The Cinema Audio Society (CAS) has joined the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) and the Association of Motion Picture Sound (AMPS) in launching the next step in their joint Sound Credit Initiative, an online petition. The long and short of it is that re-recording engineers, sound editors and sound mixers feel like their vast contribution to the filmmaking process entitles them to a single sound credit card similar to other crafts like film editing, production design, etc.
Earlier this week, CAS released the following statement:
“During these difficult times the CAS board have been working with other organizational leaders to future the interest of our community. We have been working towards equal onscreen recognition for the sound departments with the other creative department leads.
After many months of discussions, on August 3rd 2020 the below open letter was released to the public. We are now seeking the support of individuals in the entertainment community who believe in our efforts and will seek to uphold them in their personal business practices.”
The earlier open letter read as follows:
This is an open letter from the Cinema Audio Society, Motion Picture Sound Editors, and The Association of Motion Picture Sound, who represent audio professionals internationally.
Though film is often considered a visual medium, removing the sound component will demonstrate exactly how movies “tell” the story, thrill audiences, and become the “voice” of the Filmmaker. As George Lucas has famously been quoted, “Sound is 50 percent of the movie-going experience.”
Production Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Re-recording Mixing all contribute to the complete sound experience and are eligible for recognition of major awards. It is remarkable that these persons who receive nominations for numerous international awards, including those from AMPAS and BAFTA, are generally not afforded prominent screen credits that are representative of their creative contribution to the film. We seek your help in correcting this imbalance.
We believe that the complete sound design of the film is the responsibility and ownership of these key sound roles. The Production Sound Mixer, Supervising Sound Editor(s), Re-Recording Mixer(s), should share a single card and be appropriately positioned within the same proximity of the other key roles, such as Director of Photography, Film Editor, Production Designer, Costume Designer, Unit Production Manager, 1st Assistant Director.
Such a screen credit would assure that individuals who were principally responsible for the creative direction of the soundtrack would be clearly identified and acknowledged by the audience.
Example: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD as a single card following UPM(s), 1st and 2nd AD
Production Sound Mixer Mark Ulano CAS AMPS
Supervising Sound Editor Wylie Stateman MPSE
Re-Recording Mixers Michael Minkler, CAS
Christian P. Minkler CAS
Adding, “The organizations behind the Sound Credit Initiative have been overwhelmed by the private emails supporting this initiative. They determined that an online petition where sound professionals, colleagues, and friends can show their support should be the next step in this recognition process.”
You can access and sign this petition at SoundCreditInitiative.org.
CAS President Karol Urban explained, “From production through post-production, sound professionals contribute to creative storytelling and the elevation of the audience’s experience. This initiative allows filmmakers and studios to recognize their sound department’s importance in a film’s overall success.”
AMPS Chair Rob Walker added, “Sound teams create 50% of a movie and win awards for their creative contribution, but they are positioned far down the list of credits. This initiative is a move towards representative credits. It’s time to give fair credit where it is due.”
MPSE President Mark Lanza also commented, “While there is a technical aspect to sound for film, the overwhelming majority of what sound people do is creative. Sound is visceral. It tells the audience where we are, focuses the audience on what we want them to feel, and leads them through an elaborate illusion. The people creating these works are amazing artists and should be addressed as such.”