Los Angeles (November 9, 2004)–The Motion Picture Sound Editors will present their inaugural Filmmaker’s Award to director/producer George Lucas for his outstanding contributions to the art of sound. The award will be presented at the 52nd Annual Golden Reel Awards to be held February 26, 2005 in Los Angeles.
The creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones is being recognized for his consistently innovative and groundbreaking use of sound technology in his films, and for the enormous contributions he has made to advancing the state of sound in the movie-going experience. “Sound is 50 percent of the movie-going experience, and I’ve always believed audiences are moved and excited by what they hear in my movies at least as much as by what they see,” commented Lucas.
In 1977, Star Wars pushed the envelope for film sound. In addition to giving creative opportunities to the sound editors, Lucas insisted on releasing the film using the newly introduced Dolby Stereo-optical, as well as creating a 6-channel stereo mix for a 70mm release.
In 1983, frustrated with the quality of sound reproduction in most theaters, Lucas hired Tomlinson Holman to head a new division of Lucasfilm, THX (in homage to Lucas’ first film, THX 1138, and as an acronym: Tomlinson Holman eXperiment). THX was charged with creating a new set of both audio and visual standards for motion picture theatrical presentation.
In 1987, Lucas founded Skywalker Sound, which provides comprehensive audio post-production services for the feature film, television, and game industries. Since opening, Skywalker Sound has garnered 17 Academy Awards for Best Sound and Best Sound Editing. Gary Rydstrom, who will receive the MPSE Career Achievement Award on the same night as the Filmmaker Award, won seven of these.