Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Awards-Nazi Award Nominations: Best Sound Mixing

You've seen -- well, heard -- which movies had the most well rendered sounds of the year, in my opinion. Now it's time to examine the movies that best put all of their sounds together into a synchronized whole. Behold the Best Sound Mixing of 2014! (You can't fully appreciate the mix of these clips unless you've got a six-channel surround sound system or something hooked up to your computer, but you get the gist.)

Birdman (Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Thomas Varga)
In order to keep us inside the head of Riggan Thompson, the mix team has to really be on the ball and shift sound channels in unison with the motion of the camera. The constantly ticking clock in his dressing room is a nice touch.

Fury (Paul N.J. Ottosson, Marc Fishman, Lisa Pinero)
A suffocating blend of the low rumble of thunder, the distant booms of artillery fire, and the bassy tones of the musical score; Wracks the listener's nerves very effectively, and without ever losing the dialogue (Christopher Nolan, take note).

Godzilla (Tim LeBlanc, Gregg Landaker, Rick Kline, Michael McGee)
Much of the monster mayhem is seen from ground level by us puny humans, so the placement and volume of the deafening sound effects reflects that spatial relationship with appropriate bombast.

Whiplash (Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Michael Aarvold, Thomas Curley)
Whiplash is an immersive experience. These mixers do a brilliant job of tuning us into Andrew's acoustic senses by articulating the sonic subtleties of every instrument.

Wild (Ai-Ling Lee, Andy Nelson, Dick Hansen)
The sound design plays a vital part in evoking Cheryl's dreamy stream of consciousness, cross-fading ambient sounds, voice-over, and aural memories into a seamless, organic soundscape.

Just missed:
American Sniper
(Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff)
Begin Again
(Lewis Goldstein, Tod Maitland)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
(Will Files, Andy Nelson, Ed White)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
(Tony Johnson, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick)
Transformers: Age of Extinction
(Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Peter J. Devlin)


  1. No complaints here. If I may ask, what were your thoughts of 'Into the Woods' 's mix? I was rather taken with that one, but that's just my opinion.

    1. It was perfectly fine, but nothing I'd consider awards-worthy.

    2. Totally fair. I really just admired the way it had to coherently tie together the many stories and musical numbers that spanned amongst several characters at a time. Again, some nice picks you've got.

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  3. Hmmm.... Perfect choices. I couldn't agree more with any of them!

  4. Speaking of mixing, check out my nominees!