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Motion Picture Sound Editors Wins Give ‘Dune’ and ‘West Side Story’ Oscar Momentum

"Nightmare Alley" also won and Disney's animated "Raya and the Last Dragon" upset "Encanto."

"Dune VFX Oscar winner


©Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

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The Oscar-frontrunner “Dune” (Warner Bros.), “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures), and “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios) each won sound editing feature awards Sunday night at the 69th annual MPSE Golden Reel Awards (held virtually). “Dune” took feature effects/foley, “Nightmare Alley,” a non-Oscar nominee and surprise winner over “Dune” and “No Time to Die,” snagged feature dialogue/ADR, and Oscar nominee “West Side Story” collected feature music. The other Oscar sound nominees are “Belfast” (Focus Features), “No Time to Die” (MGM/UA), and “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix).

There were other surprises: Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” triumphed in animation over the studio’s Oscar-frontrunner, “Encanto,” which has won a slew of guild awards, and “The Rescue” (Disney+) took feature documentary over Oscar-frontrunner “Summer of Soul” (Searchlight Pictures). Additionally, “Cliff Walkers” (Viki) earned foreign language honors, and “Infinite” (Paramount +) grabbed non-theatrical feature.

On the TV side, “Succession,” (HBO Max), “The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+), “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime), “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu), “The Witcher” (Netflix), “Arcane” (Netflix), and “Love, Death & Robots” (Netflix) were all winners.

In terms of the Oscar race, both “Dune” and “West Side Story” were given a boost, with the 58th annual Cinema Audio Society Awards for sound mixing coming March 19 (at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown). However, the sonic power and complexity of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” is going to be hard to beat. Its great achievement is creating a grounded reality that is organic and familiar. Supervising sound editors Mark Mangini (the Oscar-winning “Mad Max: Fury Road”) and Theo Green (the Oscar-nominated “Blade Runner 2049”) conveyed a soundscape that is gritty and hallucinatory, from colossal sandworms that shake the sand dunes of Arrakis to supernatural voices that rattle the mind.

David Alvarez as Bernardo and Ariana DeBose as Anita in 20th Century Studios' WEST SIDE STORY. Photo by Niko Tavernise. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“West Side Story”

Niko Tavernise

“West Side Story” represents Steven Spielberg’s first musical and he wanted it to be more authentic, shooting 80 percent on location with as much on-set recording as possible, and working with his go-to sound team (Tod A. Maitland, seven-time Oscar winner Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, two-time Oscar winner Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy). One of the most complex sequences was the dance at the school gym between the rival Jets and Sharks gangs, where Maria (Rachel Zegler) and Tony (Ansel Elgort) meet for the first time. Sound was ubiquitous so everyone was wired for a dancing cacophony, and for dialogue they boomed everyone accordingly.

As previously announced, Ron Howard received the Filmmaker Award and Chic Ciccolini (“Apollo 13”) was the Career Achievement recipient.


Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Dialogue / ADR

“Nightmare Alley”
Searchlight Pictures
Supervising Sound Editor: Jill Purdy MPSE
Supervising Dialogue Editor: Jill Purdy MPSE
Supervising ADR Editor: Jill Purdy MPSE
Dialogue Editor: Nelson Ferreira MPSE

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Effects / Foley

Warner Bros.
Supervising Sound Editors: Theo Green, Mark Mangini MPSE
Sound Designer: Dave Whitehead
Sound Effects Editors: Phil Barrie, Lee Gilmore MPSE, Greg Ten Bosch MPSE, Robert Kellough MPSE, Piero Mura
Foley Editor: Christopher Bonis
Foley Artists: Andy Malcolm, Goro Koyama, Sandra Fox

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Music

“West Side Story”
20th Century Studios
Music Editors: Joe E. Rand, Ramiro Belgardt
Scoring Editor: David Channing

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Animation

“Raya and the Last Dragon”
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Supervising Sound Editor: Shannon Mills
Supervising Dialogue Editor: Brad Semenoff MPSE
Sound Designer: Nia Hansen
Sound Effects Editors: Samson Neslund, David C. Hughes, Cameron Barker
Foley Editors: Chris Frazier, Steve Orlando
Foley Artists: John Roesch MPSE, Shelley Roden MPSE
Supervising Music Editor: Jim Weidman
Music Editor: David Olson

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Documentary

“The Rescue”
Supervising Sound Editor: Deborah Wallach
Sound Effects Editor: Roland Vajs
Foley Artist: Nuno Bentro
Music Editor: Ben Smithers

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Foreign Language Feature

“Cliff Walkers”
Supervising Sound Editors: Yang Jiang MPSE, Zhao Nan MPSE
ADR Editor: Li Xinghui
Foley Artist: Han Junsheng
Sound Editors: Ann Scibelli, Xiao’ou Olivia Zhang MPSE, Iain Pattison

