7 sound editors on the 2022 Oscars shortlist explain what they love about their jobs

If there’s one thing seven of the industry’s top sound editors have in common, it’s a love of collaboration that is inherent to their craft.

“I love this listening to the different way people talk about their passion for their craft,” James Mather, sound supervisor for “Belfast,” says during the Gold Derby “Meet the Experts” sound panel. “If anybody was listening to this conversation, who doesn’t know what we do, they couldn’t be like, ‘What the hell are these guys talking about?’ The thread that runs through everybody’s piece that I love is that we’re telling stories in a certain way that helps a bigger process. We’re part of a bigger machine.”

Mather and his co-panelists – “Last Night in Soho” re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor Julian Slater, “The Power of the Dog” sound effects editor and re-recording mixer Tara Webb, “A Quiet Place Part II” supervising sound editors Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” re-recording mixer and sound designer Tony Lamberti and “tick, tick… boom!” re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor Paul Tsu – all made the Academy Awards shortlist in the Best Sound category, recognition for their impeccable work across numerous genres last year. But as Aadahl says, a sound editor doesn’t just begin and end with their current gig.

“There’s kind of a personal part of creating sound for me,” Aadahl says of his craft. “I’ve been building my sound libraries since I was a teenager. And when I go through them, I might just like, randomly come across a sound I recorded, you know, 20 years ago. And it’s almost like a personal diary. Where you, you go back and you’re like, you hear it and you’re right there right when it happens. … We have a lot of animals at home, I’ve recorded every one of them a million times and put them in movies, and I’ll just be watching a movie that I’ve done and be like, ‘Oh, Freya, you know, she made it to 17. And what a great dog or you know, to me, that’s a beautiful personal side to what we do to its personal.”

Watch the full exclusive roundtable panel above. Click on each individual name to view that person’s solo video interview.

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UPLOADED Jan 20, 2022 10:27 am