Yamaha Achieves The (Mission) Impossible

One of the most iconic scenes of the film Mission Impossible - Fallout is the fight between Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill on an imposing cliff edge. It was filmed at the Preikestolen (the Pulpit), a large rock outcrop in the mountains above Lysefjorden in Forsand, Norway… so where better for the film’s Norwegian première to take place? The event was hosted by Forsand Kommune, but a major problem was how to deliver high quality cinema sound to 2000 people on a mountain, 600 metres above sea level?

As possibly the world’s most stylish location for a film premiere, it was a challenge too tempting for outdoor cinema specialists Unique Digital Nordic to resist. They contacted Tomas Nylén of Yamaha, who was happy to help.

“For outdoor cinema sound, speech clarity and bass pressure are essential,” says Tomas. “The bass is even more important for action films, because you want to really feel effects like explosions. Despite the challenges of delivering this from a system sitting on solid rock in the open air, we knew that Yamaha’s new DZR315 full-range loudspeakers and DXS18 subwoofers would deliver the necessary power and quality.”

Tor Brede Michelsen of Unique Cinema Nordic specified a 5.1 set up to complement a 12 x 6m Airscreen and Christie projectors. The audio setup comprised an L-C-R front system of three stacks of a DZR315 with DXS18-XLS. Two more DZR315/DXS18-XLS stacks provided the surround elements, while four more DXS18-XLS with 18dB low pass filter at 100Hz delivered the extended low frequencies. As usual for cinema, the system setup was 85dB C-weighted, measured two-thirds of the way back in the audience area.

This was the first Norwegian public event using the new Yamaha loudspeakers, which had to be especially airfreighted in from Japan. While the 2000-strong audience had to spend 2.5 hours climbing steep trails to reach the cinema site, the technical system was transported via helicopter, although it took a total of 13 trips.

The weather for the setup was unrelenting heavy rain but, by the time the film started at 11pm on the following evening, it had dramatically improved - dry and with little wind for either the screen technicians or audio team to worry about.

“It was a wonderful summer evening with a magical atmosphere. When the sun went down, the spectators sat down in sleeping bags and ate popcorn while they watched the film. The sound and ambience on the mountainside swept them into an enchanting movie experience,” says Tomas.

“Everyone was very impressed with the sound and we received many favourable comments from the audience. Logistically it was a tough challenge, but the chance to provide the sound for a spectacular, unique outdoor cinema at the Preikestolen only ever happens once in a lifetime!”

Forsand, Norway