Sound Community Urges Revision to Credits

Hollywood Sign - Getty - H - 2020
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The international sound community — led by the Cinema Audio Society, Motion Picture Sound Editors and Association of Motion Picture Sound — has released an open letter urging Hollywood to allow key members of the sound department the same representation in end credits as it does department heads such as the director of photography and film editor.

Specifically, it suggests that the production sound mixer, supervising sound editors and rerecording mixers 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 and 1st assistant director."

Pointing out that sound pros in the aforementioned roles are eligible for Oscars, BAFTAs, Emmys and other major awards, the letter says, "It is remarkable" that they "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."

The initiative also following the Motion Picture Academy's recent decision to combine the Oscars in sound editing, which honored the supervising sound editor(s); and sound mixing, which was awarded to the production sound editor and rerecording mixer(s), into a single category, beginning in 2021.

The open letter is signed by CAS president Karol Urban, MPSE president Mark Lanza and AMPS chair Rob Walker. The complete letter is below.

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

Supervising Sound Editor: Wylie Stateman

Re-Recording Mixers: Michael Minkler, CAS Christian P. Minkler

Yours faithfully,

Karol Urban CAS MPSE President
Cinema Audio Society

Mark Lanza MPSE
President
Motion Picture Sound Editors

Rob Walker AMPS
Chair
The Association of Motion Picture Sound