Categories One-by-One: Sound Editing

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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:22 am

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for The Hurt Locker.
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Postby Reza » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:34 am


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Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:24 am

I can't believe District 9 wasn't nominated here. I think the alien dialogue is very much a sound editing achievement.

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Postby Zahveed » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:26 pm

Longshots are worth more points.
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Postby Damien » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:47 pm

Slam dunk for Avatar.
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Postby Sabin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:43 pm

Meant to give Up a 5%.
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Postby The Original BJ » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:28 pm

Saving Private Ryan might also be some precedent for The Hurt Locker, but Ryan only had to defeat the critically reviled Armageddon, not a Best Picture competitor like Avatar.

I think Avatar has this one in the bag. There might be more competition in the other sound category, but this category always tends toward the blockbustery, and Avatar is big, it's loud, and the sounds are pretty impressive. Actually, I think all the nominees in this category are quite strong, though District 9 would have been a worthy entrant as well.

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Postby Greg » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:39 pm

Sabin, your odds add up to 105%.

By the way, I think Avatar will win.
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Postby Sabin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:36 pm

To be honest, I wasn't certain that Up would get nominated because I don't really remember "hearing" anything special in the film aside from the glorious score. Certainly that obnoxious bird noise doesn't strike me as anything Oscar worthy. It's a PIXAR movie so it certainly deserves a nomination, but I was pretty surprised that Cars wasn't nominated. If WALL-E couldn't win, I don't think this will.

Star Trek has some pretty sweet sound effects, synthesizing original Trek classic noises. The film is a pretty fast-moving action film with a lot of variation in the set pieces. It certainly feels/sounds like Kirk et al are plummeting to potential death. But I don't think there's much precedent for Star Trek winning. Nor is there for Inglourious Basterds or The Hurt Locker. Like with Public Enemies (but a competent mix), you certainly feel every gunshot in that film though. The only precedent for The Hurt Locker would seem to be Letters from Iwo Jima, the most well-respected film of the nominees with a series of sounds so well-modulated that you don't for a moment assume they aren't real. To be perfectly honest, I would vote for The Hurt Locker simply because I have no Earthy ideal which sounds are foley-ed and which are not. Like, no idea. Nor did I think for a second in the theater that I was listening to anything created in a lab.

Avatar has it in the bag. I certainly can't begrudge its win. King Kong is the closest precedent I can think of: a movie big and loud enough, full of creature noises and pulsing kinetic action. Every creature in Avatar has a very distinct sound, as do the weapons and those hair penis things.

Slant is not doing the percentage thing this year. I will predict:

Avatar -- 65%
The Hurt Locker - 15%
Inglourious Basterds -- 5%
Star Trek -- 10%
Up -- 5%

Edited By Sabin on 1266349337
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Postby dws1982 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:20 pm

Like you, this is one of the few categories where I've seen all five nominees. (I've only got three left in Best Picture, but two of those are Directing nominees as well, so I'm not even finished in that category. May take advantage of an unexpectedly free afternoon and see one of those Best Picture nominees today.)

I pretty much agree with your rankings here. I do think that an Avatar win here (and in Sound and Visual Effects) would not say much about its Best Picture prospects. The Hurt Locker--or Inglourious Basterds, since Harvey and Quentin are reportedly in full campaign mode--winning this and/or Sound might give an interesting preview of Best Picture.

Or it might not, since nine years ago, going into the Best Picture presentation, every award Gladiator had lost (except Original Screenplay) had gone to either Traffic or Crouching Tiger..., and three of its four awards (Actor, Sound, Visual Effects) were in categories with no other Best Picture nominees. But if we see some backlash against Avatar, I think it could possibly show here.

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Postby Mister Tee » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:48 pm

Though I pioneered these threads a few years back, I've been lax about creating them the past year or two, circumstance and finance having limited the number of categories in which I've seen all candidates. Two areas where I have complete knowledge -- visual effects and score -- have already been taken, so let me snap up this one while I can.

Best achievement in sound editing. The nominees:

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek

As I mentioned on nominations day: if one of the sound categories was going to feature Up rather than the Transformers sequel, I'd have expected it to be this one rather than sound mixing. Sound mixing (and its ancestor Best Achievement in Sound) has of course spotlighted many of the same popular/loud summer-ish movies as sound editing, but usually bends a bit toward best picture-contending or more respectable films for its marginal candidates -- while sound editing (certainly before it expanded to five nominees) has traditionally centered on the loudest, most broadly popular and sometimes dumbest efforts. So the Transfornmers-for-Up swap runs a bit counter to history.

Up wouldn't appear to have that much chance here. It doesn't have the whiz-bang effects that brought The Incredibles its prize, nor even the noticeable sound design of the non-winning Wall E.

Star Trek seems in the position Iron Man was last year: popular enough it might have won in a less competitive year, but probably outclassed by the bigger kahunas in the category.

I was a bit surprised by Inglourious Basterds' inclusion both here and in mixing, though I suppose the big explosions at the end account for the nod. I'm guessing people who want to acknowledge explosions are far more likely to opt for The Hurt Locker, which I think has a definite shot here.

But, going with tradition, I have to figure most of the big tech prizes will go to the big tech favorite, which means Avatar. It's not a slam-dunk, but I think Cameron's movie has the strongest shot.

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