CAS Awards Preview: Meet the Teams Vying for Top Honor in Sound Mixing

BABY DRIVER -  Still  8 - H 2017
Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

The winner of the Cinema Audio Society Award for sound mixing in a live action motion picture — which will be handed out Saturday during the 54th annual CAS Awards at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel — could hold the next clue to what might happen in sound at the Oscars on March 5.

The CAS Awards, the annual event honoring outstanding sound mixing, has nominated Baby Driver, Dunkirk, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water and Wonder Woman for its top award. Baby Driver, Dunkirk, The Last Jedi and The Shape of Water are also nominated for the Oscar in sound mixing, along with Blade Runner 2049.

Still, in only five of the last 10 years has a team collected this CAS honor on its way to winning an Oscar in sound mixing. (Last year was one of the occasions that they didn't match, with La La Land winning the CAS Award and Hacksaw Ridge collecting the Oscar.)

The Academy Awards has two sound categories, one for mixing and one for sound editing, and this year the same five films are nominated in both categories. On Sunday, the BAFTAs awarded Dunkirk the award for best sound (this event combines sound editing and mixing into one category) and the Motion Picture Sound Editors spread the wealth at its annual ceremony, presenting one sound editing category win to Dunkirk and one to Blade Runner 2049.

In the CAS animated feature category, the sound mixers nominated Cars 3, Coco, Despicable Me 3, Ferdinand and The Lego Batman Movie. And for documentary features, the society nominated An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Gaga: Five Feet Two, Jane and Long Strange Trip.

A number of mixers received multiple CAS Award nominations, including Michael Semanick, who was nominated for The Last Jedi as well as Cars 3, Coco and The Lego Batman Movie; Gregg Landaker, for Dunkirk and The Lego Batman Movie; Doc Kanefor The Last Jedi and Cars 3; Randy Thom, for Despicable Me 3 and Ferdinand; and Gary Rizzo, for Dunkirk and An Inconvenient Sequel.

Nominees in the television categories include Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones and The Handmaid's Tale. A complete list of the nominees can be found here.

Also during the CAS Awards, 10-time Oscar nominated rerecording mixer Anna Behlmer, the first woman nominated for an Oscar in sound mixing, will receive the society's Career Achievement Award; Darkest Hour director Joe Wright will receive the CAS Filmmakers Award; and Tomlinson Holman will receive the inaugural Edward J. Greene Award for advancement in sound.