Digital Media Design


Future Cinema – Learning Agreement (Updated)

Learning Agreement

Name: Ian Hunt

Course: Digital Media Production                                                     Level: 5

Unit: Future Cinema

Reference number: IMD514

Credit points: 22.5

Study hours: 225

Tutor(s): Liam Birtles, Amanda Stephenson, Bob Cotton and Phil Beards

Learning Agreement – Synopsis of study

Future Cinema – Binaural Sound Recording or 3D Stereo Sound

This is our group’s idea development for Future Cinema. The studios have already begun in earnest to reintroduce 3D Vision back into Film to give a more immersive experience at the Cinema but what about the sound?

Our idea is to investigate the technology and research into methods for the introduction of 3D Stereo Sound to Future Cinema productions by using Binaural sound recording techniques.

Binaural sound is produced by using two microphones to record live performances, nothing unusual there, but what is different is that each microphone is attached to opposite sides of a dummy human head. Ideally these microphones will be actually embedded within the ear canal of the dummy’s ears, these ears which should also be a close approximation of the human ear, in order to more closely replicate the sound that the human ear, hears.

This technique could also be applied to one of the problems with the existing sound setup in Cinema. That is when you turn your head the sound direction or source remains the same. So for example, you turn your head to the right your centre sound source is now coming from the right speaker the centre speaker now becomes your left speaker and so basically the films sound sequence has been lost. With Binaural sound this is not the case, regardless of which direction you turn your head the sound source/position does not change. This would be even more useful in a multi-screened environment, although for it to work correctly there would have to be some form of head tracking in-order to switch the sound source being received in the head phones to match the visuals on the appropriate screen.

Another aspect of our idea is that the Binaural recorded sound which is then played back through headphones would be in addition to the existing surround sound system in a Cinema. This would allow the Filmmaker to directly connect with the audience, for example a whispered sound, a personal messages or sound bite could be sent to an individual or to all of the audience but it would appear as if the sound had come directly to them from a person sitting beside them.

The whispered threats from the films serial killer seated right beside you!

My Responsibilities

My personal responsibilities will include the script development for the film incorporating all the elements of the group’s idea development, providing the storytelling and interactive narrative. I will also as Producer oversee the film’s production ensuring that the group’s vision for the final film has been achieved and satisfies the projects aims to explore the possibilities of future cinema for a user centered design. I will also source information and research into binaural sound recording techniques as they can be applied to future cinema installations. In addition I will assist other members of the group as required in sound recording, camera operation and in post production.


A1    To develop an understanding of storytelling and interactive narrative

A2    To produce video content that explores the possibilities of future cinema

A3    To develop skills in narrative, interaction and user centred design

A4    Investigate digital techniques to create new user experiences.

Learning outcomes:

LO1        Demonstrate an understanding of storytelling and interactive narrative

LO2        Produce video content to explore the possibilities of future cinema

LO3        Demonstrate skills in narrative, interaction and user centred design

LO4        Explore a consider range of new user experiences

Assessment Requirements

A Project weighted 100% is required for this unit. Our group intends to produce a Film demonstrating the application of Binaural Sound Recording Techniques.

Assessment Criteria

•    Evidence of knowledge of technical processes (b) – Through detailed documentation of the project  (LO1, LO3, LO4)
•    Evidence of understanding through research and analysis (c) – Through presentation of final project work (LO2, LO4)
•    Evidence of Realisation through key specialist knowledge and skills (g) – Through production of finished project (LO3, LO4)


Sony – Virtual Phones Website Accessed 07/10/2011 –

Wikipedia – Binaural Recording. Website Accessed 07/10/2011 –

The Mind Theatre – Immersive 3D Audio. Website Accessed 07/10/2011 –

The Science of Domestic Concert Hall Design

Action plan/time plan

Unit start Monday 03/10/2011

Week 1 – Idea Development

Week 2 – Production Planning/Research

Week 3 – Filming and Post Production (Interim Crit Thursday 20/10/2011)

Week 4 – Post Production and completion of Blog entries

Week 5 – Post Production and run through (Mini Crit)

Week 6 – Critique Monday pm 07/11/2011 and Tuesday am 08/11/2011

Future Cinema – Links to Related Blog Entries

  1. Future Cinema – Project Conclusion
  2. Future Cinema – Sound Effects
  3. Future Cinema – Digital Cinema
  4. Future Cinema – 5.1 Surround Sound
  5. Future Cinema – Binaural Sound – Digital Sound Recording
  6. Future Cinema – 360 Degree Camera Mount
  7. Future Cinema – Learning Agreement (Updated)
  8. Future Cinema – Audio / Film Script 1st Draft
  9. Future Cinema – Binaural Sound Recording
  10. Future Cinema – The Film Pitch
  11. Future Cinema – does it have one?


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