With a week to go before the glittery main event, every award presentation now is seen as a harbinger of things to come for the Oscars.
Last night, “Les Miserablés” won big at the 49th Annual Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Awards in Los Angeles. The film won for “outstanding achievement in sound mixing – live action,” with honors going to the sound mixing team of Production Mixer Simon Hayes, Re-recording Mixers Andy Nelson and Mark Paterson, Scoring Mixer Jonathan Allen, ADR Mixer Robert Edwards and Foley Mixer Pete Smith.
Taking the top honors in the newly added category of “outstanding achievement in sound mixing for a motion picture – animated” – was “Brave” and the sound mixing team of Original Dialogue Mixer Bobby Johanson, Re-recording Mixer Tom Johnson and Gary Rydstrom, Scoring Mixer Andrew Dudman and Foley Mixer Frank Rinella.
Other honors went to director Jonathan Demme and production sound mixers Chris Newman and Tom Fleischman.
Oscar-nominated actress Anne Hathaway, who played the tortured Fantine in “Les Miserablés,” presented Jonathan Demme with the CAS Filmmaking Award. Hathaway starred in the director’s dramedy “Rachel Getting Married” in 2009, for which she received an Oscar nomination.
To appreciate how significant these awards are, just imagine how much less scarier and foreboding Demme’s “Silence of the Lambs” would have been without the creepy dungeon sound effects.
In presenting the award, Hathaway said, “If you know Jonathan’s outstanding work as a director, then you know that he is a genius at making movies. And if you know Jonathan, then you know he is a genius at living beautifully.”
Presenting with Hathaway was two-time Oscar winner Willie D. Burton, (“Dreamgirls,” “Bird”) who served as production sound mixer on Demme’s “Beloved.”
“This is a very special honor for me on many fronts,” Demme said. “Chris Newman is one of the true geniuses that I have been blessed to collaborate with over the years. And for me to receive an award from the sound community, after a career of sound-obsessive film making, is just fantastic, a huge honor. I am so grateful and humbled by this.”
The program also celebrated the contributions of production sound mixer Chris Newman, with the CAS Career Achievement Award. A three-time Academy Award winner for “The English Patient,” “Amadeus” and “The Exorcist,” Newman previously won a CAS Award for “The English Patient.” “Tonight,” said Newman, “I consider myself the luckiest man who has ever lived.”
Previous CAS and Academy Award winner Tom Fleischman and Demme were on hand to present Newman’s award. Newman, Demme and Fleischman have collaborated on many films, including “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Married to the Mob” and “Neil Young: Heart of Gold.”
During the evening, there was also a tribute to Stefan Kudelski, inventor of the first professional portable recorder, the renowned “Nagra.”
Other winners from the evening include:
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Television Movie or Mini-Series:
“HATFIELDS & McCOYS” and the Sound Mixing Team of Production Mixer Dragos Stanomir, Re-recording Mixers Christian Cooke and Brad Zoern, Scoring Mixer Jeffrey A. Vaughn, CAS, ADR Mixer Eric Apps and Foley Mixer Peter Persaud.
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – One Hour:
“HOMELAND”: “Beirut is Back” and the Sound Mixing Team of Production Mixer Larry Long, Re-recording Mixers Nello Torri, CAS and Alan M. Decker, CAS, ADR Mixer Paul Drenning and Foley Mixer Shawn Kennelly.
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series – Half Hour:
“MODERN FAMILY”: “Disneyland” and the Sound Mixing Team of Production Mixer Stephen A. Tibbo, CAS and Re-recording Mixers Dean Okrand and Brian R. Harman, CAS.
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Non Fiction, Variety or Music – Series or Specials:
“THE 2012 ROCK & ROCK HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY” and the Sound Mixing Team of Re-recording Mixers Brian Riordan, CAS and Jamie Ledner.
The winners of the CAS Technical Achievement Awards:
PRODUCTION: SOUND DEVICES – 664 Field Production Mixer with Recorder
POST-PRODUCTION: DOLBY® – Atmos.