MPSE Awards Give Oscar Momentum to ‘Dune’ and ‘West Side Story’

“Nightmare Alley” also won, and Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” animation rocked “Encanto.”

Oscar favorites ‘Dune’ (Warner Bros.), ‘Nightmare Alley’ (Searchlight Pictures) and ‘West Side Story’ (20th Century Studios) each picked up sound editing awards on Sunday night at the 69th annual of the MPSE Golden Reel Awards (virtually held). “Dune” took feature/foley effects, “Nightmare Alley,” a non-Oscar nominee and surprise winner over “Dune” and “No Time to Die,” snagged feature/ADR dialogue, and the Oscar nominee “West Side Story” collected the feature music. The other Oscar nominees are “Belfast” (Focus Features), “No Time to Die” (MGM/UA) and “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix).

There were other surprises: Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” triumphed in the animation of the studio’s Oscar favorite, “Encanto,” which won multiple guild awards, and “The Rescue” ( Disney+) won an Oscar-favorite documentary feature “Summer of Soul” (Searchlight Pictures). Additionally, “Cliff Walkers” (Viki) took home foreign language honors and “Infinite” (Paramount+) grabbed a non-theatrical feature.

On the TV side, “Succession” (HBO Max), “The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+), “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime), “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu), “The Witcher (Netflix), “Arcane” (Netflix) and “Love, Death & Robots” (Netflix) were all winners.

As far as the Oscar race goes, “Dune” and “West Side Story” got a boost, with the Cinema Audio Society’s 58th Annual Awards for Sound Mixing coming up March 19 (at the InterContinental Los Los Angeles Downtown). However, the sonic power and complexity of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” will be hard to beat. His great achievement is to create a grounded reality that is organic and familiar. Supervising sound editors Mark Mangini (the Oscar-winning “Mad Max: Fury Road”) and Theo Green (the Oscar-nominated “Blade Runner 2049”) conveyed a gritty, hallucinatory soundscape, from colossal sandworms that rock the sand dunes of Arrakis with unearthly voices that shake the mind.

David Alvarez as Bernardo and Ariana DeBose as Anita in 20th Century Studios' WEST SIDE STORY.  Photo by Niko Tavernise.  © 2021 20th Century Studios.  All rights reserved.

“West Side Story”

Niko Tavern

“West Side Story” represents Steven Spielberg’s first musical and he wanted it to be more authentic, shooting 80% on location with as many recordings on set as possible and working with his sound team (Tod A. Maitland, seven – Oscar winner Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, two-time Oscar winner Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy). One of the most complex sequences was the dance in the school gymnasium between rival gangs Jets and Sharks, where Maria (Rachel Zegler) and Tony (Ansel Elgort) meet for the first time. The sound was all over the place, so everyone was wired for a danceable cacophony, and for the dialogue, they blasted everyone accordingly.

As previously announced, Ron Howard received the Filmmaker Award and Chic Ciccolini (“Apollo 13”) was the Career Achievement recipient.


Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Dialogue/ADR

“Alley of Nightmares”
Projector images
Editor sound supervisor: Jill Purdy MPSE
Dialogue Editor: Jill Purdy MPSE
ADR Editor-in-Chief: Jill Purdy MPSE
Dialogue Editor: Nelson Ferreira MPSE

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Effects/Foley

Warner Bros.
Supervise sound editors: Theo Green, Mark Mangini MPSE
Sound Designer: Dave Whitehead
Sound Effects Editors: Phil Barrie, Lee Gilmore MPSE, Greg Ten Bosch MPSE, Robert Kellough MPSE, Piero Mura
Foley Editor: Christopher Bonis
Sound Designers: Andy Malcolm, Goro Koyama, Sandra Fox

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Music

“West Side Story”
20th century workshops
Music Editors: Joe E. Rand, Ramiro Belgardt
Editor-in-Chief: David Channing

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Animation of Feature Films

“Raya and the Last Dragon”
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Supervising Sound Editor: Shannon Mills
Dialogue Supervising Editor: Brad Semenoff MPSE
Sound Designer: Nia Hansen
Sound Effects Editors: Samson Neslund, David C. Hughes, Cameron Barker
Foley Editors: Chris Frazier, Steve Orlando
Sound Designers: John Roesch MPSE, Shelley Roden MPSE
Music Supervisor: Jim Weidman
Music Editor: David Olson

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Documentary Feature

“The rescue”
Sound editing supervision: Deborah Wallach
Sound effects editor: Roland Vajs
Sound designer: Nuno Bentro
Music Editor: Ben Smithers

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Foreign Language Feature

“Cliff Walkers”
Supervise sound editors: Yang Jiang MPSE, Zhao Nan MPSE
ADR Editor: Li Xinghui
Sound designer: Han Junsheng
Sound editors: Ann Scibelli, Xiao’ou Olivia Zhang MPSE, Iain Pattison

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Animated Series or Short Film

