At Todd-AO West Stage 1, from left: re-recording mixer Mike Minkler, sound editor Richard Yawn and re-recording mixer Bob Beemer
Euphonix congratulated Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton on winning the Academy Award for Achievement in Sound Mixing for Paramount’s Dreamgirls at the 79th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 25. The team used the Euphonix System 5-F dual operator console at the Todd-AO West mixing stage in Santa Monica, Calif. to prepare Bill Condon’s adaptation of the Broadway musical for the big screen.
“Automation on the Euphonix digital console was critical to the Dreamgirls mix,” Minkler says. “We had massive amounts of audio data to handle. Two Pro Tools systems with over 200 tracks were required for the music tracks alone. Thankfully, Euphonix provides the flexibility we wanted to make the system work for us—not the other way around. We were able to focus on the art of the film, the delicate blend of sound elements, and not the technology.”
“Dreamgirls has a mix that never stops moving,” Minkler told Variety magazine in an interview on February 7, 2007. “The film moves between moods that are dramatic, theatrical, cinematic, musical, comical, all in an instant. The picture, sound elements and music are all moving targets on musicals. The trick is to fit all the pieces of the sound puzzle together on an emotional level.”
Minkler, a third-generation Hollywood sound re-recording mixer, now has three Oscars among his 10 Academy nominations. Beemer has four Oscars in his seven nominations, and Burton has two Oscars in his seven nominations.
“The work flow we required was specific and demanding,” Minkler adds. “The ease with which you can control hundreds of tracks and gain fast access to the EQs, dynamics and pans on the System 5-F is what really counts. I can’t begin to describe how important that is for a project of this scale.”