There is a question that arises literally every single year as I talk about my Oscar picks- What on earth is the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing?
Sound Editing refers to both the selection and the creation of sounds that are used in a film. A Sound Editor is responsible for finding all of the different things that you hear while watching a movie, with the exception of the dialog and the score. The Tie Fighter roar in Star Wars? Sound Editing. The bear roar in The Revenant? Sound Editing. It is all of the small individual pieces both located and made from scratch.
Sound Mixing is how all of those sounds are applied to a film. If Sound Editing is like collecting various photos and ephemera for a scrap book, Sound Mixing is the actual assembling of that scrap book. Makes sense? So how many Tie Fighter roars do we need, and when do they appear? How loud is that bear, and when to the various bashes and crunches get applied? Sound Mixing, ladies and gentlemen.
Now, there is generally quite a bit of overlap in the nominees for both of those categories. That is due to the fact that a film that requires the creation of a great deal of sound will need to expertly apply it as well. This year is no real exception to that commonality, with six films being nominated across the ten slots:
Mad Max: Fury Road”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Mad Max: Fury Road
Bridge of Spies
They were all fantastic films as far as the Sound goes, but honestly, I’ll say it’s going to be a coin toss between two of those titles – The Revenant and Mad Max : Fury Road. Really, it could go either way, with a maybe possible Star Wars steal.
I’m going to call Mad Max : Fury Road for both, since it has been getting a lot of love but will likely lose on more “major” categories to The Revenant. That and the immersive sound experience of that film was just incredible. I’m pretty such my IMAX seat was shaking.
We’re also going to look at the Score and Original Song categories today as well:
Carol (Carter Burwell)
Sicario (Jóhann Jóhannsson)
The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)
Bridge of Spies (Thomas Newman)
Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens (John Williams)
Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey
Manta Ray from Racing Extinction
Simple Song #3 from Youth
Score seems to be a no-brainer – Morricone will pick it up, unless the Academy wants to award John Williams with a win for lucky nomination #50. That man has written the soundtrack to my life, I swear.
Original Song is a little less obvious, but I’m leaning towards “Til It Happens to You,” which would contribute to Lady Gaga’s eventual march to an EGOT. “Writings on the Wall” was one of the most boring Bond songs ever, and I don’t want to live in a world where Fifty Shades of Grey can boast about being an Oscar winner, even if the song isn’t bad.