“Love, death + robots”: “Snow in the desert”
Sound Editor Supervisor: Brad North MPSE
Sound Designer: Craig Henighan MPSE
Foley Editors: Jeff Gross, Dawn Lunsford
Sound designer: Alicia Stevens
Musical editor: Jeff Charbonneau

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Limited Series or Anthologthere

“The Underground Railroad”: Chapter 9: “Indiana Winter”
Amazon Prime
Editor sound supervisor: Onnalee Blank MPSE
Sound designers: Jay Jennings, Harry Cohen MPSE
Sound Effects Editor: Luke Gibleon
Dialogue editors: Chris Kahwaty MPSE, Katy Wood
ADR Editor: Bryan Parker MPSE
Foley Editors: Pietu Korhonen, Lars Halvorsen
Sound designer: Heikki Kossi MPSE
Music Editor: John Finklea

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Animation

“Arcane – League of Legends”: “When these walls come down”
Supervise sound editors: Brad Beaumont MPSE, Eliot Connors MPSE
Music Supervisor: Alexander Temple
ADR Editor-in-Chief: Shannon Beaumont
Foley Editor: Alexander Ephraim MPSE
Sound Designers: Dan O’Connell, John Cucci MPSE
Music Editor: Alex Seaver

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Documentary

“The Beatles Return”: “Part 3”
Supervise sound editors: Brent Burge, Martin Kwok
Sound Editors: Matt Stutter MPSE, Buster Flaws, Melanie Graham
Dialogue editor: Emile De La Rey
Music Editors: Steve Gallagher MPSE, Tane Upjohn-Beatson
Foley Editor: Michael Donaldson
Soundman: Simon Riley

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Feature Film

Supervise sound editors: Mandell Winter MPSE, David Esparza MPSE
Sound Designer: Hamilton Sterling
Sound Effects Editor: Will Digby MPSE
Dialogue editors: Micah Loken MPSE, Sang Kim
Foley Editor: Eryne Prine MPSE
Music Editor: Mark “Vordo” Wlodarkiewicz
Sound Designers: Dan O’Connell, John Cucci MPSE

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – ½ hour – Comedy or Drama

“Only Murders in the Building”: “The Boy from 6B”
Sound Editor Supervisor: Mathew Waters
Dialogue Editor: Danika Wikke MPSE
Sound Effects Editor: Meredith Stacy
Music Editor: Micha Liberman

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – 1 Hour Series – Dialogue / ADR

“Succession”: “Secession”
Sound Editor Supervisor: Nicholas Renbeck MPSE
Dialogue Editor: Michael Fuser
ADR Editor: Angela Organ

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – 1 Hour Series – Effects/Foley

“The Witcher”: “A grain of truth”
Sound Editor Supervisor: Matthew Collinge
Sound designers: Rob Turner, Alyn Sclosa, Rob Prynne
Foley Editors: Adam Oakley, Rob Weatherall
Sound Designers: Zoe Freed, Rebecca Heathcote

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – 1 Hour Series – Music

“Wu Tang: an American saga”: “Protect your neck”
Music Editor: Sebastian Zuleta

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Game Audio

“Call of Duty”: Vanguard
Infinity Ward
Audio director: David Swenson MPSE
Audio editors: Matthew Grimm, Ryan McSweeney, Michael Caisley, Eric Wedemeyer
Supervise sound editors: Charles Deenen MPSE, Nick Interlandi, Nick Martin
Dialogue Editor: Emilio Lopez-Centellas, Adam Boyd MPSE, Hilary Long
Supervise music editors: Ted Kocher, Anthony Caruso
Sound designers: Kegan Chau, Fernando Labarthe, Sheridan Willard, Tyler Cannan, Michael Tornabene, Peter Wayne, Liam Underwood, Don Veca, Jeremiah Sypult, Andy Bayless, Darren Blondin, Nicholas D’Amato, Jacob Denny, Jacob Harley, Vadim Nuniyants, Timothy Schlie, Aaron Brown, Ian Mika, Tory Bader, Corina Bello, Darrell Tung, Jonathan Gosselin, Nick Tremblay, Mathieu Denis, Mikael Frithiof, Jon Persson, Braden Parkes, Erick Ocampo, Mike Maksim, Matt Hall, Chris Diebold, Jeff Sawyer , Josh Moore, Igor Comes, Tim Gedemer MPSE, Klaus Shipman, Jim Schaefer, Rashaad Wiggins
Sound editors: Daniel Petras, Jordan Ruhala, Matthew Schaff MPSE
Dialogue editors: Robert Jackson, Maggie Wolf, Alvaro Vela, Serge J. Isaac, Stiv Schneider, Juliana Henao Mesa, David Price
Music Editors: Scott Shoemaker, Tao-Ping Chen, Adam Kallibjian, Rob Goodson, Andrew Buresh
Foley Artist: Foley Walkers

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Student Film (Verna Fields Award)

“Build Me”
The National School of Cinema and Television
Editor sound supervisor: Wong Hui Grace

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