Goldcrest's DFC turns out to be just what the Doctor ordered

14th October 2010
As its title suggests, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantasy – Dr Parnassus being a thousand year old man who has made a pact with the devil and now has to race against time to avoid paying the penalty. The story of how the film overcame its own devils is hardly less fantastic.

A measure of chaos – or rather ‘anarchic creativity’ – was only to be expected, with Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame at the helm. The chaos encountered, however, was of a completely different order and not of his making. It included, for example, the death of a major cast member, Heath Ledger, during production, precipitating a budgetary crisis. Production was delayed by several months, not only while funding was rearranged, but for script revisions involving replacement actors – and even then, as sound designer André Jacquemin told Audio Media(issue 227), several crucial elements, including the score, were delivered late.

Happily, the post production team at Goldcrest London – with Robert Farr and Mark Paterson as re-recording mixers on the AMS Neve DFC – was more than equal to the task, as proven by the massive thumbs up given to the movie at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. In fact the reception was so positive that it resulted in one further delay – planned this time – to help maximize box office receipts. Instead of a release immediately following Cannes, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was rescheduled for the UK’s autumn half term holidays, and the North American Christmas market.