Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canuck Sound Mixer Craig Mann Oscar-Bound for Work on Drumming Film 'Whiplash'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canuck Sound Mixer Craig Mann Oscar-Bound for Work on Drumming Film 'Whiplash'

Article excerpt

Canuck sound mixer Oscar-bound with 'Whiplash'

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TORONTO - Craig Mann's road to the Academy Awards started with a risky career move, one that the southern Ontario-bred sound mixer says nearly ended his Hollywood career.

Now that Mann is bound for the Oscars for his work on the drumming film "Whiplash," he admits he's finally starting to feel like he's arrived in the highly competitive field.

"It's definitely coming along," says Mann, nevertheless stunned by the success of the film, about an ambitious young drummer pushed to his limit by a demanding teacher.

Mann and his colleagues collected a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award earlier this year, and are a favourite to take home an Oscar this weekend despite working with a budget much smaller than those of their studio rivals.

"This is a tiny film," Mann notes in a recent interview from his home in Los Angeles.

"And usually these are not the kind of films that get shine from the sound branch -- usually it's the big action kind of 'Intersteller' or 'American Sniper' or 'Gravity,' you know, 'Transformers'-kind of shows that get the consideration.... It's frankly kind of a miracle that this is getting the recognition that it's getting."

In addition to "American Sniper," and "Intersteller," "Whiplash" competes for best sound mixing against "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" and "Unbroken."

So far, Mann's awards season run has included a pre-BAFTA party at Kensington Palace and a fair bit of celebrity hob-nobbing with stars including actresses Julianne Moore and Amy Adams and director Richard Linklater. But he says he gets most excited about meeting picture editors he'd like to work with.

"It's kind of a geek-out situation of, 'Wow, he's a picture editor on 'Nightcrawler,'" says Mann, born in Oakville, Ont., and raised in the Toronto-area cities of Pickering and Burlington. …

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