Mildred Iatrou and Ai-Ling Lee Q&A: ‘La La Land’ sound editing
“I couldn’t believe it at first,” reveals “La La Land” sound editor Mildred Iatrou during our recent webcam chat (watch above) when asked about her recent Oscar nomination. “I was too nervous to wake up at 5:18am, when they announced it,” she adds. When she finally arose and saw her name listed among the whopping 14 bids accumulated by Damien Chazelle‘s original movie musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as lovebirds in L.A., “I stared. I couldn’t believe it.”
Iatrou is no novice to musicals, having worked on “Hairspray” (2007) and “Rock of Ages” (2012). The challenge of the genre, she finds, is in blending, “the scenes in real life that then transition into the musical numbers. In ‘La La Land,’ some of the musical numbers were rooted in reality, and others were fantasies. But you always have to make the transition, and you hope that this transition is somewhat seamless and almost subconscious.”
Fellow nominee Ai-Ling Lee, who also contends for Best Sound Mixing, explains, “To help support the seamless transition between spoken dialogue …to the musical numbers, we’ll have effects or backgrounds, real, grounded sounds, and foley there, and blend it in gradually through the musical number.”
Iatrou and Lee are the first female duo to be nominated for Best Sound Editing. Will they further make history by winning?