‘Sound of Metal’ wins new sound Oscar, joining previous sound editing and mixing categories

As broadly expected, Sound of Metal won the Oscar in sound, a new category presented by the Motion Picture Academy this year that consolidates the previous sound editing and sound mixing categories.

Featuring Oscar-nominated Riz Ahmed as a drummer who is losing his hearing, the film deftly utilizes sound — and the absence of sound — to give the audience his aural perspective. To do this, the sound group likewise worked intimately with Mikkel Neilsen, who gathered the Oscar for film editing.

This is the first Academy Award for supervising sound editor/designer Nicolas Becker, production sound mixer Phillip Bladh, and rerecording mixers Jaime Baksht, Carlos Cortés, and Michelle Couttolenc, who was one of only two women nominated in the category this year.

Talking behind the stage about the consolidated category, Becker portrayed the “deep collaboration” of the sound editing and mixing team, saying the joined award is “amazing because we are a team. I believe you have to work in close collaboration. … I really like it. This makes sense to be all together.”

Becker, who was likewise the sound designer, is situated in France, while the film was mixed in Mexico.

At the Oscars, Sound of Metal bested a field of sound nominees that additionally included Greyhound, Mank, News of the World and Soul.

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