Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Oscars Predictions 2014: Sound Editing

Note: This is my personal ranking, listed in order from best to worst, with #1 being my favorite. Prediction for the actual winner is in orange.

2014 ACADEMY AWARDS PREDICTION:
BEST SOUND EDITING

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1. GRAVITY
Glenn Freemantle

2. ALL IS LOST
Steve Boeddeker & Richard Hymns

3. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Oliver Tarney

4. LONE SURVIVOR
Wylie Stateman

5. THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
Brent Burge

I won’t pretend that I’m so savvy as to be able to truly distinguish sound editing and sound mixing, but perhaps many Academy voters can’t either, which would explain the frequency with which the same film wins both the editing and mixing awards. But for all intents and purposes, sound editors are in charge of creating the actual sound effects of any given film for eventual mixing. This year, the only difference in nominees for these two categories is that here, All Is Lost has replaced Inside Llewyn Davis, which was nominated for mixing (music-heavy films often win in mixing but less often in editing, if they are even nominated for the latter)

For All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns crafted every imaginable sound of the sea: winds whistling through sails, water trickling through cracks, the sailboat bobbing in the lull of the waves, rain pelting the water and thunder crackling in the air, the raging of a major squall, etc. It’s a perfect replication of an oceanic atmosphere, and if Gravity wasn’t certain to win (nearly) every technical award available, Boeddeker and Hymns might take this one home, though the fact that this is the film’s only nomination wouldn’t buoy them for a win either.

As for the other nominees, read about their aural landscapes — and Oscars chances — in my Best Sound Mixing post.

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