Categories One-by One: Sound Mixing & Sound Editing

Mister Tee
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Re: Categories One-by One: Sound Mixing & Sound Editing

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:47 pm

The two categories used to be quite distinct before sound effects editing expanded to five -- the nominees in the abbreviated category were often entirely different from the ones in "achievement in sound", which is what sound mixing was called back then. I'm not sure what's led to this homogenization of the two, which so often leads to four duplicates out of five, and this year a perfect match.

There's really not that much to talk about this year. The Last Jedi seems just along for the ride in both categories. The Shape of Water seems like the sort of film that could win sound mixing in a big enough sweep (a la Slumdog), but probably has no chance this year.

Blade Runner 2049 and Baby Driver are critically-regarded films that could have done exceedingly well most years -- a la Speed/The Bourne Ultimatum -- and I'm not completely overlooking the possibility of the latter snatching one of these.

But Dunkirk's seriousness/best picture status and, let's give it its due, tech achievement, would seem to make it the big favorite to snap up both.

Editing, on the other hand...

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Re: Categories One-by One: Sound Mixing & Sound Editing

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:28 am

Because Sound Effects is only one element that they are responsible for.

If you look at the categories at the Motion Picture Sound Editors, you'll see they do both sound effects/foley and dialogue/ADR. They probably feel that to honor them just for sound effects gives the wrong impression of what they do.
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Re: Categories One-by One: Sound Mixing & Sound Editing

Postby Greg » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:38 pm

Does anyone else think that a lot of the confusion between these two categories could be eliminated if they went back to calling Sound Editing, Sound Effects? I don't know why they changed the names in the first place.
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Categories One-by One: Sound Mixing & Sound Editing

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:25 pm

I hope no one has a problem with me lumping these two together, which I did because 1) the categories are, of course, identical, and 2) I think this is a year where these prizes will be awarded as a matching pair.

The nominees:
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

It's hard to know which movie is running last this year, because there's nothing like 13 Hours or Sully that got a random stray nomination -- all of the nominees have a solid down-ballot presence overall. But I think if the better-regarded The Force Awakens couldn't win a thing, it's hard to see The Last Jedi prevailing anywhere -- there's still a ton of the usual battle sounds and creature effects, but of course they don't feel as fresh even at this point in the revival of the franchise.

The Shape of Water is a movie where I really noticed the impact of the sound, despite it not being all that LOUD a movie -- the creature noises are inventively realized, and many of the film's suspense sequences are heightened by the film's gripping blend of effects and music. But unless the movie becomes more of a sweeper than I imagine, these races don't seem like the most logical places for it to rise to the top.

Blade Runner 2049 DOES have the kind of loud action sequences that often prevail, as well as more quiet interludes with wonderfully moody use of sound. And in another year, I could see the movie emerging as a below-the-line winner like The Matrix, where it scooped up a bunch of categories for overall visual/aural achievement. But I think it's a stronger candidate in all of its other races, and it's hard to see a movie that wasn't an enormous hit (or a Best Picture nominee) having such an enormous victory run it would scoop up these categories too.

Baby Driver has elements that would make it an obvious candidate in both categories for separate reasons: 1) under Editing, it's got a ton of loud, screechy car chase effects, and 2) under Mixing, it's got a rocking soundtrack perfectly synced to the action. And it's the kind of film -- an original/non-franchise movie that became a hit -- that folks in the industry probably which Hollywood made more often. Still, it's a pretty lightweight thing, particularly when stacked up against...

...Dunkirk, which I think will win its easiest prizes of the night in these categories. I know there are some who complained about the sound mix in the movie -- more than one person has noted that the dialogue wasn't always intelligible. But I'm not sure if that's really going to matter, as the film is just so obviously the kind of movie that wins this category -- a hugely acclaimed Best Picture nominee that's beginning-to-end battle sequences. When the loudest movie available is also this serious a piece of filmmaking, it's tough to imagine it losing.


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