Oscars: Sound

I’m going to kill two birds with one stone on this one. Both Sound Editing and Sound Mixing are big technical categories in the Academy Awards. Sound Editing covers the sound effects that are added to a film to create the feel that goes along with the aesthetic of the film. Sound Mixing focuses on how the sound is blended together throughout the film as a whole. The films nominated this year feature a lot of action effects and it gives them all a chance to shine in producing great sound effects and well blended soundtrack.

The nominees for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing are:

  • Baby Driver – This film is impressive for two reasons, firstly, almost every scene of this movie features music of some kind; secondly, the music syncs with the action sequences perfectly. The way that this film uses the soundtrack as a part of its action is truly impressive and while the sound effects are done masterfully, overall it is the way the film is mixed that makes it stand out.
  • Blade Runner 2049 – Science fiction mixed with action means that sound effects are a must, and this film doesn’t forget them. The great thing about this film is how easily it blends the effects with the different landscapes within the film. Every sound amplifies the story in a prominent, yet subtle way which makes it feel like a noir film from the forties and a futuristic action film.
  • Dunkirk – War is a bleak and dark process, and the way it sounds should reflect that aspect of it. The technique used here to create the complex environment of this World War II epic is capped by a strong sense of reserve. The simplicity of this film means that traditional explosions and gunfire are not overly present here, instead it relies on a sense of realism perpetuated by small, but symbolic sounds.
  • The Shape of Water – The effort to make this film stand out in a world of great dramatic films and great sci-fi/fantasy films. What this film does well is build the sound effects into the film, while never sacrificing the period aspect of the film. The moments that really stand out use a lot of classic sound effects to place this film within its period and it is blended together in a truly beautiful fashion.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The eighth installment in this franchise had a lot to live up to, but as far as the sound effects are concerned it did a great job expanding on the work of the originals. The way that this film creates a new world in a universe of unique worlds is fantastically done and it uses not only sound, but the absence of sound, in such an original way that it deserves to be rewarded.

My Prediction to win for editing is…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

My Prediction to win for mixing is…

Baby Driver


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