The third and final How To Train Your Dragon installment, The Hidden World, opens nationwide next weekend after having opened in multiple overseas markets.
The film’s director, Dean DeBlois, starred in a 36-second video message for theater projectionists. In the message, he thanked them for their work and indicated the preferred sound level for the film – the industry standard of 7.0.
DeBlois short but personal and seemingly friendly message was shared via an unlisted YouTube link on the film’s projectionist letter.
His video message as well as a transcription can be found below.
Hi, I’m Dean DeBlois. I’m the writer, director and executive producer of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and this is just a short message to all of you projectionists to let you know how much we value you. You are a part of our film making family and you are the last step between our movie, which we’ve crafted with such meticulous love, and the audience who gets to experience it. So we encourage you to just check to make sure everything is just as pristine as it can be. We recommend the industry standard of 7.0 for the audio and, thanks! Thanks for putting in that effort and being part of our family. We really appreciate it.
The Dolby audio scale of 7 has become the industry standard due to virtually all movies being mastered at 85dBc (decibels relative to the carrier) and 7 being the volume at which 85dBC are being sent through theater speakers. Thus, if a film is played at that level it is played at the level it was mixed at.
Although today projectionists are often regular theater staff members tasked with pressing buttons on computer servers, their work is crucial in making sure digital projection is properly set up for the film’s run.
A mistake on their side could heavily impact the viewing experience the audience has. That is why other directors as well as studios themselves have previously attached messages to projectionists to make sure such mistakes are avoided.
In 2016, Oliver Stone added attached clear instructions on how to avoid presenting the wrong 3D file.
In this case, it appears that DeBlois wanted to show his appreciation for projectionists while also kindly asking them to do their work with care.
How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World opens in theaters nationwide on February 22nd.
Image: Courtesy of Universal