Indie Film Distribution
sound requirements

[ sound :: mixing :: imdb :: contact:: studio ]

One of the more difficult challenges for an independent filmmaker is distribution.

One of the most overlooked elements to distribution is the sound requirements.


For a feature film release, distributors will require the following:

-Lt/Rt mix
-5.1 mix
-Lt/Rt M&E track
-5.1 M&E track
-DM&E track

In order to create an M&E (Music & Effects) track, Foley recording (human sound effects recorded in sync with the picture) will be needed for the entire film. This is required for foreign sales so that dialogue can be dubbed.

Sound work for a feature-length film can take anywhere from four to eight weeks to complete. Those who have thought otherwise have found themselves on the wrong end of broken promises and missed deadlines. A good rule of thumb is to expect to spend approximately 2 hrs, in sound post, for every minute of your film.


Once you have locked your film and exported an OMF/AAF file, here are just some of the critical tasks you will need to undertake to produce quality sound for your indie film:

•  Clean up dialogue
•  Sound design and construction of ambiances
•  Foley the entire film (this is essential for M&E track)
•  ADR if necessary
   (ADR will add more time to post schedule)
•  Compose music and deliver with stems.
•  Deliver source music
•  Review a Rough Mix
•  Make Notes and make a Second Mix
•  Approve a Final Mix
•  Create a 5.1 Mix
•  Deliver appropriate files to dub house
   to be laid back into film.

If you are planning on screening theatrically or at film festivals, you may need to create a Digital Cinema Pack. (DCP)

Once a distributor has picked up your film, it will undergo a Quality Check (QC). You will be given a QC Report and may be asked to make corrections to your sound and/or picture before your film can be accepted for release.

Panetta Studios can partner with you through the entire process and prepare your film for Distribution.

Considering all the time, energy and expense you’ve put into your film, you want to be as prepared as possible when a distribution deal is on the table.

Angelo Panetta
Panetta Studios