Two decades ago, soundman Gary Rydstrom came roaring out of the gate winning two of his four Oscar nominations. Over the next dozen years, he racked up five more victories out of nine nods. Now, after an eight-year absence, he has earned two more bids for his work on the Steven Spielberg film “War Horse.”
His nomination for Best Sound Editing (shared with Richard Hymns) has competition from “Drive,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Hugo,” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” The Sound Mixing team (Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Andy Nelson, and Stuart Wilson) faces off against those from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Hugo,” “Moneyball,” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”
In a video chat with senior editors Rob Licuria and Chris Beachum, Rydstom said, “What I am most proud of in the sound job is the horse and the horses. They’re hard to make believable and give them a sense of character. Joey (the horse) is really our main character, and we had to give him a sense of who Joey was and let him act.”
That first time out in 1991, he won both Best Sound and Best Sound Editing for the James Cameron film “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” He competed against himself in both categories for the Ron Howard film “Backdraft.” He followed up with two more wins in 1993 for Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park.” His next victory was for Cameron’s “Titanic” in 1997 and then another double win for Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998. His most recent four sound bids were for “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999), “Monsters, Inc.” (2001), “Minority Report” (2002), and “Finding Nemo” (2003).
Rydstrom’s work with Pixar led him to helm the animated short “Lifted” in 2006, which brought him yet another Oscar nod (his first outside the sound categories). He lost to “The Danish Poet” by Torill Kove.
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