The Dolby era

Film sound in contemporary Hollywood

By Gianluca Sergi

The Dolby era

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7067-9
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: December 2004
  • BIC Category: The arts / Film theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, Film history, theory & criticism, Film and Media
  • Series: Inside Popular Film


Since the 1970s Hollywood cinema has been the site of remarkable developments in film sound. New revolutionary sound technologies have been developed, a new generation of filmmakers have learned to use them as powerful storytelling tools, and audiences have enjoyed a different way of experiencing films, both theatrically and at home.

For the first time, through historical analysis and interviews with key players, such as Ray Dolby (founder and creator of Dolby Laboratories), Ioan Allen (the initiator of the Dolby Stereo programme), sound designer Gary Rydstrom (Titanic, Terminator 2, Toy Story, Saving Private Ryan, Finding Nemo), and supervising sound editor Bruce Stambler (The Fugitive, Batman Forever, Clear and Present Danger, The Fast and the Furious, XXX) this book aims at providing a substantial account of sound in contemporary Hollywood cinema since the early 1970s. Film enthusiasts and students alike will find this book provides an alternative take on Hollywood cinema to the traditional image-biased approach.


List of Illustrations
Part 1: Film sound in the Dolby era
Introduction: Sound matters
1. The Dolby phenomenon
2. Interview with the creators of Dolby: Ray Dolby
3. Critical receptions of sound
4. Interview with the creators of Dolby: Ioan Allen
Part 2: Listening to movies
Introduction: Bridging the gap
1. Interviews with the makers of sound: Bruce Stambler
2. Tackling sound: Suggestions for sound analysis
3. Interviews with the makers of sound: Gary Rydstrom
4. The politics of sound
The look of Dolby
Academy-curve and X-curve comparison


Gianluca Sergi is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Nottingham

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