has taken audiences by storm around the world.

The box office reception to the first three films clearly shows an appetite from fans who want to experience the action in the cinema.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 was released in Dolby Atmos in both the cinema and on Blu-ray disc, so the addition of Dolby Vision for the final instalment was the natural evolution.

Movie-goers watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 in Dolby Vision will experience the terror faced by the rebels with more realism and impact thanks to its rich and vivid colours and greater contrast.

Take as an example the scene in the sewer where Katniss and the rebels are attacked by genetically engineered creatures called ‘mutts’.

Not only does the use of Dolby Atmos mean that the sinister creatures are heard approaching from behind the audience before they are seen, but the contrast created by Dolby Vision in the darkness of the sewers brings the creatures to life with terrifying clarity.

It is scenes such as this, as well as the epic battle scenes where Dolby Vision provides spectacular images that makes The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 lend itself to Dolby Vision so well.

What are the benefits of Dolby Vision?

With Dolby Vision consumers will see images come to life before their eyes, with brighter highlights, deeper darks and a fuller palette of colours.

They can enjoy richer, sharper-looking images without compromise. This creates a more striking and memorable experience.

Where can people experience Dolby Atmos in cinemas?

The Dolby Vision laser projection system was co-developed with Christie and is currently only available in Dolby Cinemas.

The Dolby Vision projection system utilises two newly designed proprietary high frame rate capable 4K laser projection heads that feature a highly customised and unique light path, which is combined with Christie’s 6P modular laser light sources to deliver high contrast images and ultra-brightness. Combined, this defines the visual excellence of Dolby Cinema.

What is the Dolby Vision process for filmmakers?

Dolby Vision enables the director to take full advantage of the technological breakthroughs in today’s cameras.

We’re working closely with third-party tool providers to integrate Dolby Vision technology into their tools.

These tools will provide support for the creation and management of the HDR and wide colour gamut image in the content creation phase, for on-set-viewing to editing, VFX, colour grading, monitoring and encoding.

Do you envisage that Dolby Vision will become a filmmaking standard?

The industry has determined that HDR and wide colour gamut are key features for the next-generation entertainment experience.

All major Hollywood studios have announced films that will be mastered for Dolby Cinema and released in Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, including Disney (The Jungle Book), Twentieth Century Fox (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and The Martian), Sony Pictures (The Perfect Guy) and Warner Bros. (Pan and In the Heart of the Sea).

There are elements we have developed that are currently standardised, for example with SMPTE – and we will keep working with other organisations on the standardisation process.

Also, Dolby Vision is one of HDR solutions adopted by Blu-ray Disc Association for UHD Blu-ray specification.

Beyond that, we will continue to educate the industry around high dynamic range and wide colour gamut technology while we identify new areas where standardisation will help the industry to adopt the technology faster.

What makes a Dolby Cinema?…

What makes a Dolby Cinema?

Dolby Cinema combines powerful image and sound technologies with inspired cinema design to transform the cinemagoer’s visit into a captivating cinematic event.

Dramatic imaging

Dolby Vision delivers ‘striking highlights, brilliant colours and deep darks.

Moving audio

Dolby Atmos creates immersive, moving audio by introducing two important concepts to cinema sound: audio objects and overhead speakers. Together, these completely change how soundtracks are created and heard.

Traditional surround soundtracks confine all sounds to a small set of channels that can deliver sound to you from only a few perceived angles. They cannot put sound above you.

Further, sounds exist only as part of a channel mix. If one sound is emphasized in a traditional mix, another must be diminished.

In Dolby Atmos, by contrast, sound can be freed from channels. It enables artists to treat specific sounds as individual entities, called audio objects.

These can be precisely placed and moved by the soundtrack creator anywhere in the cinema’s three-dimensional space – they are not confined to specific channels – though the artist can continue to use channel capabilities as desired.

The Dolby Atmos cinema processor then determines which of a cinema’s huge array of front, back, side, and overhead speakers it will use to recreate this lifelike movement.

Inspired design

Dolby Cinema is designed to transform the person’s visit into an event.

As customers enter the cinema, a signature entrance and dynamic audio/video pathway launches their journey into the film.

Inside, customers will find atmospheric lighting, premium seats with ideal sight lines, a room that is carefully designed to minimise distractions and a curved wall-to-wall-to-ceiling screen.

More on Dolby

Behind The Scenes With Dolby Atmos And The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride To Be Screened In UK Cinemas In Dolby Atmos

Star Wars: The Force Awakens To Be Mastered In Dolby Vision And Dolby Atmos

First Wave Of Dolby Cinemas Opens

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