I'm producing and directing a documentary (for the first time!) and I'm currently filling out a profile of our film that will be seen by a number of industry executives (including possible buyers of our film). As well as asking for the technical basics of the film (run time, shooting format etc.), the application form has a field for "Soundtrack" with a drop down menu that gives me an option of Mono or Stereo or Dolby or Ultra-Stereo. This is the first time I've been asked this, and given that I'm only just starting to figure out post stuff, I'm not quite sure yet which we're going to do!
I know the definitions of Dolby and Ultra-Stereo, i.e. 4-channel optical surround format, both of which I understand require a license fee (although that is about the full extent of my knowledge!). But what I'm curious about is what the norm would be for a low-budget independent documentary, that may (if we're super lucky) end up in theaters. It's the kind of question that is apparently so basic that it isn't easy to find an answer online, so I've come to y'all for some help. So to make things clearer, here are my questions:
1) Am I right in understanding that Dolby and Ultra-Stereo are basically surround sound, and Mono and Stereo are not? (obvious question, I know)
2) What is the most common soundtrack option for a low-budget independent film?
3) And the answer might be the same here, but if we can wangle the budget/find a post house willing to help us out with low costs, what might be the IDEAL soundtrack option for a low-budget independent film? (Bearing in mind that the answer to this question is something that will be seen by industry reps that we want to impress (without being unrealistic) as they may be considering buying the film for broadcast and/or theatrical release if we're really, really lucky!)
4) About how much is the license fee for Dolby and Ultra-Stereo?
Any help you folks could offer (as soon as possible as I need to submit this tomorrow!) would be much appreciated.
p.s. If it helps to know, the film was shot in HD, sound was recorded on an H4N Zoom, with a wireless mic and a shotgun, as well as the Zoom's internal mics.