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I've been working on a feature film and the producers want to offer it to the distributors (we want to release it on the DVD for now). One of their requirements is to have a Dolby License for the film. As I have never done that before I did a small research on ways to obtain one, but still not sure if I got everything right.

My studio is NOT Dolby certified (and I can't really afford to license my studio). I found out that in that case I can either go to the studio that is certified and mix it there or send it over to Dolby HQs so they can go through it and sell me the license? Is that right?

I am based in London so the location shouldn't be a problem. I've tried to contact Dolby Lab here but they are very slow with replying. Is there anyone here who knows a bit more about the whole thing and wouldn't mind sharing that with us? Thanks!

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If the film is not going 35mm and will only be played off a DVD you don't need a license. The fees are payed with the en- and decoders.

If you want to go to 35mm you should get in contact with Dolby production services in Wootton Bassett (in your case). They might help you to find a certified studio, where you can make the necessary mastering with one of their consultants (shouldn't be a problem in London ;-)). This way you have control over the process and will get to know the consultant as well as learn something new about the whole process. The production company needs to male all the arrangement and payment prior to this. Sending the master in to them is only for trailers and adverts as far as I know.

If I get your case right the distributer might have the Dolby License in their general specs of what they want from any production they acquire. But if the film is to be release on DVD or Bluray only this is irrelevant. So it might also be useful to talk to the distributor in order to check why they ask for it.

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Just a note that in most territories Dolby still requires permission to use their logo (the double D) on BluRay/DVD. The license is free, but it does require that some paperwork be filled out - basically they want to make sure that everything their name is on is done with approved gear. Contact your local office or go to their website for more info on that - or better yet, have the producer do so! :) –  Sonsey Sep 13 '11 at 18:49
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