MPSE Wavelength

Spring 2020

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54 I M PS E . O R G Sound staple Debby VanPoucke passed away in February after a battle with cancer. Debby spent her early career as audio engineer and sound designer for theatricals, including Miss Saigon and Grease. Along the way, she transitioned more into television, taking on various roles, including sound designer, supervising sound editor, post sound coordinator, and in- field recordist on projects such as Smash, CSI: Cyber, and Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. A member of the AES, ATAS, and MPSE, Debby also served as post supervisor for Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The MPSE extends its condolences to Debby's family and friends. who that was, right?" Cohen answered confidently, "The PA on Poltergeist." Jane responded, "No, Marty. That was Steven Spielberg." That would eventually lead to a long career of working with the future multiple Oscar-winning filmmaker. Starting with 1985's The Color Purple, Cohen worked on Spielberg films, including Empire of the Sun, Always, Schindler's List, Hook, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Munich, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. "Marty began in the editing room with Michael Kahn and me on The Color Purple and then made the transition to a post-production supervisory role on both DreamWorks and Paramount films," Spielberg said in a statement. "Later, he worked with me and other filmmakers on film preservation, a passion we both shared. But more than anything, Marty was a dedicated and loyal member of our Amblin family for more than three decades. He cared deeply about the way movies looked to audiences, both in theaters and in homes. His keen eye and warm heart will be missed dearly at the finish line of every film we make from here on out." Cohen also worked with a myriad of other big-name directors throughout his long career, including Michael Mann, Sam Mendes, Robert Zemeckis, Gary Ross, Michael Bay, Gareth Edwards, Todd Phillips, Penelope Spheeris, Gore Verbinski, Simon Wells, Cameron Crowe, Ridley Scott, Neil Jordan, Joe Dante, Mimi Leder, Richard Donner, and Herbert Ross. On learning of his passing, the Motion Picture Editors Guild, which presented Cohen with its Fellowship & Service Award last October, posted a remembrance on its website. MPEG said Cohen "mentored countless post production workers in our industry with good humor, a real love of the moving image, and abiding wisdom." His post production career included overseeing such trademark Amblin films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future Parts II and III, Hook, Schindler's List, and The Little Rascals. Cohen was also the longtime head of post production for DreamWorks, managing the Spielberg-helmed Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, War of the Worlds, and Munich, as well as the studio's Best Picture winners American Beauty and Gladiator. After DreamWorks, Cohen served as head of post production at Paramount Pictures until 2010. Cohen's love of the moving image was manifest in his work as a film preservationist. During his career, he supervised the restoration of classics, including Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy and Jaws. He teamed with Spielberg to resture a number of classics from the Amblin and DreamWorks libraries. He is survived by his wife Kathy, a retired physical therapist; his daughter Maggie, a Riverside public defender; and grandchildren Alexis and Maya; his son Gabriel, a marriage and family counselor, and his wife Zynette; son Hershel, who works at EFILM, and his wife Marysa; and son Elijah, a middle school history teacher, and his wife Brianne. Due to circumstances and safety precautions around the ongoing pandemic, the family held a private burial at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary on Friday, May 22, 2020. A celebration of life will follow at a later date, tentatively set for April of 2021. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Martin Cohen Memorial Scholarship Fund at Queens College. Reprinted with permission by Erik Pedersen, managing editor, Deadline Debby VanPoucke SOUND SUPERVISOR AND EDITOR

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