Post Magazine

February 2016

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Page 20 of 51 19 POST FEBRUARY 2016 O S C A R buzz ark Mangini of Hollywood's Formosa Group was at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater when the 88th Annual Oscar nominees were announced on the morning of Thursday, January 14th. In addition to being a member of the Academy, he is a four-time Oscar nominee, including this year in the Sound Editing category for his work as super- vising sound editor on director George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road. In addition to Sound Editing, Mad Max: Fury Road is nominated for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Costume Design, Make Up & Hairstyling, and Production Design. The post apoc- alyptic action drama is set in a barren desert wasteland where gasoline and water are scarce, and where Immortan Joe leads a cult of followers who chase down Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) as they try to flee. Post spoke with Mark Mangini about his work on the film and the meaning of a nomination. Tell us about your morning? "My wife and I went to the Sam Goldwyn Theater for the live broadcast. I am a governor of the Academy, so I am allowed to go to that [broadcast], and I was cool as a cucumber until they got up to read the nominations. The same thing happens to me on Oscar night. I have been nominated three times before (Aladdin, The Fifth Element, Star Trek) and I am great up until that envelope gets near by. Then I go into space." Are you aware of the competition in the category? "One: As a member of the Academy, I make it my mission to see as many movies as I can, ideally in a theater. If I miss some- thing while I am working on a film, I'll catch it on a screener in the fall. Two: I keep my ear to ground in the community for what people are saying are the good-sound- ing movies. And I make it a point to hear all of them. I want to be able to make an informed vote on my Academy ballot. Of course I'll put Mad Max as #1, but what should be #2 and #3? I want to make an honest and correct vote, and it's incum- bent upon me as a professional to know what is good and why it's good, and learn from my peers." Does a film have to be groundbreaking to get nominated, or is it more about quality? "All of those elements play into what makes a film potentially nominate-able. I like to think that films that do get nominated for sound, get nominated because sound transported the audience — immersed the audience — one way is through Dolby Atmos and speak- ers all around you...Sound allows the audience to forget they are watching a movie and transports them to another reality. I think that's what the members look for in terms of something that's nominate-able." What were you aiming for with Mad Max: Fury Road? "The goal was pretty clear from George. There were obvious things you need to do in any movie — not just Mad Max — and that is create a fabricated reality. This post-apocalyptic future doesn't exist. Those vehicles don't exist. And those peo- ple and the denizens of that world don't exist. So we created fabricated worlds — places, sounds, vehicles. Those are the easy-to-notice challenges. But the bigger challenge really is that this is a very busy, dense movie, and it's finding what our 'sonic focus' should be at any moment. You could be in the War Rig and hearing any of hundreds of different things, but George is always about what is the story saying and what one or two sounds best tells that point? Our work with George was always sonic focus. What do we want to hear here at this moment?" Is there a particular scene that you feel you really nailed? "I think we did that in every scene. We spent an extraordinary amount of time in post. Our big piece is the big chase where Immortan Joe and the war party have found Furiosa and Max in the War Rig and are chasing them to essentially kill them. That's a 20-minute-long set piece and it's a full-on chase for 20 min- utes. It's finding the dynamics in a scene like that so you don't abuse the audience. We spent the bulk of our time on that 20-minute sequence." You've been nominated in the past — what is Oscar night like? "It's lovely for people like ourselves — the non-celebrity disciplines — to feel like a celebrity for the night...We all get treated like somebody really important. And of course we know we all are." Mad Max: Fury Road THIS GEORGE MILLER FILM RAKED IN THE NOMINATIONS, INCLUDING THAT FOR 'SOUND EDITING' M BY MARC LOFTUS Mark Mangini says the film's chase scene received extra attention.

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