Acoustiblok sound abatement material was used to seal noise leaks in the massive doors of the historic film studio, in time to begin shooting "City of Ember," starring Natalie Portman and Bill Murray.
Belfast, Northern Ireland -- Belfast’s Paint Hall Studio, Europe’s largest film studio located in the historically renowned Titanic Quarter of the city needed to dramatically reduce outside noise pollution from entering its massive sets in time for its biggest
film production to date.
The pressure was on to find a solution to the ambient noise from nearby construction, heavy traffic from a main road, and overhead aircraft infiltrating the massive 31,000 m³ (1,094,755 cubic ft.) structure.
Before it was a film studio, Paint Hall was part of Belfast’s historic Harland & Wolff Shipyards, where the Titanic and other ships were built. Ship Hall was used for painting huge portions of ships in climate-controlled conditions.
While the studio’s double skinned cell construction combats general noise pollution on set, the building’s massive 75ft (23m) doors were found to be leaking sound.
These problems needed to be corrected before filming could start on a new project, a joint Universal Pictures/Northern Ireland production starring Natalie Portman, and the result had to be effective enough to satisfy the sensitive microphones used in
filmmaking, which easily pick up background sound.
Consultants from Acoustiblok UK Ltd conducted a site visit and compiled a comprehensive report identifying the building’s acoustical weaknesses and vulnerabilities, then devised a workable solution to meet the producers’ schedule.
They advised lining the building’s eight colossal doors, (large enough to have once accommodated ships) with Acoustiblok® 1660 3mm, a superior sound isolation material with an average noise reduction of 26 decibels (dB). Acoustiblok, which has
also been installed at both Pinewood and Leavesden studios in the UK, was installed by the filmmakers under the close supervision of the Acoustiblok team.
Vast cavities within each door were first filled with an open cell fibre. Acoustiblok membrane was then attached to steel supports within the doors and secured with resilient channels. The steel structure was also treated with Thermablok® aerogel insulation material to increase acoustical dampening, and to address transmission loss properties. New corrugated facing panels were installed as an external finish.
Brian Martin, a technician with Muldiss Darton Productions of the UK, said that producers were hard pressed to find a workable solution to the noise problemnoise problem that could be in place before scheduled filming began.
“This new project represents the biggest film yet for the Paint Hall studios, and we needed the best possible sound abatement material installed in a very short period of time,” Martin said. “It’s crucial that we have perfect sound conditions for filming and
recording, as the microphones used are highly sensitive and can pick up every single sound in the background.
“Acoustiblok responded quickly to our deadlines, and their sound isolation material worked exceptionally well, especially considering the large scale of this facility.”
Acoustiblok is made of a 1/8” (3 mm) thick proprietary viscoelastic polymer material with a high-density mineral content, heavy yet extremely flexible. While other manufacturers of sound proofing materials attempt to stop or absorb sound, Acoustiblok has resolved the problem in a vastly different way.
Through a unique thermodynamic process, Acoustiblok is engineered to transform sound energy into inaudible friction energy as the material flexes from sound waves.
One thin layer of Acoustiblok in a standard metal or wood stud wall will result in more sound reduction, and provide more privacy, than 12” (30.5 cm) of poured concrete.
Acoustiblok backs its claims with hard science and certified independent laboratory test results. The acoustical laboratory at Architectural Testing, Inc. in York, Pennsylvania, recorded an astounding Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 85 for a concrete block and metal stud wall design configuration that included Acoustiblok, a noise reduction of 99-percent to human hearing.
Ultimately, the installation of Acoustiblok to the Paint Hall studios has made it an extremely desirable venue for attracting future big budget films.
Paint Hall is not the first major film studio to install Acoustiblok for perfect sound quality. The UK’s Pinewood and Leavesden studios are also treated with Acoustiblok, setting the stage for some major blockbusters including the Harry Potter, Star Wars, and James Bond movies. For more information, visit our website at www.acoustiblok.com, e-mail us at [email protected], or call us at 813-980.1400.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Liz Ernst
813.980.1400 x 210