The new category combines what had been sound editing and sound mixing awards.
Starring Oscar-nominated Riz Ahmed as a drummer who is losing his hearing, the film deftly uses sound — and the absence of sound — to give the audience his aural point of view. To do this, the sound team also worked closely with Mikkel Neilsen, who collected the Oscar for film editing.
This is the first Academy Award for supervising sound editor/designer Nicolas Becker, production sound mixer Phillip Bladh, and rerecording mixers Jaime Baksht, Carlos Cortés, and Michelle Couttolenc, who was one of just two women nominated in the category this year.
Speaking backstage about the combined category, Becker described the “deep collaboration” of the sound editing and mixing team, saying the combined award is “amazing because we are a team. I believe you have to work in close collaboration. … I really like it. This makes sense to be all together.”
Becker, who was also the sound designer, is based in France, while the film was mixed in Mexico.
At the Oscars, Sound of Metal topped a field of sound nominees that also included Greyhound, Mank, News of the World and Soul.