Because my brother-in-law Andy won the 2017 best sound mixing Oscar for his outstanding sound work on Hacksaw Ridge, I’ve started an annual Oscar-week tradition where I write a column with an opening sentence which mentions the fact that my brother-in-law Andy won the 2017 best sound mixing Oscar for his outstanding sound work on Hacksaw Ridge.
And that’s not where it ends: in honour of Andy, I actually attempt to predict the winner of the sound mixing Oscar – last year I predicted Dunkirk would win, and it did, so clearly I have Mystical Powers of God-Like Prophecy But Only In The Area Of Manipulating Sound Elements To Achieve a Satisfactory Sonic Balance In Film And/Or Television.
Black Panther was loud in all the big action sequences and quiet in the slow, talky bits.Credit:AP
So here is my God-like prediction for the most anticipated and thrilling category of the Academy Awards …
This film had a great sound mix. It was loud in all the big action sequences and quiet in the slow, talky bits – lesser sound mixers may have done it the other way around, a common mixing mix-up. Also, I very much enjoyed listening to the sound of bullets piercing the body fat of a cackling maniacal white-supremacist Afrikaner super-villain. The cackling was even panned to the extreme right, which is the textbook panning position for all Afrikaner cackling.
I told my friend Jim that “Roma is a cinematic tone-poem exploring subjective memory”.Credit:Carlos Somonte
I loved this film! The best film of the year! The best film of many years! I can’t stop blabbing to everyone about this film and my voice has been loud, forceful, breathless, relentless and pretentious. The movie probably won’t win the sound mix Oscar but I deserve some kind of sound award for my wanky gabbling, especially when I told my friend Jim that “Roma is a cinematic tone-poem exploring subjective memory”. I’m both proud and riddled with self-revulsion.
A Star Is Born
I recently read a piece of investigative online journalism titled Hollywood's 25 Most Conceited Celebs (You Won’t Believe How Arrogant #1 Is!). I couldn’t be bothered clicking all the way through but I bet it was Bradley Cooper. So no Oscar for him or his movie. Seems only fair.
No Oscar for Bradley Cooper or his movie A Star is Born. Seems only fair.Credit:Warner Bros
This movie will win the sound mixing Oscar, I’m sure of it. I saw it at an IMAX cinema and the sonic recreation of '60s-era spaceflight was so authentic and immersive, I felt like I was actually there – in an IMAX cinema in Carlton, surrounded by oversized state-of-the-art integrated speakers. The rattling roar of Apollo 11 blasting off was amazing. It sounded exactly like a washing machine on spin with three wet beach towels inside. They even threw in a heart-stopping call-a-repairman death clunk. Terrifying.
So that’s my Oscar prediction for 2019 – pretty impressive considering I know nothing about sound mixing. I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a sound mixer and a sound editor. I asked my brother-in-law Andy and he said sound editors are much daggier, with flatter, greasier headphone hair. He would know. He won an Oscar. Did I mention that?
Danny Katz is a regular columnist.
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