Real Life, Real Oscar Potential

Production sound mixer is Oscar-nommed for 'Gravity,' 'Captain Phillips'

“I don’t like to think of myself as a sound person who works in film,” says veteran production sound mixer Chris Munro. “I think it’s better to consider yourself a filmmaker who specializes in sound.”

Munro, a double Oscar-nominee in sound mixing for “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips,” has been well-served by this philosophy.

Munro’s work took him to extremes in 2013. “Captain Phillips” required work on nausea-inducing lifeboats with barebones equipment. For “Gravity,” he worked with sophisticated technology.

“On ‘Gravity’ we matched the breathing with Sandra (Bullock),” says Munro, who recorded Bullock’s breathing separately so it could be treated like dialogue. “We’d record her through the microphone you see in the shots and one hidden on her head, then play it back for her before she started the next scene so the rhythm would be consistent.”

Munro learned to focus on those kinds of details from his first film — Sam Peckinpah’s “Cross of Iron.”

“Great directors always want specific things like that and this year I was lucky to work with two of them,” says Munro.

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