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Dog Soldiers R1 DVD Sound Quality

CarlB

Well-known Member
I watched this earlier and thought the film was okay, quite good fun but definitely not scary and way over-hyped. The picture was very grainy as everyone has mentioned in the rental thread, but has anyone else found the sound to be really lacking (and this is the R1 DVD we are talking about, hence the new thread).

I found the soundtrack to be very compressed with hardly any dynamic range. I had just watched AOTC previously which sounded superb, so it was definitely not an issue with my system.

Any thoughts from other R1 Dog Soldiers owners?
 

ebury

Novice Member
watched on sunday,have to agree,the sound is very low key for a new film but the picture is a disgrace:mad: .maybe its just me but i swear dvd quality is not as sharp as it used to be?I'd like the option of just the film whithout any extras(superbit!)so the image/sound were sharper!
 
not sure how true this is, but I'd heard (somewhere on these forums, I believe) the film was shot on second-hand film and that's why the pic is so lousy. Could be the same reason for poor sound!

Matthew
 

James45

Standard Member
it's a very low budget film... I think comparing its sound and picture quality with AOTC (which cost 100s of times the Dog Soldiers budget) is a little unfair. With regards to second hand film I believe that was mentioned in a similar discussion to this one where someone said that the first three seasons of Buffy were filmed on second hand film to keep down costs.

I think the grainy picture adds something to the atmosphere, and its not just cheaper films which have grainy picture quality. Steven Speilberg introduced picture grain on Saving Private Ryan, AI and Minority Reports to add to the atmoshpere.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Second hand film what a novel concept ! Maybe they should take some of the more rubbish movies and shoot over the top of them ! I'm voting for "Ghosts of Mars"

I think its more likely the film is either unused stock from finished productions in which case it should be just fine and dandy as long as its in date and been stored OK. Even if its out of date film is normally ok if its been stored properly.

Whats likely happened is that they were unable to get decent fast stocks for cost reasons and have shot slow stocks instead ( which are actually less grainy) but have relied on pushing up the print at the lab to get a reasonable image. This is probably popping up the grain and the image might well look a very flat and featureless in the blacks also. Low budget means less lights combined with slower stocks you get problematic photography. The DOP may not be all that experienced either.

I've not seen the film myself but colleagues of mine who did remarked on the below par photography: kinda defeats the point of shooting it on 35mm. They might have been better off with Super16 and getting the distributor to pickup the blowup to 35mm charges. Spending the freed up money on more lights/faster stocks.
 

James45

Standard Member
The man knows his stuff!!

Surely though blowing up 16mm (a la Evil Dead) would produce an even worse image. I have to say that I think those sort of low budget cult horrors benefit from a dodgy image.
 

CarlB

Well-known Member
I think comparing its sound and picture quality with AOTC (which cost 100s of times the Dog Soldiers budget) is a little unfair
I wasn't comparing the disc quality with that of AOTC, merely illustrating that it wasn't a system fault as I watched these two films back-to-back. The 5.1 mix on Dog Soldiers sounds so compressed it struck me as particularly undynamic. I would have to say it is the worst 5.1 sound I have yet heard on my (decent and calibrated) system, and that's about 390 discs that I own.
 

dfield2000

Novice Member
Not sure how relevant this is, but when I was watching Dog Soldiers I noticed that the bit rate is constantly up in the 8.5 to 9 mark. Isn't that almost superbit levels ?

The next day I watched Apocolpse Now and that was averageing about 4.5 although the picture quality was twice as good as Dog Soldiers.
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
As I understand it, the film was shot on 16mm and blown up. I think the producer mentions it on the commentary - don't know for sure as mine's in the post but that's what a colleague told me a few days ago.
 

CarlB

Well-known Member
Can I drag this discussion back on topic and ask again about the sound quality? Has anyone else heard this R1 disc yet?
 

Setenza

Novice Member
I found the sound to be rather stilted in comparison to other high budget pictures, but considering the origins of the film, it was not the worse I've heard.

For a film with such quantities of gun fire, I assume people would be expecting a more dynamic and fluid soundscape.

To be honest the region one disc was somewhat thrown together and it may be worthwhile holding out to February for the pathe R2 release. It has deleted scenes, documentary, commentary, storyboards and a short film by the director.

Either way, I really enjoyed the movie, particularly Sean Pertwee. Actually blew Dragon Stout out of my nose when he came out with the classic line "fetch". Nice to hear some traditional British swearing. Yank movies are rather predicatable when it comes to profanities. Nobody can swear as passionately as a British Bill Oddie.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Rambo John J
As I understand it, the film was shot on 16mm and blown up. I think the producer mentions it on the commentary - don't know for sure as mine's in the post but that's what a colleague told me a few days ago.
Well according to colleagues of mine it was shot on 35mm. The imdb shows it as originating on 35mm also. Can't find any other references online though.
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
Fair enough, still haven't recieved mine yet so I'm reserving judgement. It was horrendously grainy at the cinema though, so I'm guessing whatever it's like it's a pretty much accurate representation of the source material.
The soundtrack was kind of thin then aswell. Gunfire just didn't have the oomph we expect these days.
 

Rambo John J

Distinguished Member
The producers do indeed say the film was shot on 16mm 6 or 7 minutes into the commentary.
I've not seen the R2 version, but the R1 doesn't seem that grainy to me. I'm not projecting it though, which would undoubtedly make a big difference.
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
SPOILER !



Just seen the R1 disc through my system - HCPC into Barco 1209 8 foot wide plus Denon AVC-A1SE into 7 Ruark Dialogue Ones. Any anomalies show up big time on the 8 foot picture.
Both myself and the girlfriend really enjoyed the film, but I have these comments about DVD quality:

1) Grainy
2) DVD encoding artefacts visible - needed a higher bitrate
3) Some edge enhancement
4) Juddering picture like the telecine process from film to DVD was not very good. Only noticable in pans - of which there were several.
5) Sound mixing was odd. Expecially during the end fight when there was virtually no sound as 'Cooper' kicked the sink over. To the extent that I wondered for a moment whether one of my speakers had gone down. There was a reasonable amount of Bass.
6) Some serious lip-sync issues in the last third of the film.

Neil Marshall has done a good job for a relatively new director. Better than Paul W.S. Anderson.
It also goes to show that you really need a British director to direct British actors swearing a lot. The worst case of this is Alien3. Fincher got the swearing dialogue for the British actors all wrong. Sounded awful.
I really enjoyed the soldiers kicking the Werewolves as they try to get in and yelling **** off !
 
F

Family Guy

Guest
Originally posted by Spectre
SPOILER !









Neil Marshall has done a good job for a relatively new director. Better than Paul W.S. Anderson.
It also goes to show that you really need a British director to direct British actors swearing a lot. The worst case of this is Alien3. Fincher got the swearing dialogue for the British actors all wrong. Sounded awful.
I really enjoyed the soldiers kicking the Werewolves as they try to get in and yelling **** off !
As I understand it, part of the military advisers job was to teach the actors to swear like squaddies. This of course is no different words to other swear languages, they just come around every second word......
 
I have worked with soldiers for 14 years and I found the language very realistic.

I know I have enjoyed a film, when I dont notice the picture and sound quality. I never noticed either during this film.
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Originally posted by mcmullanbrush

I know I have enjoyed a film, when I dont notice the picture and sound quality. I never noticed either during this film.
Don't know what home cinema you have, but this is one example when a 28" is a better vehicle for a movie than an expensive projector. The limitations/flaws of the DVD don't show up on such a titchy screen.
 
I

iwatkins

Guest
Can't comment on the R1 release but sound very similar to my experience with the R2 Rental version.

I found the sound on the R2 Rental to also be very undynamic, so much so I had to check that the dynamic compression wasn't switched on on my amp.

Things like:

SPOILER-----------
When the farm house explodes towards the end. That should have been just a little bit louder than the dialogue earlier.
END SPOILER-----

Nonetheless, it is still a cracking good film, and British with it. ;)

Maybe they will have done some work on it in time for the R2 Retail release ? Let's hope so, as I'm buying it anyway.

Cheers

Ian
 

Marv

Member
If the Evil Dead can be remsatered then Dog soldiers should be easy to do.
 

Kane D Williams

Novice Member
Hi Guys

I was there (assisting) on the original mixing of the movie at Goldcrest Post Production with mixer Paul Carr, who is a respected 'old school' dubbing mixer/re-recording mixer.

I have to say that there was definitely nothing wrong with the "quality" of the sound and I seem to remember the scene when the wolves are on the roof of the Landrover was pretty good in terms of 5.1 action? Maybe you guys could see if this sequence seems OK?

The director (very nice and enthusiastic guy) was more than happy with the mix we gave him, but I do agree that more could have been made of the 5.1 landscape!

With regards to lip=sync problems. Paul Carr is one of the most admired ADR shooters/mixers in the world and I can't imagine him not noticing lines aout of sync. I don't remember any ADR being out and the dialogue editor is too well respected. I'll get them to definitely check this out.

I no longer work at Goldcrest, but I may advise them to hire the DVD and compare it with the 6-track master to see if there has been some fiddling before it reached the DVD!!

This kind of thing does happen and my friend who works at Pinewood has been trying to make Dolby and Pinewoods mixers aware that what ends up on DVD is often drastically different to the mix they had worked very hard to produce! One of the things "they" do is literally have a guy/girl sat turning a gain control knob up and down as the film is encoded! They re-equalise and all sorts!! This is straight from a WB exec's mouth!

This is why many say that Laserdisc sounds far better than DVD. Some films are now being re-EQ'd (a la THX - for home theatre), which in theory is a good thing for those without THX, but for those with a THX processor (like me), we need to know, so that we can swith THX off, so we don’t re-EQ twice!

I wish THX would make each process separately engagable, so that even if a disc is re-EQ'd (for home use), one could still implement the de-correlation and other THX enhancements without further re-EQing. Sorry off on a tangent!

Cheers Kane
 

kevb

Novice Member
Top Notch post Kane.:)

I've only seen the UK rental release and I seem to remember the bit with the wolves on the landrover to sound quite good.

Also the sound quality wasn't as bad IMO as a lot of people on this thread suggest. I read somewhere on the forum complaints about the sound before I saw the DVD. I remember being pleasently suprised as I expected it to be dire. Not the greatest soundtrack but hardly the worst I've heard.

I don't know if people expect every film that comes out nowadays to sound like Saving Private Ryan or what.:confused:
 
C

camlogan

Guest
I watched it on dvd a couple of months back and while the picture was grainy, i didn't notice it after about 10 mins.

I thought the sound was not bad considering its evil dead type style.

The quality may be below par but the movie is cool :D

CaM
 

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