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Animation Series or Short

“Love, Death + Robots”: “Snow in the Desert”
Supervising Sound Editor: Brad North MPSE
Sound Designer: Craig Henighan MPSE
Foley Editors: Jeff Gross, Dawn Lunsford
Foley Artist: Alicia Stevens
Music Editor: Jeff Charbonneau

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Limited Series or Anthology

“The Underground Railroad”: Chapter 9: “Indiana Winter”
Amazon Prime
Supervising Sound Editor: Onnalee Blank MPSE
Sound Designers: Jay Jennings, Harry Cohen MPSE
Sound Effects Editor: Luke Gibleon
Dialogue Editors: Chris Kahwaty MPSE, Katy Wood
ADR Editor: Bryan Parker MPSE
Foley Editors: Pietu Korhonen, Lars Halvorsen
Foley Artist: Heikki Kossi MPSE
Music Editor: John Finklea

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Animation

“Arcane – League of Legends”: “When These Walls Come Tumbling Down”
Supervising Sound Editors: Brad Beaumont MPSE, Eliot Connors MPSE
Supervising Music Editor: Alexander Temple
Supervising ADR Editor: Shannon Beaumont
Foley Editor: Alexander Ephraim MPSE
Foley Artists: Dan O’ Connell, John Cucci MPSE
Music Editor: Alex Seaver

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Documentary

“The Beatles Get Back”: “Part 3”
Supervising Sound Editors: Brent Burge, Martin Kwok
Sound Editors: Matt Stutter MPSE, Buster Flaws, Melanie Graham
Dialogue Editor: Emile De La Rey
Music Editors: Steve Gallagher MPSE, Tane Upjohn-Beatson
Foley Editor: Michael Donaldson
Foley Artist: Simon Riley

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Feature

Supervising Sound Editors: Mandell Winter MPSE, David Esparza MPSE
Sound Designer: Hamilton Sterling
Sound Effects Editor: Will Digby MPSE
Dialogue Editors: Micah Loken MPSE, Sang Kim
Foley Editor: Eryne Prine MPSE
Music Editor: Mark “Vordo” Wlodarkiewicz
Foley Artists: Dan O’Connell, John Cucci MPSE

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – ½ Hour – Comedy or Drama

“Only Murders in the Building”: “The Boy From 6B”
Supervising Sound Editor: Mathew Waters
Dialogue Editor: Danika Wikke MPSE
Sound Effects Editor: Meredith Stacy
Music Editor: Micha Liberman

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Series 1 Hour – Dialogue / ADR

“Succession”: “Secession”
Supervising Sound Editor: Nicholas Renbeck MPSE
Dialogue Editor: Michael Feuser
ADR Editor: Angela Organ

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Series 1 Hour – Effects / Foley

“The Witcher”: “A Grain of Truth”
Supervising Sound Editor: Matthew Collinge
Sound Designers: Rob Turner, Alyn Sclosa, Rob Prynne
Foley Editors: Adam Oakley, Rob Weatherall
Foley Artists: Zoe Freed, Rebecca Heathcote

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Series 1 Hour – Music

“Wu Tang: An American Saga”: “Protect Ya Neck”
Music Editor: Sebastian Zuleta

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Game Audio

“Call of Duty”: Vanguard
Infinity Ward
Audio Director: David Swenson MPSE
Audio Leads: Matthew Grimm, Ryan McSweeney, Michael Caisley, Eric Wedemeyer
Supervising Sound Editors: Charles Deenen MPSE, Nick Interlandi, Nick Martin
Supervising Dialogue Editor: Emilio Lopez-Centellas, Adam Boyd MPSE, Hilary Long
Supervising Music Editors: Ted Kocher, Anthony Caruso
Sound Designers: Kegan Chau, Fernando Labarthe, Sheridan Willard, Tyler Cannan, Michael Tornabene, Peter Wayne, Liam Underwood, Don Veca, Jeremiah Sypult, Andy Bayless, Darren Blondin, Nicholas D’Amato, Jacob Denny, Jacob Harley, Vadim Nuniyants, Timothy Schlie, Aaron Brown, Ian Mika, Tory Bader, Corina Bello, Darrell Tung, Jonathan Gosselin, Nick Tremblay, Mathieu Denis, Mikael Frithiof, Jon Persson, Braden Parkes, Erick Ocampo, Mike Maksim, Matt Hall, Chris Diebold, Jeff Sawyer, Josh Moore, Igor Comes, Tim Gedemer MPSE, Klaus Shipman, Jim Schaefer, Rashaad Wiggins
Sound Editors: Daniel Petras, Jordan Ruhala, Matthew Schaff MPSE
Dialogue Editors: Robert Jackson, Maggie Wolf, Alvaro Vela, Serge J. Isaac, Stiv Schneider, Juliana Henao Mesa, David Price
Music Editors: Scott Shoemaker, Tao-Ping Chen, Adam Kallibjian, Rob Goodson, Andrew Buresh
Foley Artist: Foley Walkers

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Student Film (Verna Fields Award)

“Build Me Up”
The National Film and Television School
Supervising Sound Editor: Wong Hui Grace

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