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What it Takes to Become an Oscar Sound and Film Nominee

Only published comments... Feb 23 2013, 12:00 AM by Timory Burleson
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'Life of Pi' Copyright 20th Century Fox


Oscar buzz is all around us with the 85th Academy Awards only a day away, creating a flurry of comments in every social network including our own since all of the nominees for best picture, film editing, sound editing, sound mixing and score used one or more Avid solutions.


What exactly does it take to earn the prestigious “Oscar nominee” designation? Talent, the right technique and the best-in-class creative tools are a good start, but there is more.


A recent Indiewire article will give you insight about how each sound editing and mixing nominee utilized different techniques to bring the actions on film alive through sound. In reference to Argo’s opening scene, sound mixer John Reitz said, “[Director] Ben Affleck wanted to mirror what was happening to the characters on screen with jarring cuts and harsh sounds; no smooth transitions.”


Similarly, in a New York Times article, Life of Pi sound editors Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton said the end goal of recording the sounds of Bengal tigers as well as capturing the noise of a frenzy of flying fish was to create sounds for the movie that are just as captivating as the visuals on screen.


Film editors strive toward the same objective as the sound editors and mixers—to create a holistic experience for the audience. In a Deadline article, film editor William Goldenberg described his editing techniques for Argo, explaining that the movie’s incongruous quality was epitomized in a bizarre sequence of cuts that takes viewers from one experience to another. In reference to a mock assassination scene, Goldenberg said, “When I read the script, I thought this was a scene where if we can make this work tonally, the movie will work … if all these expositions can work as a scene, then I think what we’re trying to do with the movie will be successful.”


No matter who is chosen as the Oscar winner tomorrow night, we are proud that our solutions could help each nominee not only achieve the sounds and scenes they strived for, but also earn them an Oscar nod.




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About Timory Burleson

With a background in journalism and a passion for bringing information to the masses, I have been an editor and/or writer for several publications over the past six years. Since joining Avid’s corporate communications team, I have enjoyed sharing the latest Avid news, product reviews, announcements, customer success stories and more with you and others in our creative community.

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