Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Awards-Nazi Award nominations: Sound Mixing

For the first time in a long time, I have no overlap between my Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing nominees. I guess that's testament to what a rich and diverse year it's been for sound design overall. I'm also pleased to see that three of my five are the frontrunners for the Oscar. Whoever wins it this year will have earned it.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Steve Boedekker, Zach Martin, Allison Jackson, John D. Matthews):

Perhaps most surprising for an independent rookie effort was the effectiveness of Boeddeker's enveloping sound design, which perfectly balances production audio with Wallis' inner monologue, the vital sound effects, and the wonderful score.

The Grey (Craig Henighan, Keith Elliott, Andy Koyama, Michael T. Williamson):

So much of this movie is in how you hear it. Henighan and company build an atmosphere of inclosing doom by encircling us with wicked winds and hellish howls. Those wolves are even more threatening when they're off screen.

Life of Pi (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Drew Kunin):

Bartlett and Hemphill work just as hard to deliver a sense of space as the visual effects do, making the rolling waves pervasive but unintrusive throughout Pi's 227 days at sea. The animal sounds are frequently adjusted to emphasize their position to the camera.

Les Miserables (Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson):

Hayes and the rerecording crew overcome the challenges of this musical's live-singing approach without a hitch, finding a smooth relay between the robust orchestral additions, foley, and that all-important production audio.

Skyfall (Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan, Stuart Wilson):

With Russell at the mixing board, you know your action movie is going to sound great. The sound effects that need to be felt really POP, but they also find enough room enough for Newman's score, and never sacrifice clarity of dialogue. An expertly polished mix.

Just missed: Argo, Django Unchained, The Impossible, Prometheus, Zero Dark Thirty


  1. I was flabbergasted (flabbergasted I say!) to see that AMPAS snubbed Zero Dark Thirty in this category. Good call on They Grey though.

  2. Interesting how your choices for Editing and Mixing are ten completely different films. Never saw that before.