Thursday, March 6, 2008

One Category at a Time - Part 4 - Sound Editing

It sounds like an interesting year ahead for sound, but in all honesty, who the hell knows what will turn up in this category in a year's time? Hopefully this unbiased (yeah right) list of five will (mis)guide us until then:


Iron Man (Christopher Boyes, Frank E. Eulner)
The sound categories and visual effects is the only real domain for summer thrill-rides like this. Lots of explosions, gunfire, sonic booms... and that's just from watching the trailer. Headed by four-time Oscar winner Christopher Boyes (The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean), Iron Man will be ear-pounding, which is usually all a film needs to get nominated here (assuming a strong boxoffice showing).

Indiana Jones (Richard Hymns)
Here's another summer movie whose boxoffice numbers could help it gain the sound editors' attention. Even if the movie sucks, it seems pretty clear it will do big business. Supervising sound editor Richard Hymns is a long-time collaborater with Steven Spielberg, and has won three Oscars for Spielberg films, the first of which came back in 1989 for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ("Last Crusade" my ass!). Look for Indie to make some noise.

Speed Racer (Dane A. Davis)
All those rev'd up automobiles and screeching tires will be hard to ignore. There is the danger, however, that those loud sound effects combined with those seizure-inducing visuals will only give people (at least those people foolish enough to piss away $12 on this movie) a really bad headache. Still, sound designer Dane Davis worked wonders on The Matrix a few years back, so let's give him the thumbs up for now.


Defiance (unknown)
No word yet on who will lead the sound team on this one, but Edward Zwick's movies often get noticed for their intense sounds (like Blood Diamond last year). It also doesn't hurt that what he creates is always a cut above your run-of-the-mill summer hit. He doesn't do comic book movies which are virtually guaranteed to make huge bucks. He gravitates closer to art, and the recent upset of The Bourne Ultimatum over Transformers shows that the better movie has the better chance.

WALL-E (Ben Burtt)
Whenever sound editors go under the anesthetic at the hospital, they dream they're in a world where they get to work on film's like WALL-E all the time. With almost no dialogue at all, the sounds of that cute little robot and other futuristic technology will be extremely important in telling the story. Advanced word is that sound editing guru Ben Burtt (responsible for the library of iconic sounds in Star Wars) will create the laudable audibles of WALL-E. Even a year in advance, I don't see how this can fail to be nominated here.


Have I left something out? What contenders do you hear coming?

Next category, supporting actress.

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