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Should the Academy combine Sound Editing and Sound Mixing?

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  • delerian
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    Feb 21st, 2013
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    #148264

    During the runup to the most recent Oscars, an interview with a member of the director’s branch about how he voted for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing really stuck with me. He said:

    “Most of the time, who knows what was
    recorded on the set, as opposed to what was added in post? I generally
    vote for the movie with the best overall sound in both sound categories.”

    Another executive branch member said:

    I always say, ‘Should I really vote on these?’ I know the difference
    between the two categories, but I don’t know the nominees’ impacts on
    their movies sometimes — I mean, what was mixed and what was edited?
    It’s usually very difficult to know.”

    And another director’s branch member said about Gravity being nominated for mixing:

    Gravity doesn’t deserve this one because none of those sounds were recorded on the set.”

    Here at GD, I could only find one thread discussing sound editing or mixing exclusively. And if there isn’t enough interest here, I’m guessing the same would apply to Academy members in general who vote for it. So maybe it is time to end the confusion since it is clear that the voters can’t hear the difference. Have a film submit what it considers its best sound editing or mixing performance and just have everyone compete in the same category.

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    Riley
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    #148266

    Hairstyling and makeup share a category that only has three nominees.

    Sound mixing and sound editing have separate categories, each with a full slate of five nominees.

    Explain.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #148267

    They are very different departments, and execute very different functions. Despite this, if the voters don’t know the difference it might not make sense to continue differentiating them. Alternatively, instead of having a meaningless introduction to the category at the ceremony, maybe have a brief explanation about the different elements that each of them contribute to the final project. Everyone know what a film editor does, so they should know what a sound editor does too.

    ^It’s also ridiculous that makeup and hairstyling only has three nominees. Make every category have five.

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    Eddy Q
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    #148268

    If they insist on having two categories for sound, then they should split Production Design and Set Decoration. It’s only fair.

    However, I think it would be better to combine them to avoid confusion, considering members vote in categories outside of their expertise. Also it superfluously adds to a film’s award count – with a combined category, Titanic would have 10 Oscars, Gravity 6, The Hurt Locker 5, Hugo 4 and Inception 3. Much cleaner.

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #148269

    Hells to the no. I still like the idea of having two Sound categories. And they are very different, too. Editing is more about putting on the sounds in the film, and mixing is about how they mix together with dialogue, and music. They are so same, and yet so different. Combining them like the BAFTAs do I would not like at all.

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    Riley
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    #148270

    I do not think that anyone debates that sound mixing and sound editing are different things.  But you could split most categories further if you wanted to.  I already said hairstyling and makeup, Eddy Q mentioned production design and set decoration and people often talk about virtual cinematography versus traditional.  At the Emmys, they now have categories for visual effects and supporting visual effects.

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    delerian
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    #148271

    Hells to the no. I still like the idea of having two Sound categories. And they are very different, too. Editing is more about putting on the sounds in the film, and mixing is about how they mix together with dialogue, and music. They are so same, and yet so different. Combining them like the BAFTAs do I would not like at all.

    It isn’t that the jobs are different, it is that the result probably isn’t being selectively judged by Academy voters. If directors say that they can’t tell the difference between editing and mixing when they watch a film, then there is a big problem in the evaluation. As has been described by many voters, they treat them the same and vote identically on ballots. And if that is the case, then what is the point of having a separate award?

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    Words Count
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    #148272

    Combing them will simplify.

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    Laactingnyc
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    #148273

    No keep both sound categories…….

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    Stardust
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    #148274

    I agree it should be combined, largely due to the general ignorance within the Academy. 
    Besides, tech-focused acclaimed films, like Gravity recently, needn’t win everything below the line esp when split categories cut from the same cloth pretty much ensure they win x2 the Oscars since voters apprently can’t gauge flims’ merit individually in both. 

    I support either separating Hair & Makeup with 3 nominees in each, or have a slate of 5 for the present category.  

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    Anonymous
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    #148275

    i don’t even know the difference between mixing and editing in sound, and i think maybe the voters will just pick the same winners in these two categories
    they put hairstyling and makeup in the same category, and we totally know the difference between them
    so why bother, make it just to be BEST SOUND, like in BAFTA 

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    Eddy Q
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    #148276

    If they’d split Makeup and Hair then American Hustle would certainly be an Oscar winner. lol

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    DamianWayne
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    #148277

    I would be okay with this as long as they rewarded both the sound editors and mixers. (Which I’m sure they would do, but you never know what kind of goofy rules they could come up with.)

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    Guest2014
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    #148278

    Abso-tively, poso-lutely yes. 

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    Joan Carles Tomàs Forteza
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    #148279

    I think they shouldn’t to it. It would be like combining cinematography with visual effects. They are diferent jobs, with diferent technicians.

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