SOUND EDITING: Gwendolyn Yates Whittle points to the scene where Jake Sully connects to the Tree of Voices. “We sound designed some whispery voices that wafted in,” she explains. “Then very gradually these other sounds came in — chants in Na’vi and snippets of everyday Na’vi life, like a Na’vi couple arguing. I edited those, and then they were all mixed together.”

SOUND MIXING: Christopher Boyes on the final battle scene when Sully lands on the Valkyrie: “What sounds are you going to play? You want to play the power of this big beast, but he’s focused on its weakness. If I put all the faders up, it’s not going to be anything that you want to listen to, and if you can’t listen to it then you can’t watch it.”

“The Hurt Locker”
SOUND EDITING:Paul N.J. Ottosson mentions the nighttime suicide bomber scene. “The sound carries a tremendous amount, because we don’t see a lot. There are people screaming, helicopters overhead and military men shouting orders. There is a lot of sound editing in there, and we placed all of (the sounds) to find a rhythm and build the tension.”

SOUND MIXING: Ottosson, who was the sole re-recording mixer, points out the goal was to stress the audience throughout. “We wanted it to feel like you were the fourth member of their team. In the sniper scene, I did things that traditionally you would never do, like panning dialog through all the speakers, so it felt like you were there with them.”

“Inglourious Basterds”
SOUND EDITING: Wylie Stateman’s job is to deliver precise sounds. “The sound work we do for Quentin (Tarantino) isn’t afraid to be shocking in terms of its simplicity. It’s a nice companion to his writing style, so we’ll deliver something very intense and very rapid. That’s what makes his films a little different and satisfying for the audience sonically.”

SOUND MIXING: “The opening scene is written brilliantly and it’s full of quirky sound effects,” remarks Michael Minkler. “Then there’s this big explosiveness towards the end that’s outrageous for a short period of time, maybe only 35 seconds, but it’s a testament to good mixing, good sound effects work, and its very Quentinesque.”

“Star Trek”
SOUND EDITING: Mark Stoeckinger attempted to base the sounds his team created on science. “Not because it had to be accurate, but we looked at what things were powered by. It’s not a jet, so it’s not going to sound like that. If it had a tonal quality, we used bowed metal and vibrating objects, like a didgeridoo, which is in the sound of the Narada.”

SOUND MIXING: The fight on the Romulan drill platform is Anna Behlmer’s example. “That drill is really heavy soundwise. I was able to slowly take it out (of the mix) and let the music and fight sounds take over. If people are into the action, then they’re not paying attention to the drill. (Removing it) gave us a whole lot of sonic space.”

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
SOUND EDITING: Not nominated

SOUND MIXING: The Fallen’s last stand is Greg P. Russell’s scene. “We took out all of the other specific sounds, even when the tanks hit the pyramids and crash into it, so that the big player was how huge the energy force was. Clarity and focus are my main objectives. I try to eliminate things we really don’t need to hear.”

SOUND EDITING: Michael Silvers was charged with polishing rookie actor Jordan Nagai’s dialog tracks. “There were lines where it was two words from one performance, one word from another and a breath from another. Being a dialog editor, I’m concerned about it flowing and sounding believable. For the most part it did, but I definitely had to finesse that kind of thing.”

SOUND MIXING: Not nominated