Studio design consultancy White Mark Ltd is helping its post-production clients make a smooth transition to Ultra High Definition by supplying a range of acoustically transparent projection screens that don’t distort 4K images.
White Mark, which has designed over 150 audio post production facilities in London’s Soho alone – not to mention numerous music recording, broadcast, film dubbing and video editing rooms around the world – is now an official dealer for Screen Excellence, a UK-based company that specialises in high quality projection screens.
“If you want to mount speakers behind a screen, which is usually the case in Dolby-certified surround sound and Atmos post facilities, you need an acoustically transparent material that won’t impact on sound quality,” says White Mark Director, Alan Cundell. “However, sourcing the right screen can be an issue because it’s not always easy to find the quality professional facilities need at the right price.”
From an acoustic point of view, projection screens should be woven, not perforated, and the weave needs to be small enough to avoid the projected image taking on a wavy (moiré) effect. For a while White Mark made its own screens using a very high quality, acoustically transparent woven fabric, but when the industry started moving towards 4K the company realised that the weave of its fabric simply wasn’t fine enough to cope with the increase in pixels, so it had to find an alternative.
Screen Excellence provided the solution. The company, which was founded in 2008 by Patrice Congard, primarily makes screens for the high-end home cinema market and had perfected a range of innovative and proprietary screen fabrics (Enlightor 4K, Neo-S and Neo-W) that feature a neutral projection surface and are perfectly white so they don’t distort colours. They are also free from moiré effect, regardless of the projector used, and offer exceptional acoustic transparency. In the case of Enlightor Neo-S, for example, the screens offer acoustic transparency of less than one dB loss throughout the entire audio frequency range.
"When watching a movie, your senses are focused on the screen,” Patrice Congard says. “It is where the image and the sound merge, making it the most crucial component in the playback chain."
Although no screen is 100% acoustically transparent, Alan Cundell says that Screen Excellence products are far superior to anything else White Mark has tried because they offer very even sound reduction across the entire frequency range.
“This means that there is no need to significantly EQ the monitors to compensate for the screen. The small loss in volume is insignificant with professional monitoring systems,” Cundell says.
Screen Excellence screens are available in a range of sizes and can be custom-made to suit the space requirements of a particular post facility.
“Ideally you want screens to be made from one piece of cloth, without seams, because that can also impact on image quality,” Alan Cundell says. “Screen Excellence is able to fulfil this requirement because they make their own fabric. We have yet to specify a screen for a post room that was too big for them to cope with.”
White Mark is now the only company in the UK supplying Screen Excellence products to the professional post production market. To date, it has installed multiple Screen Excellence screens in a number of Soho-based facilities – Wave, 750 MPH, Redlight and at Envy’s new facility, where they will be used for sound to picture work on film commercials and trailers.
For more information on Screen Excellence products, please visit www.screenexcellence.com or speak to White Mark on telephone: +44 (0)8700 757767.
About White Mark:
Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over the last fifteen years it has designed and supervised the construction of over 500 production suites worldwide. The company’s impressive client list encompasses some of the world’s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in the UK, Germano Studios in New York, Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 140 audio studios and many broadcast and video editing facilities for more than 60 companies in Soho alone. The list of clients includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, De Lane Lea, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, DeLuxe, 750mph, NBC/Universal, Wave, Unit and Boom. Advertising agency clients include worldwide facilities for Hogarth International and AMV/BBDO on four continents.