Oscar Winner Andy Nelson on Working With Baz Luhrmann, Matt Reeves and Steven Spielberg
Veteran rerecording mixer Andy Nelson describes working with Baz Luhrmann, Matt Reeves and Steven Spielberg in a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Behind The Screen.
This season, Nelson extended his Oscar nominations tally to 24, with a pair of noms for his work on Luhrmann’s Elvis and Reeves’ The Batman. In doing so, he also extended his record for the most noms in the sound category.
Describing Luhrmann as a “creative tornado” and Austin Butler’s performance in the title role as “brilliant,” Nelson details how they used much of Butler’s vocals in the film, as well as in the performances in the later half of the movie, a delicate blend with archival material of Presley. The most challenging, he says, was the sound team’s work to recreate the memorable 1968 Comeback Special. “The original audio for that was actually a mono from a VHS from the transmission of the TV show, so you can imagine how that sounded compared to everything we’d done in the movie up to that point in full 9.1 Atmos,” he says, describing how this was achieved. “It was a massive dance we did to get that comeback special to sound the way it did.”
Nelson also talks about how he loves working with The Batman helmer Reeves. “He wants to get [each] scene right before we’re ready to move onto the next scene,” Nelson says. “It’s very intense. It’s very collaborative. He’s always in great spirits about it, and we have a great time with him.” Describing The Batman as a sort of “noir detective story,” Nelson says the sound “really called for something that had that kind of moody quality to it [which involved elements including] sound of the city and the rain and Michael Giacchino’s score, which I think is one of Michael’s best. And I’ve worked with him a few times, and he’s always good. But boy did he really pull it out on this one.”
During the podcast, the rerecording mixer also talks about working with his decades-long collaborator Steven Spielberg on the director’s highly personal The Fabelmans, and he congratulates production sound mixer Peter J. Devlin on his Cinema Audio Society Career Achievement Award.
Next, Nelson is starting work on Michael Mann’s Ferrari, starring Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari and Penelope Cruz as his wife, Laura. “I’m really excited about it,” he says.
You can listen to the full podcast here: