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Backstage Interview: Sound Mixing



Q. It’s so good to see you.  Congratulations.  My question is for you, Kevin.  What is it like to win your first Oscar after 21 nominations?

A. (Kevin O’Connell)  I can’t even tell you the experience that it was for me.  As much as I thought I was going to know what it felt like, I didn’t.  And I have to tell you, it was the greatest feeling on the entire ‑‑ in my entire life and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had, especially to work with these guys and I’m so grateful.  It’s amazing.

Q. Kevin, did you expect this to happen or were you getting used to this being standard form with 21 and done?

A. (Kevin O’Connell)  Well, I wasn’t expecting it to happen, but I feel as though I’m eternally grateful that it happened, specifically because of the project that it was.  Mel Gibson did such an amazing job, Andrew Garfield, the entire cast and crew, and specifically these guys that I’m standing next to, this award wouldn’t be possible without their efforts tonight as well.

Q. Congratulations.  Andy Wright, I have a special question for you, please.  How does it feel to win an Oscar, number one, especially for a film that was made, you know, so ‑‑ embraced so much and made in Australia?

A. (Andy Wright)  It’s an incredible experience to really represent the Australian crew and all the effort that was done by everybody, but it’s extra special to be standing here with Kevin.  I mean, when you think of Kevin O’Connell, Rob and myself working as sound mixers, we’ve idolized the films that he mixed.  We grew up on the films that he’s mixed.  We’ve learned from the things that he’s done by watching the films that he’s worked on.  And to be standing here tonight with him winning an Oscar for a production that was just the most amazing thing to work on, it’s just unbelievable.

Q. [Inaudible]

A. It’s a golden ticket, isn’t it?  We’ll get to the wee hours, I think.

Q. Kevin, I don’t know why you were surprised.  I told you you were going to win.

A. (Kevin O’Connell)  I owe you one.

Q. You do.  Good, I get to go to the parties then.  In all of the 21 nominations that you’ve had, and you finally win for this one, which of the films, though, was the most difficult, do you think?

A. (Kevin O’Connell)  Oh, that’s a tough question.  You know, because technology’s been changing.

Q. Right.

A. And so, golly.  I would have to say I’m going to go back to 1986 with TOP GUN.  It was an incredible amount of work, it was a huge undertaking, and we didn’t have automation which we have now that helps us do our job.  So I think TOP GUN was by and far ‑‑ by and large the most difficult film I might have worked on.

Q. Congratulations.  Andy, Robert, could you talk about what these last few weeks have been like going through this process and what has Kevin taught you?  What advice did he give you?  What was the last few weeks like?

A. (Robert Mackenzie)  Well, unimaginable, really.  We came all the way from Australia and met Kevin and he’s been, you know, a mentor to us and taught us a whole lot of the stuff, you know, from the craft through to, you know, he’s a great humanitarian and he’s very generous with his time and with his knowledge.  So it’s been really an honor to work alongside him.  And, yeah, it’s incredible.

Q. Kevin, you worked on films in Hollywood through many decades.  I want to know, what does Los Angeles mean to you?

A. (Kevin O’Connell)  I can tell you this:  I think Los Angeles is one of the greatest cities in the entire world and I’ve been to a lot of them.  It’s what we do.  We make movies here.  We watch movies here.  I think it’s an incredible city and I’m very proud to be part of it.

A. (Andy Wright)  Am I able to say one thing?  Is that allowed?  I really just want to reinforce the amazing work that Australians do in post‑sound and the post‑industry.  This is the second year in a row that Australian films have been nominated and won for sound editing and sound mixing.  So a big shout‑out and thanks to Screen Australia.  And all the American producers out there, don’t forget Australia.  We can do it just as good as Hollywood, so come on down.

Oscar and film awards expert. American Beauty, Grease and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are prominent DVDs on my shelf.

Awards News

TIANA – Hollywood Music in Media Awards



American singer-songwriter TIANA has been nominated Best Independent Music Video, for the fun sounds and fresh visuals associated with her debut record ‘Just My Type’, by the prestigious Hollywood Music in Media Awards, being held at the Avalon Hollywood on November 14.

Directed by Ali Zamani and produced by Zeus Zamani of AZ Films, with choreography by Reyna Joy Banks, of F.H.G Entertainment, the ‘Just My Type’ music video, filmed in Los Angeles, stars recording artist TIANA, Marlon Wayans (White Chicks), Rob Schneider (Saturday Night Live) and Brely Evans (Just Wright).

The long-form version of the music video, which has a fun and explosive scene between actor-comedians, Marlon Wayans and Rob Schneider, will be exclusively released during the night of the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.

