The Other Awards Show

In my household, the big award show nights were the Grammys, Premios Juventud (Latin music awards), Latin Grammy’s, the Emmy’s, the Golden Globes, and of course the Academy Awards. More recently than I care to admit, I’ve learned about other award shows like the BAFTA’s (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Film Awards, the Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. There’s no surprise, then, that there are countless other awards that honor specific elements of film and television.

Held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles yesterday, the Golden Reel Awards honored the best in sound editing. Presented by the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE), this award show celebrated achievements in dialogue and ADR (additional dialogue recording), effects and foley (sounds created for use in film), and music.

If you look at a movie’s IMDB page and notice the various positions on a film set, you’ll see that for films like “Chicago” or any musical, really, the sound department list is pretty extensive. To put it plainly, there are those that record sound on set, those that record sound in a studio, and those that mix the sounds in an editing bay. I’ll spare you the details of how sound design works for film, but if you’re interested, you can always Google film sound design. Dominick Tavella visited my college last year to talk about the art of sound. He showed us clips from Chicago, for which he won an Academy Award for best sound design in 2003, and Black Swan.

Amazing stuff, right? Of course, he hardly did it alone. It took a team of at least three to work on that specific scene. It required numerous mixing tracks (music, foley, adr, dialgue, etc)–we’re talking about 100. It’s a process—and a very long one at that. A scene like this can be worked on for months, and in the end, it can definitely pay off.

This is one of the best scenes in the movie, and though it didn’t win any awards in sound editing at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards, it is definitely praised for its impeccable sound design.

If you’re interested in little gems like these, here’s a brief look at the winners. Check out the full list of nominees and winners here.

Best Sound Design in a Feature Animated Film – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue, & ADR

The Adventures of Tintin

Best Sound Design in a Feature Documentary – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue, ADR, & Music

The Flowers of War

Best Sound Editing in a Feature Film – Dialogue & ADR

Super 8

Best Sound Editing in a Feature Film – Sound Effects & Foley

War Horse

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