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HomeAwardsContender-Michael Minkler (w/Bob Beemer)-sound-Dreamgirls/Bobby

Contender-Michael Minkler (w/Bob Beemer)-sound-Dreamgirls/Bobby

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Dreamgirls re-recording mixer Mike Minkler is no stranger to Hollywood remakes of Broadway musicals. He’s also mixed Rent, A Chorus Line and Chicago, for which he won an Academy award.”On stage, the focus is on the music and the performance,” says Minkler. “But in film you must be true to the music and at the same time be cinematic.”He describes the project as daunting, with its 32 musical numbers. “This musical differed from Chicago because (writer/director) Bill Condon used a lot of sound effects to heighten the reality.” He explains that Condon “wanted the film’s musical numbers to play to the audience in the film and the audience watching the film to feel part of it. So we used more crowd sounds.”Minkler, who also mixed Emilio Estevez’s Bobby this past year, mixed music and dialog while re-recording mixer Bob Beemer was responsible for Dreamgirls’ sound effects.Using music to support the character and define them was a specific aim. In the scene when James ‘Thunder’ Early (Eddie Murphy) sings “Fake Your Way To The Top”, Minkler tells, “We had the challenge to mesh not only the dialogue but the music and vocals.” The sound story had to “support the narrative of the girl’s singing encounter with James Early through a passage of time to see them grow as his backup singers to their performance on stage in front of a large crowd.” From Murphy’s dynamo James Early, to Beyonce Knowles’ strong pop voice as Deena Jones to Jennifer Hudson’s powerful belt as Effie, each singer’s voice had a different timbre that defined their character and had to be mixed accordingly.For Minkler, one of the most challenging tasks to achieve was transitioning the Dreamgirls singing together to Jennifer Hudson’s solo knock out song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” He says, “This was seven and a half minutes of screen time and a lot of camera moves.” It had to have perfect sync for close-ups and the music and vocals performed by Hudson at the top of her emotional lungs, “had to move seamlessly.”Minkler and his team got 64 channels of audio, separated into vocals, drums, percussion, guitars, strings and brass. He tells how “important it was that we had good recordings, good production dialogue recording, studio and live recording.” It was mixed in 5.1 on Pro Tools at Todd-AO on a Euphonix System 5 digital console. For Minkler, “100,000 decisions go into piecing the sound puzzle together for this film.”2006: Won, Cinema Audio Society’s Career Achievement Award; Won, Satellite Award for best sound, Dreamgirls. 2005: Nominated, BAFTA Film Award for best sound, Collateral; Won, Golden Satellite Award for best sound, Collateral. 2004: Nominated, BAFTA Film Award for best sound, Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Nominated, Golden Satellite Award for best sound, Kill Bill: Vol. 1. 2003: Won, Academy Award for best sound Chicago; Won, BAFTA Film Award for best sound, Chicago; Nominated, CAS Award for outstanding sound mixing for motion pictures, Chicago. 2002: Won, Academy Award for best sound, Black Hawk Down; Won, BAFTA Film Award for best sound, Black Hawk Down; Nominated, CAS Award for outstanding sound mixing for motion pictures, Black Hawk Down. 1995: Nominated, CAS Award for outstanding sound mixing for a feature film, True Lies. 1994: Nominated, Academy Award for best sound, Cliffhanger; Nominated, CAS Award for outstanding sound mixing for a feature film, Cliffhanger. 1993: Won BAFTA Film Award for best sound, JFK. 1992: Nominated, Academy Award for best sound, JFK. 1990: Nominated, Academy Award for best sound, Born On The Fourth Of July. 1986: Nominated, Academy Award for best sound, A Chorus Line. 1983: Nominated, Academy Award for best sound, Tron. 1981: Nominated, Academy Award for best sound, Altered States. 1980: Nominated, Academy Award for best sound, The Electric Horseman. 1979: Won, BAFTA Film Award for best sound, Star Wars.

Written by Kathy Anderson

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