Oscar Winner Michael Minkler Partners With Pace (Exclusive)

The production services firm expands its sound capabilities with a Minkler-designed Dolby Atmos mixing room as it moves toward a merger with IgnitedSpaces.
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Sound vet Michael Minkler — who won Oscars as a rerecording mixer on Dreamgirls, Chicago and Black Hawk Down — has become a partner in production services firm Pace. This first order of business: an expansion in sound by designing the company's first Dolby Atmos mixing theater, which is now operational.

It's part of a larger growth strategy for Pace and its production service partner IgnitedSpaces. In early 2017, Heath Ryan-led Pace moved its operations (it previously has small spaces in Westwood and Studio City) to IgnitedSpaces’ now 45,000 sq. foot facility, which is a stone’s throw from Hollywood & Highland. The companies are in the process of merging their businesses and growing their combined services.

The new Dolby Atmos capabilities will be available for Minkler’s use (he is available at Pace on a non-exclusive basis and he will continue to work on outside projects) or for outside sound firms that need additional space and want to bring in their own mixers.

“It’s designed for big TV and small features,” Minkler told The Hollywood Reporter. “Big TV is the target, there’s a lot of TV that requires Atmos. Netflix and Amazon and Marvel want their shows in Atmos, as well as 7.1 and 5.1." He said the room could also be used for pre-mixing of big films.

He emphasized that the “idea was not to get into the sound business. I can use this or other mixers can use it. We didn’t want to compete with the studios or [sound postproduction companies such as] Formosa Group.”

That’s the overall model for Pace and IgnitedSpaces, meaning that while it could book talent, productions could also bring in their own artists and use the facility's workspace.

The facility represents a big investment in workspace including production offices, meeting areas, Avid editing space, DaVinci Resolve digital intermediate rooms and a virtual reality suite.

According to IgnitedSpaces co-founder and CEO Matt Davis, the company is dedicating 4,000 square feet to a new multi-purpose space for events or production, as well as a small space for showcasing clients' products and services. These are expected to launch in late summer or in the fall.

Davis reported that the company also plans to open a 42,000 sq. ft. space in Downtown Los Angeles, on the 12th floor of the California Market Center in the Fashion District, which is expected to open in roughly two months.

Minkler is currently mixing the upcoming Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again at Universal.