- On June 4, 2018
Using R-rated content for demo material is a very slippery slope since it can easily be off-putting to many viewers and obviously isn’t suitable for families. And the most demo-worthy scenes from R-rated films usually contain gratuitous violence, profanity-laced dialogue, and nudity that can quickly turn your demo from engaging to a sale-killing turnoff. But these two scenes from Baby Driver are terrific exceptions you can show to any audience without fear of offending.
Both scenes show off the strengths of Dolby Atmos object placement and tracking capabilities, so make sure your Strato has the HDR or UHD version of the film so you can enjoy the Atmos audio. (The HD version only supports DTS-HD Master 5.1.)
Baby Driver, “The Bellbottoms Bank Job”
(length: 5 minutes 36 seconds)
This scene is an absolute grand slam, checking off nearly every box for “What makes a great demo?” First, most people probably won’t be familiar with the content, and demonstrating with “new” material is always more engaging. Second, it’s literally the opening of the film, so you not only don’t spoil anything, you’ll likely hook your audience to want to see more. Third, it’s a complete story in itself, with a clear beginning, middle, and finale. And, fourth, it’s action packed, with some of the best driving you’ll see on screen, with a fantastic accompanying audio track.
One of the brilliant and innovative things about Baby Driver is how director Edgar Wright used music to propel and choreograph each scene. This opening scene plays loud and proud from the overhead speakers and with vocals that swirl around the room, and features a sub-heavy bass line that drives the tempo.
Notice how Jon Hamm’s shotgun blasts fire in time with the music. A potent and well-calibrated sub will have you feeling the Suburu’s engine revs in your chest as Baby pushes the WRX to its limits. As he drifts around the city, you’ll clearly hear tires squealing and protesting the physics-defying maneuvers, with the audio tracking every siren, horn honk, and car that whizzes by. While video isn’t the focus of this demo, notice the traffic-light colors, with vibrant yellows and reds that push the color-space boundaries.
Baby Driver, “Opening Credits/“Harlem Shuffle”
(length: 2 minutes 44 seconds)
This scene begins right after the first demo scene ends. But it’s a good idea to pause after the first scene so you can set up the second one, which will help to keep it from feeling like you’re just showing the first nine minutes of the film.
While the first scene is all about excitement and bombast, this one is just Baby walking to grab some coffee before heading to meet his crew. Notice how amazingly the audio tracks the off-camera action. You’ll hear an infant cry far off camera left, and then see a mother with a stroller pass Baby. Throughout, the audio swirls relative to Baby’s perspective and position, with the sounds of traffic, conversations, and jack hammers announcing their arrival long before they appear on screen, and long after they’re no longer in view.
Also notice how the audio changes when Baby walks into the coffeeshop. When he pulls out an earbud to hear the barista, the music volume drops and the sounds of the coffeeshop fill the room, with the music taking over as he replaces the earbud. This entire scene displays how a terrific audio mix along with properly placed speakers can transform a media room into an entirely different environment.