Bay Area sound editors, mixers vying to win Oscar gold

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Thursday, February 25, 2016
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There are many people from the Bay Area hoping to win Oscar gold in Hollywood this weekend.

NICASIO, Calif. -- There are many people from the Bay Area hoping to win Oscar gold in Hollywood this weekend.

"I've been to the big show quite a few times." Randy Thom has been nominated for 15 Oscars, winning two - one for The Incredibles and the other for The Right Stuff.

This year, he's nominated again for his work sound mixing The Revenant, a story about a fur trader left for dead who faces the perils of the frontier to avenge the murder of his son.

One of the movies' most dramatic scenes was a recreated bear attack.

"We started with real bear sounds but we had to use sounds from various other kinds of animals to really make it both believable and compelling," Thom said.

That included one unexpected animal. "My own voice is also in there as the mother bear," he said.

Thom isn't the only person at Skywalker Sound in Marin County to be nominated.

Harry Reistrom is nominated for sound mixing for "Bridge of Spies." Christopher Scarabosio for sound mixing, David Acord and Matthew Wood are nominated for sound editing for their work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"Star Wars is kind of one of those benchmark, iconic films that people expect a certain amount of quality out of it visually and sound. Really you're kind of on your top game."

"We've been lucky enough to have worked on several Star Wars projects in the past so to be nominated for one of these is extra special, for sure," Acord said.

The visual effects team at Industrial Light and Magic in San Francisco is also nominated for Star Wars. Roger Guyett and Patrick Tubach will face off against the ILM team that worked on The Revenant.

The team that worked on The Revenant created most of the wildlife that set the tone of the movie, including the much talked about bear.

"Matt and I were both on set for shooting that and the bear was very friendly. Or not that friendly. Very respectful," Rich McBride joked.

They won't say how they did it.

"Well that's part of the mystery that we're not going to reveal," they say.

"The magician never shares the secret," Jason Smith said.

"It's the tremendous amount of work which hopefully looks effortless in the end," Matt Shumway said.

Will someone from the Bay Area take home Hollywood's biggest prize? The world will find out in just days.

Watch the Oscars on ABC on Feb. 28! Live red carpet coverage begins at 2 p.m. with "ON THE RED CARPET AT THE OSCARS."

Written and produced by Ken Miguel.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ILM, Skywalker Sound and this station.