How ‘Salt’ could surprise and win Best Sound Mixing

Posted by · 10:21 am · February 25th, 2011

I stopped researching somewhere in the 1970s, but as far as I can tell going back that far, the Best Sound Mixing (formerly Best Sound) category has never included more than three Best Picture nominees. In a number of cases there were two, a great many years saw one and often enough, there were none. […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part two

Posted by · 8:40 am · February 25th, 2011

Yesterday we began our final look at the 10 crafts categories.  Check out part one here.  Today, the conclusion.  Meanwhile, you can find my final predictions in all categories here. Best Music (Original Score) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, despite their atypical approach to film music composition, are very much contenders in this race. Having […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Sound Mixing

Posted by · 9:59 am · February 14th, 2011

I feel like we’ve done a pretty decent job of educating some of our readership on the difference between Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing over the last five years here at In Contention. It struck me that we haven’t really covered it in a focused way this season, and the Oscar Guide seems […]

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2/11 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Franco couldn’t care less, love letter to Annette Bening, Hammond polls voters

Posted by · 8:37 am · February 11th, 2011

• James Franco: “If it’s the worst show in the history of the Oscars, who cares?”  I love this guy. [Screening Room] • David Poland on how the Academy is missing a golden opportunity by essentially banning Banksy from the ceremony.  Not that Banksy would even humor his suggestions, but still. [The Hot Blog] • […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘King’s Speech’ marches on

Posted by · 5:49 pm · February 4th, 2011

• “The King’s Speech” continued its cruise through phase two of the season with a widely unexpected Directors’ Guild victory… • … and scooped top honors at a surprise-free Screen Actors’ Guild Awards ceremony. • Following this brace of wins, this week’s Off the Carpet column said what we were all thinking: the race is over. […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘Salt’ sound re-recording mixer Greg P. Russell and ‘Unstoppable’ supervising sound editor Mark P. Stoeckinger

Posted by · 4:13 pm · February 3rd, 2011

When Oscar voters spoke up last Tuesday, two intriguing craft category nominations stuck out, both coming from the same branch: Mark P. Stoeckinger’s third bid to date for the sound editing of “Unstoppable” and Greg P. Russell’s fourteenth — yes, fourteenth — for the sound mixing of “Salt.” The Academy’s sound branch consists of 405 […]

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Filed in: Interviews · Tech Support

‘King’s Speech’ leads the pack with 12 Oscar nominations

Posted by · 6:22 am · January 25th, 2011

On the face of it, the nominees for the 83rd annual Academy Awards seemed fairly unremarkable. Aside from the deafening nature of not hearing Christopher Nolan’s name in the line-up for Best Director (the only true shock of the major categories), everything seemed to be within the expected parameters (even Javier Bardem sliding in, which […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Mixing — Volume II

Posted by · 10:40 am · November 26th, 2010

Sound mixing has a lot in common with sound editing, but the distinctions are still critical. While both clearly relate to what we hear in the theater, sound editing specifically relates to the creation of artificial sounds (“sound effects”) while sound mixing brings everything together — from effects to music to dialogue (recorded on set […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume II

Posted by · 10:06 am · November 18th, 2010

Last week we discussed how a movie’s soundtrack can be immeasurably improved by music.  This week, we turn to the sound technicians.  While next week will concentrate on sound mixing (the overall mix of effects, recorded sounds, dialogue and music), this week we look at sound editing, the creation of artificial sound effects to enhance […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Visual Effects — Volume I

Posted by · 9:07 am · September 9th, 2010

How often do you go to the movies to escape? To be immersed into a different world, whether it be fantastical, thrilling or action-packed? For many movie-goers, if not most, the answer is “frequently.” Visual effects often play a massive role in this experience.  Studios invest heavily in them and frequently try to sell films […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Mixing — Volume I

Posted by · 3:44 pm · September 2nd, 2010

Last week, while discussing the sound editing category, I explained the difference between that art form and sound mixing.  The Oscar for the latter is shared between two (or more) persons who construct the soundtrack of a movie.  The re-recording mixers bring together everything – dialogue, sound effects, music – into what we hear in […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Sound Editing — Volume I

Posted by · 11:31 am · August 26th, 2010

Now matter how many times I watch the Oscars, someone will always ask, “So what is the difference between the two sound categories?” The difference is quite significant.  It is so important that the sound branch is only one of two “tech” branches in the Academy (the other being music) that gives out two separate […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume I

Posted by · 4:31 pm · August 19th, 2010

I am marveled by the accomplishments of all the crafts artists who elevate our films, but this is particularly the case with respect to music composers. Composing equals genius as far as I am concerned.These musicians  join the film at the end, when usually only the director, editor and perhaps the sound mixers are still […]

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FRIDAY FORECAST: Nerdgasm!

Posted by · 4:37 pm · August 13th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. If you are a nerd, this is the weekend for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re an action movie nerd, video game nerd or self-help nerd, Hollywood has you covered. All in all, it’s an abnormally stacked August weekend with three films that all have breakout […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Cats’ is a dog

Posted by · 10:01 pm · August 1st, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Hey gang. Sorry this is late but I spent all morning at work and then all afternoon at the Home Depot Center watching the Galaxy get shellacked by the Chicago Fire and getting a sunburn on half my face. I’ll try to keep it short and […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

FRIDAY FORECAST: Reigning ‘Cats & Dogs?’

Posted by · 2:36 pm · July 30th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Hey kids! How about that terrifying photo to the right? Make you want to see cats and dogs brutally fighting to the death voiced by Nick Nolte and Joe Pantoliano? While Chris O’Donnell looks on confused? Of course it does. We’ve got three new releases this […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Friday Forecast

On the sound of ‘Salt’

Posted by · 2:04 pm · July 26th, 2010

The most recent predictions update substituted “The Last Airbender” (which failed miserably with critics) with “Salt” in the sound categories, and it wasn’t blind speculation. After all, the sound crew consists of such multi-lauded talents as Scott Millan and Greg P. Russell. Russell, as you know, has racked up some 13 nominations without a win. […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Inception’ shakes ‘Salt’

Posted by · 4:15 pm · July 25th, 2010

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. Despite the collective nerd consciousness being zeroed in on the events happening in San Diego, there were enough nerds elsewhere to propel “Inception” to a second week at the top of the box office. Actually that’s unfair, it’s not just nerds who are seeing the movie […]

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Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents