Pioneering Sound Editor Cece Hall to Be Honored by MPSE

She is the first woman to be nominated for an Academy Award in the category of sound effects editing (for 'Top Gun') and who went on to win an Oscar for 'The Hunt for Red October.'
Courtesy of MPSE
Cecilia Hall

Pioneering sound editor and designer Cecelia "Cece" Hall — who was nominated for a 1987 Academy Award in the category of sound effects editing for Top Gun and went on to win a 1991 Oscar for The Hunt for Red October — will receive the Motion Picture Sound Editors Career Achievement Award during the 67th MPSE Golden Reel Awards on Jan. 19.

In 1984, Hall became the first woman elected president of MPSE. Additionally, she served on the executive committee of the Motion Picture Academy’s sound branch for seven years.

After beginning her career as an independent sound editor, Hall landed at Paramount Pictures in 1978 as the first woman hired in the sound editing department. While at the studio, she supervised sound for films including Star Trek II and III, Beverly Hills Cop and Witness. Following her promotion to senior vp postproduction sound, Hall oversaw sound for projects including The HoursStop-LossClear and Present Danger and Charlotte’s Web.

She also worked with Paramount subsidiaries Vantage, MTV and Nickelodeon on films including Nacho LibreGet Rich or Die Tryin' and Hustle & Flow. Along the way, Hall developed collaborative relationships with directors and producers including Scott Rudin, Peter Weir, Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott and Tim Burton. In addition to her Oscar for Hunt for Red October, she has won two MPSE Golden Reel Awards, for Something So Right and Top Gun, among nine nominations.

In 1995, Hall was invited to teach at the UCLA Graduate School of Theatre, Film and Television/Media and remains the only professor teaching sound design. She has also taken residencies at Savannah College of Art and Design and California State University, Monterey.

“Cece Hall is one of the pillars of the sound community,” MPSE president Tom McCarthy said Wednesday in a statement. “She is an exceptionally talented sound editor, who has created imaginative sound for many great films. As an executive at Paramount Pictures, she was a tireless advocate for filmmakers and sound artists and their projects. As an educator, she has inspired and shared her insights and experience with countless young people who’ve gone onto productive careers in the industry. We are delighted to recognize her diverse contributions to the art of entertainment sound with our Career Achievement Award.”

Added Hall, “I am honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers in the MPSE. I have a long association with the organization and feel very passionate about its mission to promote sound editors and the craft of sound editing.”