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MPSE Golden Reel Awards: ‘Captain Phillips,’ ‘Gravity,’ ‘The Great Gatsby’ Win Sound Editors Awards

George Lucas presents career award to Randy Thom

Sound editors united at the 61st MPSE Golden Reel Awards on Feb. 16 with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas dubbing them “the backs on which the entire film industry rests.”

Lucas was there to present longtime friend and director of sound design at Skywalker Sound, Randy Thom, with the MPSE career achievement award.

Before Thom received MPSE’s highest honor, he took the stage to collect his Golden Reel for “Epic,” beating out “Frozen” for best sound and music editing in animation. “I wasn’t ready to be nervous yet,” he said.

Thom has been nominated for 14 Oscars, an Emmy, a Grammy, and has won two Academy Awards for “The Incredibles” and “The Right Stuff.”

Lucas used to call Thom the “sound Buddha” because for the first 10 years working together Lucas never heard him say anything.  “[Thom] just adds things in without having to question everything,” Lucas said.

Thom returned the praise and said seeing and hearing the first “Star Wars” rearranged his chromosomes and he was never quite the same after that.

Director Jon M. Chu and actress Julia Parker presented best sound and music editing in TV/feature animations and documentary.

Chu received laughs from the crowd after thanking the sound editors for their part in his own films. “Thank you for everything, from even the “Step Up” movies that I made. We made our dance numbers enormous, ninja fights out of this world, and Justin Bieber sound like an angel. If you can do that, you deserve an award.”

“Gravity”, “Frozen” and “Captain Phillips” took home top awards in feature film, along with “The Great Gatsby” for best sound editing of music.

“Captain Phillips” won best editing for dialogue and ADR, “Gravity” for best sound effects and Foley and “Frozen” received best music in a musical feature.

On the TV side. “Game of Thrones” took home nods for best sound editing in short form music and dialogue/ADR.

Another highlight of the show came when Navid Negahban, better known as “Homeland’s” most infamous terrorist Abu Nazir, came to the stage with Mark Lanza as hostage.

“Do you see how important the sound is? Do you, do you!? Are you sure?!” yelled Negahban. Lanza, with his hands tied and mouth duct taped, responded, “Sound is definitely the most important thing.”

The two presented the awards to both “The Grandmaster” and “The Past,” who tied for best sound and music editing in foreign language.

Director Steven Spielberg made an appearance during the night via pre-recorded video to honor the late Charles L. Campbell, a past president of the MPSE.

Throughout the night there were some technical difficulties with playback of nominee clips. The only video montage that seemed to run smoothly was the Ray Dolby tribute. His eldest son even took notice. “Dad, thank you for making the sound work in the last video.”

As for the future of sound, Lucas believes the industry has made a lot of transitions to make it better and will continue to make advances. “There’s more that can be done that will probably be more visceral sounds, but you have to change the seats in the theater,” he said. “And they have also sound now with lasers that can pinpoint you in an audience and give you a special soundtrack.”

And for Thom, some parts remain in the past regardless of technology. “I think the most important parts of doing sound for movies hasn’t changed very much. It’s about collaboration and trying things until you find a way that sound can make a statement about who the characters are and the world that they live in.”

The Golden Reel Awards were held at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

See below for a full list of winners:

TV/FEATURE ANIMATION & DOCUMENTARY

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: TELEVISION ANIMATION
FAIRLY ODD PARENTS “DUMBBELL CURVE” (NICKELODEON )

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY SHORT FORM
NORTH AMERICA: NO PLACE TO HIDE (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY LONG FORM
DEADLIEST CATCH: THE FINAL BATTLE: THE FINAL BATTLE (DISCOVERY)

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: SOUND EFFECTS, FOLEY, DIALOGUE & ADR IN AN ANIMATION FEATURE FILM
EPIC (20TH CENTURY FOX )

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: DOCUMENTARIES – FEATURE FILM
DIRTY WARS (IFC)

STUDENT FILMMAKER
VERNA FIELDS AWARD IN SOUND EDITING FOR STUDENT FILMS & PRESENTATION OF SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
ROBOMAX (NATIONAL FILM AND TELEVISION SCHOOL)

COMPUTER/DIRECT TO VIDEO/FOREIGN FEATURE
BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: COMPUTER EPISODIC ENTERTAINMENT
MORTAL KOMBAT: LEGACY SERIES II – EP.4 (Warner Premiere)

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: COMPUTER INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT
STARCRAFT 2: HEART OF THE SWARM CINEMATIC (BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT, INC.)

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: DIRECT TO VIDEO – ANIMATION
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS PT. 2 (WARNER BROS. ANIMATION)

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: DIRECT TO VIDEO – LIVE ACTION
MARVEL ONE-SHOT: AGENT CARTER (WALT DISNEY STUDIO)

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: SPECIAL VENUE
TO THE ARCTIC 3D (Warner Brothers Studios)

BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: FEATURE FILM – FOREIGN LANGUAGE (tie)
THE GRANDMASTER (THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY)
THE PAST (SONY PICTURES CLASSICS)

TELEVISION SHORT FORM

BEST SOUND EDITING IN TELEVISION: SHORT FORM – MUSIC
GAME OF THRONES: “THE RAINS OF CASTAMERE” (HBO ENTERTAINMENT)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN TELEVISION: SHORT FORM – MUSIC, MUSICAL
PEG + CAT: THE BEETHOVEN PROBLEM (PBS)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN TELEVISION: SHORT FORM – DIALOGUE AND ADR
GAME OF THRONES: “THE RAINS OF CASTAMERE” (HBO ENTERTAINMENT)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN TELEVISION: SHORT FORM – SOUND EFFECTS AND FOLEY
BREAKING BAD: FELINA (AMC)

TELEVISION LONG FORM

BEST SOUND EDITING IN TELEVISION: LONG FORM – MUSIC, MUSICAL
HISTORY OF THE EAGLES: PART ONE (SHOWTIME) Directed by: Alison Ellwood

BEST SOUND EDITING IN TELEVISION: LONG FORM – DIALOGUE & ADR
THE BRIDGE: “PILOT” (SHINE AMERICA)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN TELEVISION: LONG FORM – SOUND EFFECTS AND FOLEY
SONS OF ANARCHY: SALVAGE (FX NETWORK)

FEATURE FILM

BEST SOUND EDITING IN FEATURE FILM – MUSIC
THE GREAT GATSBY (WARNER BROS.)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN FEATURE FILM – MUSIC, MUSICAL FEATURE
FROZEN (BUENA VISTA)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN FEATURE FILM – DIALOGUE AND ADR
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (COLUMBIA PICTURES)

BEST SOUND EDITING IN FREATURE FILM – SOUND EFFECTS AND FOLEY
GRAVITY (WARNER BROS.)

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