Produced by Jovan Dawkins (Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars) of Heritage Music Group in Hollywood, along with the writing talents of Candace Wakefield, Stanley Green Jr., Jovan Dawkins, Jevon Hill and Theodore Simon, the ‘Just My Type’ single release, is currently topping the Top40 Indie Chart through Universal Music Distribution.

Other Hollywood Music in Media Award nominees include; Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut ‘A Star Is Born’, ‘Black Panther’, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and ‘Quincy.’ The awards ceremony features presentations, performances, and a special achievement award. Past honorees include Diane Warren, Smokey Robinson, and Glen Campbell.

The Hollywood Music in Media Award nominations are selected by an advisory board and selection committee which includes journalists, music executives, music-media industry professionals comprised of select members of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, The Television Academy, the AMPAS Music Branch, NARAS, and performing rights organizations. A portion of proceeds benefit Education Through Music – Los Angeles.

Follow TIANA – IG | Twitter: @TianaKocher

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Awards News

Black Panther Aiming For Best Picture, Not Best Popular, According To Chadwick Boseman



It’s Hollywood’s worst-kept secret; Marvel Studios’ chief Kevin Feige wants an Oscar. And not just a technical Oscar either. Following in the footsteps of Walt Disney, Feige’s ultimate goal is for one of his movies to win Best Picture. With Black Panther being a cultural juggernaut, the producer-extraordinaire sees it as his best chance yet and has reportedly hired veteran award strategist Cynthia Schwartz’s company – Strategy PR – to push for the nomination.

However, The Academy themselves threw a spanner in the works last month, when they announced the introduction of a brand new category at next year’s awards ceremony: Best Achievement in Popular Film. With Black Panther presently the highest-grossing film of the year domestically, and the second-highest internationally, it’s the clear favourite to win in the new category (at least, to the best of everyone’s knowledge – The Academy have, frustratingly, refused to define the new award). However according to King T’Challa himself, Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, that’s not the goal.

“We don’t know what [Best Popular] is, so I don’t know whether to be happy about it or not,” Boseman told The Hollywood Reporter, “What I can say is that there’s no campaign for Popular Film; like, if there’s a campaign, it’s for Best Picture, and that’s all there is to it.”

“A good movie is a good movie,” the Get On Up star continued, “and clearly it doesn’t matter how much money a movie makes in order for it to be ‘a good movie’ because if [it did], the movies that get nominated and win [predominantly low-grossing, highly-praised art-house fare] wouldn’t get nominated; and if it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter on both sides. For my money, the only thing that matters is the level of difficulty.”

“What we did was very difficult. We created a world, we created a culture … we had to create a religion, a spirituality, a politics; we had to create an accent; we had to pull from different cultures to create clothing styles and hair styles. It’s very much like a period piece. … So, as far as that’s concerned, I dare any movie to try to compare to the difficulty of this one. And the fact that so many people liked it — if you just say it’s [only] popular, that’s elitist.”

Chadwick has a point – the gross of a film has never, and should not, affect a film’s chances at winning Best Picture. However, whilst The Academy has made clear that a film can be nominated for both Best Film and Best Popular (frustrating many members who have then rightfully asked what the point is), they have somewhat written themselves into a corner when it comes to Black Panther. See, through a very specific sequence of events, The Academy have manufactured a situation where the most likely events to play out on the night will be Damien Chazelle’s buzzy First Man, a movie with an all-white cast and crew, winning Best Picture… whilst the all-black cast and crew of Black Panther accept the new ‘separate but equal’ award for Best Achievement in Popular Film. Yikes.

Black Panther is available on Digital, DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K now, and is rated 12A.

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Awards News

Danny DeVito To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award At The San Sebastian Film Festival



Batman Returns star Danny DeVito is set to receive the coveted Donostia Award, honouring him for his career achievements, at the sixty-sixth annual San Sebastian Film Festival this September.

“The award recognizes a career of almost five decades related to acting in theatre, film and television, telling stories as an actor, producer and director,” the Spanish festival’s organisers said in a statement, “The Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner is known for his roles in television series Taxi and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and movies such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment, Romancing The Stone, Twins, Ruthless People, and Tin Men.”

“He has also directed – and starred in – hugely emblematic films, including The War of the Roses (1989), Hoffa (1992), Death to Smoochy (2002), Throw Momma From the Train (1987), Curmudgeons (2016), Duplex (2003), The Ratings Game (1984), and The World’s Greatest Lover (1977).”

The San Sebastian Film Festival will run from the 21st to the 29th of September. Danny DeVito can next be heard in animated children’s flick Smallfoot, which will premiere on the 23rd at the Festival.

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