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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oscar Prediction Countdown: Sound mixing & editing

In advance of the Academy Award ceremony on Feb. 26, Screen Grab will predict the winners in all categories over the next three weeks.

Sound Editing: Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse. Every year movie fans struggle to recall the difference between this category and "Sound Mixing." (I get hung up on the fact that the words "mixing" and "editing" sound like the same concept.) It helps to know that "Best Sound Editing" used to be called "Best Sound Effects" and "Best Sound Effects Editing." In the Hollywood Reporter, "Greg P. Russell, supervising rerecording mixer on Transformers: Dark of the Moon, likens sound editing to the process of pulling together all of the ingredients in a recipe. 'The editors record and prepare all of the sounds for the movie,' Russell said, noting that this includes the sounds recorded during production as well as separately recorded sound."

Prediction: Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In previous years the award has gone to war movies and/or special effects spectacles, so War Horse could be a contender, while Drive's suspenseful mix of sound effects and silence will probably go unappreciated. But this year, the nominee most replete with cool/crazy noises is Transformers: Rise of the Fallen. Transformers even shouts out to its sound team in a 'For your consideration' trailer:

Sound Mixing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Moneyball, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, War Horse. This category used to be known as "Best Sound," and that Hollywood Reporter article I mentioned above extends the "recipe" metaphor: "The sounds are then handed over to the mixers — the chefs, if you will — who will use these ingredients to 'prepare the meal.' Or in this case, create the soundtrack."
Prediction: Hugo. Historically, the winners tends to be either big spectacles or musicals (as well as movies that might as well be musicals, like Amadeus). The spectacles that seem closest to musicals, here, are War Horse and Hugo, so I'll go with the latter, since it has the most overall nominations.

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