"Sound is more important than picture!" Robert Wuhl said with conviction. I absolutely agree ... sound is crucial. It is exactly what sets a film's tone before you ever see a picture projected on the screen. I knew exactly what I was in for the minute I heard the beauty pageant announcer exuberantly talking over the music of Devotchka before ever seeing Olive's face in Little Miss Sunshine. A sound mixer's stamp on a film is that deafening. Even silent films relied on sound to tell their stories. Buster Keaton's impeccable talents in The Generalstill couldn't mimic the sound of a frantically moving train and the beating heart of a man driven by love.
"Sound people don't get the respect they deserve," Wuhl also said. The work of a sound mixer can, ironically, go unheard. It's the more 'technical' category of the Oscars where the winner will certainly be hushed off the stage by a premature sound cue -- the irony ensues. Luckily, the Cinema Audio Society held their 43rd Annual award ceremony on February 17 to honor their own for their outstanding achievements in filmmaking.