‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Sound Credits Cause Stir As Oscar Nom Voting Begins (Exclusive)
Top: Gun Maverick is approaching a different kind of danger zone. With nomination voting underway, Maverick still doesn’t have its potential sound nominees locked up, in what has become a contentious process, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
As of Thursday afternoon, members of the Academy’s sound executive branch, which annually holds a meeting in December to vet the names submitted as contenders, was still investigating which names should appear on the ballot for Maverick, should the movie make the final five.
Sources say the impasse stems from the fact that there were two teams that worked on the movie at different times. One was a team at Skywalker Sound in northern California and the other is a team that worked at De Lane Lea in London. THR could not get clarity on specifics of the impasse at press time. But this does offer a glimpse into what can happen when multiple teams — whether it be sound or departments such as visual effects — work on a film.
The nominees for the sound Oscar are selected by branch members. Over the next few days, voters in various cities including Los Angeles (where a “bake off” event is scheduled to be held Sunday afternoon) will view clips from the 10 shortlisted movies in the category before they vote on the five nominees.
For the 2021 Academy Awards, the Oscar for sound editing and mixing was combined into a single award for best sound. Per the rules, that may include up to six names: two supervising sound editors, one production sound mixer, and up to three rerecording mixers. (Occasionally, the branch may address special circumstances. For instance, a year ago, scoring mixer Shawn Murphy earned a spot on the ballot for Steven Spielberg’s musical West Side Story.)
Perhaps giving insight into how things could stack up, the Motion Picture Sound Editors announced it Golden Reel Awards nominations on Monday, and on its nomination list, three supervising sound editors— one more than Academy rules allow — are listed for Top Gun: Maverick. They are James Mather, Al Nelson and Bjørn Ole Schroeder. Meanwhile the Cinema Audio Society’s nominations in sound mixing, which were released on Tuesday, lists Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor as rerecording mixers and Mark Weingarten as the film’s production sound mixer.
Along with Top Gun: Maverick, the shortlist for the sound category is rounded out by All Quiet On The Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Moonage Daydream. According to sources, those films all have their potential sound nominees set.
The Academy Award nominations voting concludes on Jan. 17. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 24.