The red carpet led up to the front door of Dolby Labs in Burbank as the Television Academy Sound Mixing and Sound Editing Peer Groups gathered to honor their Emmy nominated members. The lovely Arielle Porat from event planner, Sacks Productions, greeted the nominees as they entered. She pinned a white boutonnière on their lapels before they headed upstairs for the well-attended reception, which included drinks, appetizers and a full dinner buffet, followed by a heavenly dessert table. Excerpts from the nominated shows played continuously throughout the evening in the state-of-art Dolby Theater. Academy president and COO Lucy Hood was in attendance.
The sound editing for the HBO series, Game of Thrones (outstanding sound editing for a series) was done at Todd-AO. Supervising sound editor, Tim Kimmel oversees the editors, while sound designer and editor, Paula Fairfield focuses on the creative aspects of the audio, such as figuring out what a dragon might sound like. “I’ve got the best job because I get paid to make weird sounds,” shared Fairfield.
Voicing the dragons has been one of the show’s challenges. Not only do their voices change as they grow, but because the creatures are characters in the story, their vocalizations need to express nuanced emotions such as crying, calling out to their mothers, anger and outrage. Eventually Fairfield came up with a combination of 10 different animal sounds to create the dragon vocals, developed through collaboration with the Kimmel and the producers. “Everybody’s very generous with their ideas and time,” Fairfield said. “This is the funnest show to do. It’s so rich.” Kimmel concluded, “And they give us enough time to do it.”
Foley artist, Richard Partlow loved working on his Emmy nominated show, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (outstanding sound editing for a miniseries, movie or a special) because he got to crash things. “What’s fun about this show is that it takes place on a space ship,” shared the Partlow, a three-time nominee for the show. “They had to install a metal floor for me.”
The Monkeyland editing team was celebrating its first Emmy nod. Discussing the outstanding sound editing for a miniseries, movie or a special nomination, sound effects editor, Steve Avila, MPSE, commented, “We haven’t done that much television.” Getting the honor for SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, supervising sound editor Trip Brock revealed that they had edited the film twice, once as an indie feature and then a second completely recut version for National Geographic Channel when The Weinstein Company picked up the project. The revised version included interview-style footage from the reshoot. In a generally male-dominated area, dialog editor Jackie Johnson opined about the tendency for women to gravitate towards dialog editing, saying, “I have a theory: We like talking.”
As part of the mixing team for American Idol (outstanding sound mixing for a variety series or special), audience sweetener Christian Schrader explained that his job is to add to – or in sound-speak “sweeten” – the audience reactions. He said, “The whole idea is nobody knows I’m doing this.”
Also up for outstanding sound mixing for a variety series or special was Josh Morton, a member of the Sound Design Corporation mixing team headed by multiple Emmy-winning audio director, Paul Sandweiss. Nominated for The Oscars, Morton said his job was to mix packages – playback reels used during the live show. These packages include all the voice-overs used in the broadcast. The mixed packages go to the live-feed truck ready to go on the air.
Ruth Adelman, sound supervisor at Todd-AO, and Ed Fassl, director of sound services at Larson studios, serve as Sound Editors Peer Group governors. Independent re-recording mixer, Frank Morrone, CAS, who has worked extensively in film and television, and mixer/audio director Ed Greene, winner of 21 Primetime Emmys, serve as Sound Peer Group governors.