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Thom Lucas SMThe Motion Picture Sound Editors recently presented the 61st MPSE Golden Reel Awards at a black-tie ceremony held at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Golden Reel Awards recognizing outstanding achievement in sound editing were presented in categories encompassing feature films, long-form and short-form television, animation, documentaries and other media. Gravity and Captain Phillips took home top awards in the feature film categories. Star Wars creator George Lucas presented the annual MPSE Career Achievement Award to Randy Thom, Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound.

“One of the old men of Skywalker [Sound] who is getting this awards tonight is Randy Thom, a brilliant sound editor, a brilliant sound mixer and a great guy,” said Lucas. “I used to call him the sound Buddha. Whatever was going on he was listening. That’s the kind of person I like to have around. Just adds things in without having to question everything.”

Randy Thom learned early on the impact sound could have on a film and how the best films are ones where the images and sound collaborate. “Though Walter Murch gave me my first job in movies, in a way, it was George [Lucas] who got me started in this direction because seeing and hearing the first Star Wars film rearranged my Chromosomes and I was never quite the same person after,” said Thom. “I think it made me realize for the first time in a significant way that sound could be half of the movie.” 

Murch Dolby SMThe evening also featured a Special Tribute to sound pioneer Ray Dolby, introduced by MPSE Career Achievement winner Walter Murch.

MPSE president Frank Morrone gave the opening address. Supervising sound editor Glenn T. Morgan and casting director Jeremy Gordon presented the Verna Fields Award for Sound Editing in Student Films and the Ethel Crutcher Scholarship Award to students from England’s National Film and Television School. Other presenters included sound artists Mark Lanza, Joanie Diener, Kim Jimenez, Tom McCarthy and Erik Aadahl, as well as actors Navid Negahban, Julia Parker, Dayo Okeniyi and Callan McAuliffe, and producer/director Jon Chu.

For a complete list of winners visit: