Paper Planes – Dolby Atmos Mix & Soundtrack

Soundfirm has completed the full soundtrack on Robert Connolly’s ‘Paper Planes,’ set for Australian and global release on 15th January 2015.

Paper Planes’ was the very first Australian feature to be fully conceived  in ‘Dolby Atmos from day one, allowing Soundfirm’s Sound Supervisor and Sound Designer, Chris Goodes unlimited creative control over the track from the very beginning of the project.

Chris designed all sound FX for the paper planes, in addition to special ‘movement’ sequences in Dolby Atmos; working closely with FX Editor, Emma Bortignon, who cut all the atmospheres and FX in 9.1 (by utilising overhead speakers in one of Soundfirm’s sound design suites), ahead of the final mix.

Audiences around the world have become accustomed to the application of Dolby Atmos for large-scale VFX, Action or Sci-fi films, but ‘Paper Planes’ clearly illustrates the use of the medium to enhance drama, and create truly immersive experiences in other cinematic genres.

Chris’s work with Composer, Nigel Westlake and Music Recording & Mix Engineer, Lachlan Carrick, was especially significant in the crafting of this unique track.  Nigel said:

“It’s always gratifying to engage with a Director who sees music as a priority, and is willing to allocate appropriate resources to the task. The score has been beautifully captured in glistening detail by sound engineer Lachlan Carrick, and with the invaluable assistance of Jessica Wells who took on the task of assisting me with the orchestration, it was brought to life by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in three days of thrilling recording at the Iwaki auditorium in Melbourne.”

The opportunity to have immediate feedback from Chris and Rob, and (to) be monitoring in the same space really informed our working process, and was very critical in shaping our approach.

Nigel and his team were quick to heap praise on Soundfirm’s team, and their DolbyAtmos Mixing stage in Melbourne:

Mixing the score in the same theatre as the final opened up every possible permutation of options for us.  Once we completed a first draft music pass, we were able to pull up all the dialogue and FX pre-mixes to check how it was all sitting in context with the score, switching from 5.1 – over to Dolby Atmos  – then back to 5.1.  The new Soundfirm facility has to be heard to be believed. The clarity, power and detail is breathtaking; and Dolby Atmos is the closest thing to “3D sound” you’ll ever hear.  Talk about taking it to the next level! I honestly can’t imagine a better way to work. It was a real privilege to have access to such an amazing facility and I can’t thank Roger and Chris enough for warmly welcoming us so readily to work closely with their crew on site.

Robert Connolly said:Paper Planes was the ideal introduction to the extraordinary impact of Dolby Atmos! Bringing together the 3D elements of Paper Planes and celebration of flight with Nigel’s [Westlake] score provided a strong foundation to make the most of the exceptional opportunity provided at Soundfirm to work in Atmos. Chris Goodes sound design built from the ground up with Atmos providing a rich and complex  final mix that is an exhilarating aural ride that sits hand and glove with the ambition for the film.  I’m extremely excited by the potential in Atmos for future films.”

Soundfirm’s Chris Goodes said, “it’s very rewarding to be able to utilise the power and scope of Dolby Atmos as a story-telling device.  Having these tools at our disposal on ‘Paper Planes’ gave us unparalleled creative control, and ultimately forged a very strong collaboration between sound designer/mixer, composer, picture editor and the Director when it came to the sound track.  Robert and his team have an intimate understanding of the power of sound in their film-making, and it was a pleasure helping them realise that creative vision.”


In conclusion, Soundfirm CEO, Roger Savage, said “’Paper Planes’ is a wonderful example of how Dolby Atmos can be used as an instrument to craft a very nuanced theatrical track.  We are really very proud of our collaboration with Robert (Connolly)’s team and the outstanding work that Chris Goodes and the crew did here in post production.”

Sound Team:

Chris Goodes – Sound Supervisor, Sound Designer & Re-Recording Mixer

James Ashton – Dialogue Supervisor and Editor

Dolby Consultant, Australia – Bruce Emery

Emma Bortignon – Sound FX Editor

Trevor Hope – Production Sound Recordist

Mario Vaccaro – Foley Walker

George Alamaras – Foley Recordist


Robert Connolly – Director, Co-Writer, Producer

Maggie Miles – Producer

Liz Kearney – Producer

Nick Meyers – Editor

Nigel Westlake – Composer

Lachlan Carrick – Music Recording and Mix engineer.

Paper Planes – The Sydney Morning Herald @


PP-JBennett-6145 copy

Paper Planes