Winter 2016

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36 CINEMONTAGE / Q1 2016 by Mel Lambert T he films of this year's Oscar nominees in the Sound Editing category range from the story of a run-and-hide rebellion in post-apocalyptic Australia, to emergent threats to galactic peace, through an astronaut left behind on Mars by his crew, a frontiersman fighting for survival after a bear attack, and the unrelenting war on drugs. The nominees are supervising sound editors Mark Mangini, MPSE and David White, who are nominated for Mad Max: Fury Road; Oliver Tarney, MPSE, for The Martian; Martin Hernandez, MPSE, and Lon Bender, MPSE, for The Revenant; Alan Robert Murray for Sicario; and Matthew Wood and David Acord for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. The creative teams behind Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens also have received BAFTA Award nominations for Best Sound. In addition, all of the Academy Award nominees were nominated for MPSE Golden Reel Awards. The soundtrack for director George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road — a high- action movie that relates the story of a woman who rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post-apocalyptic Australia in search of her homeland — starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult — started life in Australia and ended in Hollywood, where the final soundtrack was completed. "George, as I discovered, is a genial genius who had a vision of the sound for Mad Max that initially wasn't being realized," says co-supervising sound editor Mangini "I went to Sydney to help him get that vision on the screen." A governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Sound Branch, Mangini was previously nominated for three Oscars: Aladdin (1992), The Fifth Element (1997) and Star Trek IV (2009). "George and I both agreed that sound should tell the story with sonic depth, personality and articulation, and could work narratively, not just mechanically," he continues. The director was clear in his overall vision, according to Mangini, "and spoke of narrative arcs — what they meant to the film — and then turned to us for our ideas as sound experts to realize them." For the Mad Max soundtrack, Mangini and his team gave each vehicle a unique sound character. "The Desert Chase became Moby Dick, with the War Rig as the White Whale," he says. "We focused on narrative and literary decisions while developing the soundtrack, always referencing the 'why' for our design choices." "Besides the extensive vehicle recording done by production mixer Ben Osmo and his team during production, there was extensive Foley of metal scrapes, hits, smashes and chains," adds co-supervising sound editor White. "I also went on location in Australia and recorded effects with acoustics of the outside world." The film's sound design was a team effort, Mangini stresses. "David White did an outstanding job in Australia, designing Max's head-space moments, among others, while Scott Hecker and the LA-based crew from Formosa Group made valuable design and editing contributions." White concedes that his most challenging function was handling the temp mixes produced in Australia for test screenings. "In all, I mixed the film in its entirety six times," he recalls. "That workload — combining all the new elements and re-conforming from a previous version — made it challenging to get new O S C A R - W O R T H Y S O U N D E D I T O R S Mark Mangini. Photo by Martin Cohen

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