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“The Art of Sound” Moderated by the Academy's Sound Branch Governor Kevin O'Connell

Transformers by Michael Bay
Transformers by Michael Bay (Paramount)

“The Art of Sound,” an evening celebrating the 2007 Sound Editing and Sound Mixing Oscar nominees and winners, will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

“The Art of Sound” will be moderated by Academy Sound Branch governor and 20-time Oscar nominee Kevin O'Connell – to date, O'Connell is the most nominated individual who has never gone home with an Oscar statuette. The program will feature an onstage discussion with the winners of the 2008 Academy Awards in the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing categories (O'Connell may well be among those; he's in the running for Transformers). Clips from each of the nominated films will also be presented.

The 2008 Oscar nominees are:

Sound Editing

  • The Bourne Ultimatum (Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg)
  • No Country for Old Men (Skip Lievsay)
  • Ratatouille (Randy Thom and Michael Silvers)
  • There Will Be Blood (Christopher Scarabosio and Matthew Wood)
  • Transformers (Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins)

Sound Mixing

  • The Bourne Ultimatum (Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis)
  • No Country for Old Men (Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland)
  • Ratatouille (Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane)
  • 3:10 to Yuma (Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe)
  • Transformers (Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin)

As per the Academy's press release, “sound editors and mixers integrate a motion picture's total sound content, from music and dialogue to a wide range of sound effects. In almost any film sequence, these professionals must select and manipulate dozens of sound elements for realism, coherence and emotional impact in support of the film's story.”

Now, what's the difference between a sound editor and a sound mixer?

As per Wikipedia – I don't like using it as a source, but that's all I could find after a brief online search – a sound editor is “a creative professional responsible for selecting and assembling sound recordings in preparation for the final sound mixing or mastering of a television program or motion picture.”

As per FilmSound.org, a sound mixer is the head of the department that handles the “recording [of] film/video production dialogue and efx. He commands a crew consisting of one or more boom persons, a cable person and sometimes an Equipment Technician. The Sound Mixer will determine what mikes are used for every scene (or assign that responsibility to his boom person), he will operate the sound recorder, maintain the Sound Report, notify the director (or AD) of any sound problems, keep sound levels consistent, avoid distortion because of too high levels, watch for boom shadows, determine sound perspective after discussion with the director, record “room tone", and of course most important provide a sound track with clean, intelligible, first-rate audio quality.”

Tickets to the “Art of Sound” are $3 for the general public and free for Academy members. Tickets will be available by mail, at the Academy box office, or online at www.oscars.org/events. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For additional information, visit www.oscars.org or call (310) 247-3600.

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