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65th Annual MPSE Awards


Golden Reel: Blade Runner 2049 and War for the Planet of the Apes Win Top Honors


Alan Robert Murray, John Faisal, and Tom McCarthy MPSE Awards 2018
Alan Robert Murray, John Paul Fasal and MPSE President, Tom McCarthy.

Blade Runner 2049 captured the Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Feature Film for FX/Foley and War for the Planet of the Apes took the prize for Best Sound Editing in Dialogue/ADR.  Blade Runner 2049 supervising sound editor, Mark Mangini was unable to attend the awards ceremony, but thanked the MPSE with a written acceptance speech that stated, “The sound we created isn’t so much a color by numbers work as a modern expressionist painting. We colored way outside the lines.”

The Greatest Showman garnered Best Sound Editing – Music, Musical Feature.  Supervising Music Editor Jen Monnar shared how the music team was involved in the film for 14 months from pre-production, thru production and post. In addition to thanking her fellow music editors, she thanked the songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and actor Hugh Jackman, saying, “If you have an opportunity to work with him, he is a constant professional, an extraordinary human being, and a great person. This film could not have been made without him.”

Dunkirk won Best Sound Editing in Feature Film – Music Score. Coco topped the category for Best Sound & Music Editing: Animation – Feature Film. Best Sound & Music Editing: Documentaries – Feature Film went to Jane.

Game of Thrones took home two trophies in the MPSE television categories of Short Form Dialogue/ADR and FX/Foley. Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing: Non-Theatrical Documentary went to Hulu’s Becoming Bond.

Sponsored by Avid, the Verna Fields Award in Sound Editing in Student Films was presented to National Film and Television School student, Thomas Blazukas, for his sound design on Homegrown.

Celebrating outstanding achievements in the art of sound, the 65th Motion Picture Sound Editor’s Golden Reel Awards ceremony was held on February 18th at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. In his opening remarks, MPSE president Tom McCarthy talked about the advancements in sound that enhance the audience’s experience of the stories being told by filmmakers–from basic mono tracks, to surround sound that “brought the audience within the visual world presented on screen,” to today’s completely immersive environment created by formats such as Dolby Atmos.

Supervising sound editor, Paul Ottosson, presented the Filmmaker Award to Academy Award winning director, Kathryn Bigelow, known for taking on difficult and timely subject matter such as The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty and Detroit. In talking about his three-picture collaboration with the director, Ottosson noted, “She made me think about the story that we were telling. It was never about a specific cool sound. It is about the totality of the movie. Sound would follow the arc of the story…Sound design is like the actors, that’s how important it is to her.” In accepting the honor, Bigelow complimented Ottosson and music editor, Curt Sobel on their craft and dedication, “This craft is absolutely invaluable to what we do as filmmakers.”

Paul Ottosson, Kathryn Bigelow
Paul Ottosson and Kathryn Bigelow.

Talking about the role of film in our culture and lives, Bigelow expounded, “As filmmakers, I think we all like to illuminate the dark corners. Certainly, I do. The two hours we spend in the theater can, and often does, have an impact. Not only are we destined to relive our past if we don’t remember it, but it may provide context and critic for our coarse and turbulent present. As our work lives beyond the screen, it is discussed, debated, dissected and shared. This is the conversation art promises. This is the necessary conversation, in my humble opinion, that raises our collective consciousness and reminds us why the larger themes recalling what it is to be human matter. It reminds us why we’re alive.”

In closing, Bigelow received thunderous applause and cheers when she voiced support for the victims of the latest mass shooting. “Since it is sound that brings us all together tonight, I’d like to honor the deafening rallying cry coming from the students in Parkland, Florida. May their sound be loud and clear and rise above all else.”

After more than 30 years as a sound designer and field recordist, John Paul Fasal received the MPSE’s annual Career Achievement award, the highest honor presented to a sound or music editor. Fasal’s many credits span features, television and games, including Top Gun, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Interstellar, The Dark Knight, American Sniper and this year’s box office hits Dunkirk and Coco.

In presenting the award, two-time Oscar-winning supervising sound editor, Alan Murray, shared that Fasal had recordings in over 100 motion picture soundtracks. “John also puts the Dos Equis most interesting man to shame. His recording exploits include every weapon known to mankind; he’s been on submarines, aircraft carriers, cruise ships, oil tankers; he’s recorded every moving vehicle from Model T’s to tanks to exotic race cars; Bi-planes to World War II fighters, commercial jets; gliders to rockets. He’s traveled around the world for us making his presence known from Huston’s Mission Control to the soccer fields of South Africa. How many people can say that.” Murray joked, “And I can tell you personally, it’s amazing we have survived some of these exploits…Stay thirty my friend.”

In accepting what Fasal claimed to be his mid-career award, he joked, “First thing I want to say is, this mic is pointing in the wrong direction.” He went on to thank all his work friends and colleagues for the opportunities they had given him over the years. “Without you, I would not be standing here tonight,” Fasal commented. “We shared experiences that continue to amaze me. I love this job for its challenges and diversity, but more important because of the people I work with and the special qualities you all bring to your work. Your passion striving to make every project special and doing so in spite the myriad of challenges that you are faced with. You all love what you do, and that energy inspires us all to do our best work. Your collaborative spirit, comradery, teamwork, and the sharing of ideas binds us all together on each project and beyond. Truly it is the sum of our individual efforts that creates those magical soundtracks.”



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