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Jon Favreau Honors Craft Of Audio At 2017 Cinema Audio Awards

By: Marjorie Galas

The 53rd Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards were presented Saturday, February 19th in downtown Los Angeles. Elayne Boosler, a comedian whose first mentor was Andy Kaufman, reprised her role as the MC of the event from last year’s ceremony, weaving a healthy dose of political humor into the evening’s event.

“How do you cut all that when you are making us sick and driving us to drink?” asked Boosler in response to the president’s recent cuts to health care and drug rehab programs.

Mark Ulano, CAS, presenting of the Cinema Audio Society (CAS), welcomed the attendees prior to the first award presentation. Returning the focus to the celebration of sound artists in attendance, Ulano paid tribute to every previous CAS student award winner, all of whom went on to land jobs in the sound industry a year after receiving their awards.

Oscar nominated composer John Debney introduced the evening’s Filmmaker Award recipient, actor/producer/director Jon Favreau. Debney first collaborated with Favreau on the 2003 holiday classic “Elf” – a project he was attracted to because “I thought it would be a blast.” The partnership has resulted in two additional pairings, “Iron Man 2” and this past year’s live action version of “The Jungle Book.” Debney remarked that the director’s passion and vision for the project kept the crew afloat at a point when they were waiting on the technology to be developed for many of the film’s special effects.

“He literally created this film out of thin air,” said Debney. “He treats music and sound with respect, and puts joy into our world.”

After rolling in clips sent in by Stan Lee and Ed Asner congratulating Favreau on his award, he shared his earliest awareness of sound editing and mixing: 1974s “Blazing Saddles.” Noting the infamous campfire scene would be nothing without the film’s sound, he mentioned that with every project he works on, he learns new urban legends about the creation of the scene’s gaseous beats. Favreau noted his education from the sound department – including avoiding touching fabric and proper direction of vocal cues – are the first things he teaches his actors.

“Sound is just as important as vision. When we were working on ‘Elf” Bob Newhart (told me) he wasn’t good at ADR. But, if you know what you are doing, you don’t have to rely on ADR,” said Favreau.

Before leaving the stage, Favreau thanked the CAS members for bestowing the honor on him.

“I’m the only one not in your trade to receive an award tonight,” said Favreau. “I don’t take this lightly. Thank you for including me in your clubhouse.”

John Pritchett received the society’s Career Achievement Award. Pritchett has over 100 films to his credit and frequently collaborated with Robert Altman as well as Paul Thomas Anderson and Richard Linkletter. He also has two Oscar nominations, for 2002’s “Road to Perdition” and 2005’s “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Upon receiving his award, he reflected on his start as a Boom Operator on “Dirty Dancing” and the connections he has made with great sound people over the years, including his wife.

“It’s hard for me to believe I am receiving this award. I’ve been a proud member of the CAS for many years,” said Pritchett.

Here is the complete list of the 2017 CAS Award Winners:


La La Land

Production Mixer – Steven Morrow, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Andy Nelson, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Ai-Ling Lee

Scoring Mixer – Nicholai Baxter

ADR Mixer – David Betancourt

Foley Mixer – James Ashwill 


Finding Dory

Original Dialogue Mixer – Doc Kane, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Nathan Nance

Re-recording Mixer – Michael Semanick, CAS

Scoring Mixer – Thomas Vicari, CAS

Foley Mixer – Scott Curtis 


The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble

Production Mixer – Dimitri Tisseyre

Production Mixer – Dennis Hamlin

Re-recording Mixer – Peter Horner


The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Production Mixer – John Bauman

Re-recording Mixer –Joe Earle, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Doug Andham, CAS

ADR Mixer – Judah Getz

Foley Mixer –John Guentner 

TELEVISION SERIES – 1 HOUR Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards

Production Mixer – Ronan Hill, CAS

Production Mixer – Richard Dyer, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Onnalee Blank, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Mathew Waters, CAS

Foley Mixer – Brett Voss, CAS


Modern Family: The Storm

Production Mixer – Stephen A. Tibbo, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Dean Okrand, CAS

Re-recording Mixer – Brian R. Harman, CAS 


Grease Live!

Production Mixer – J. Mark King

Music Mixer – Biff Dawes

Playback and SFX Mixer – Eric Johnston

Protools Playback Music Mixer – Pablo Munguía 


CEDAR DNS2 Dynamic Noise Suppression Unit – Manufacturer: Cedar Audio 


SA-2 Dialog Processor – Manufacturer: McDSP


Wenrui “Sam” Fan – Chapman University – Orange, CA