For over 50 years, the James Bond franchise has dazzled moviegoers with its suave spies, atomic action, and glorious gadgets. But there may be more riding on No time to die, the latest entry in the series, than any Bond film before it.
Delayed several times due to the ongoing pandemic, fans are hoping that Daniel Craig’s latest outing as 007 will see his serialized take on the character gain momentum – especially at a time when the character’s future is being debated. .
For director Cary Joji Fukunaga, these pressures were secondary to this golden rule of filmmaking: making the best film possible.
“I want die-hard Bond fans to feel like they’ve gotten everything they hoped for from the film, and then also be completely amazed at the new things they’re learning about Bond through experience.” , said Fukunaga, speaking with TechRadar.
A franchise with so much cultural hiding that Bond still has plenty of resources at its disposal, and Fukunaga and his team have taken advantage of every tool given to them. As such, this is the first Bond film to hit theaters with Dolby double-whammy in tow – No Time to Die can be seen in select theaters with both Dolby Atmos spatial surround sound and digital surround sound technology. ‘Dolby Vision HDR imaging.
“The Dolby Atmos sound was pretty fun to mix,” said Fukanaga, whose previous credits include Beasts of No Nation and HBO’s standout drama True Detective.
“I love being on a mixing stage – my very first experience in the world of cinema was on a mixing stage. I had the opportunity, when I was in college, to attend a final mix with Anthony Minghella on The Talented Mr. Ripley, and with Walter Murch, the sound editor and designer who worked with [Francis] Coppola. My appreciation of sound mixing therefore dates back to my very first professional experience during the final sound mixing on Talented Mr. Ripley. Just to look at the intricacies of the sound and just the details, whether it’s the sound effects or the dialogue or whatever is mixed up, the more the atmosphere, the more the score, and see the effect of that – I’ve always had a immense respect for sound.
Fukanaga has always had an ear for sound design innovation in his films – a first film school project (which would later become the director’s first major film) could have benefited tremendously from dynamic movement than movement. object-based audio from Dolby Atmos would have enabled.
“I had a high school video teacher who always said, ‘an audience will forgive a bad picture, but never forgive a bad sound,'” recalls the director.
“So, you know, I always thought that was an important aspect of everything I did. Even in film school, there are projects that I did that were motivated more by sound than by image. My big sophomore project, which ended up culminating in my first film Sin Nombre, which is about a group of immigrants trapped in a refrigerated trailer in the dark – I wanted to do it completely in the dark, and just do a sound experience, with three-dimensional sound for the audience. But my teachers wouldn’t allow me to do that, so I had to take some picture, and it kind of changed the structure of the story. But that was the point.
“With Bond in Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, anything that heightens the immersive experience of the audience, that transports them in a way, when that bass bass kinda hits and shakes their guts. That’s what I’m aiming for.
And what an experience in Dolby Cinema. TechRadar had the chance to see the film during an Atmos / Vision presentation at the Odeon Luxe Cinema in Leicester Square, London, the new flagship home of Dolby Cinema in the UK. That makes an already lavish production even more awe-inspiring – from cannon flash in a dark secret lair to the blinding whites of a frozen, snow-capped lake, Dolby Vision’s HDR output leads to a crisp, detailed picture unlike any other. likely to see in theaters less. Likewise, the aerial surround sound of Dolby Atmos roars in No Time to Die, whether Bond roams the streets of Europe in his iconic Aston Martin or escapes the sight of a menacing helicopter in the sky.
The new with the old
But no technology is a quick fix for successful on-screen results. Painstaking daily work and edits, coupled with the enduring magic of shooting on analog film, have been important in ensuring No Time to Die retains the visual magic that spy fans have come to expect.
“We had the same daily calibrator that we had for the final color grading,” explains Fukunaga.
“I think it’s really essential because you need that continuity, you need the looks that you explore in the camera test, and then once you shoot, to reflect what’s there. in the final image, especially in the edit. Just having in the edit of the dailies, beautiful dailies that really came very close to what ended up being the final photo, meant that when we finally looked at the final photo, it was quite interesting to see the changes that we made us pretty subtle.
“You know, [director of photography] Linus Sandgren isn’t the type of guy who uses a ton of power windows and other stuff to shape a final image. Part of that was because we shot on film – I still think filming on film is always the nicest way to create a final product image. So the digital tools that we use afterwards are just able to take all that beautiful grain, and the information that’s inside that grain, and further into that beautiful, shiny thing.
While many months have passed since No Time to Die’s initial release date, the actual final film has been on lockdown for some time. “There have been no adjustments after the COVID lockdown, so what we delivered in early March is what we’re all going to be watching in theaters this week,” the director reveals.
But that painstaking work early in production paid off in Fukanaga’s eyes – it is perhaps the most beautiful, sounding Bond film of all time.
“I think the mix is pretty amazing,” praises Fukanaga.
“Paul [Massey, re-recording mixer] and Olivier [Tarney, supervising sound editor] and everyone did an amazing job with it. And then on the image level, shooting at 35mm, then 5-perf 70mm and 15-perf provided incredible base support to create a beautiful final image that I’m very happy with.
“It might be, you know, one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever worked on, so you know that I hope Bond fans will also feel that this is one of the nicest ones ever. Bond films. “
No Time to Die is now in theaters internationally and will arrive in theaters in the United States on Friday, October 8. It will be available in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos screenings in theaters equipped with Dolby Cinema technology around the world.