It’s been a pretty good year for veteran re-recording mixer Andy Nelson. First, he scooped a pair of Oscar nominations for “Lincoln” and “Les Miserables.” Then, he won the Oscar itself — the second of his career — for the latter. Springtime brought us a high-profile showcase for his work in the form of “Star Trek Into Darkness.” And now his professional guild, the Cinema Audio Society, has announced that he will receive their Career Achievement Award at their awards ceremony next year.
This comes months after the CAS also handed him their Best Sound Mixing award for “Les Mis,” plus a nomination for “Lincoln” and a third mention, in their animated category, for his work on “Rise of the Guardians.”
Nelson began his career in London in the 1970s, first at a regional documentary company, with subsequent stints at the BBC film department and Shepperton Studios, among others. The 1980s brough collaborations with such directors as Stanley Kubrick (“Full Metal Jacket”), David Cronenberg (“Dead Ringers”) and Ken Russell (“Gothic”), before Hollywood beckoned toward the end of the decade. Since 1999, he has been busily ensconced at Fox Studios, where he serves as their Senior VP of Sound Operations.
The range and success of Nelson’s achievements can be amply demonstrated simply by listing his 18 Oscar nominations: “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Schindler’s List,” “Braveheart,” “Evita,” “L.A. Confidential,” “Saving Private Ryan” (for which he won his first Oscar), “The Thin Red Line,” “The Insider,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “Seabiscuit,” “The Last Samurai,” “War of the Worlds,” “Blood Diamond,” “Avatar,” “Star Trek,” “War Horse” and, of course, that aforementioned pair of 2012 Best Picture nominees.
He has the same amount of nominations from the CAS, which has singled him out for such films as “Super 8,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Shrek” and “The X-Files.” All of which still amounts to a mere fraction of his 140-plus feature film credits. “Heat.” “The Commitments.” “Face/Off.” You get the idea. He’s one of the best.
CAS president David E. Fluhr says, “I am thrilled to announce Andy Nelson as this year’s Cinema Audio Society Career Achievement honoree. Andy is a long time colleague, and I have had the pleasure of watching Andy skyrocket to the top of our craft over these last few years. Andy”s easygoing demeanor, natural mixing and storytelling talents, along with his ability to guide large productions with ease and confidence, have led the CAS Board of Directors to bestow this honor. We are looking forward to an exciting evening on February 22, 2014, as the CAS celebrates our 50th year.”
Previous winners of the Career Achievement Award include Walter Murch, Robert Altman and the recently departed Ray Dolby.