Frank A. Montano and Jon Taylor (‘First Man’ sound mixers) used real NASA gear to create a documentary feel [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]


Jon Taylor explains that Damien Chazelle wanted the sound for “First Man” to have a “documentary style.” Because this biographical drama about astronaut Neil Armstrong‘s historic trip to the moon was shot like a piece of nonfiction, the mix needed “a reality to it at all times.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Taylor and Frank A. Montaño above.

SEE 2019 Oscars guild awards scorecard: ‘First Man’ gets first win from Visual Effects Society

For Montaño, a self-professed NASA fanatic, authenticity was key. So he and Taylor used some of the original “pieces and gear” from Project Gemini for the film. “I remember reading an article on ‘Saving Private Ryan,'” Montaño recalls, “how some of the vets, when they sat down and watched it … it put them back to that space and time. In this case, being an enthusiast since I was eight-years-old, I just had a kinship to the program.” That gave him “the motivation to, at the end of the day, have the remaining members that are still with us sit down, watch the film, and say, ‘That’s exactly so. That’s exactly right.'”

Montaño and Taylor previously competed at the Oscars together for “Birdman” (2014), “Unbroken” (2014), and “The Revenant” (2015). Montaño was also nominated for “Under Siege” (1992), “The Fugitive” (1993), “Clear and Present Danger” (1994), “Batman Forever” (1995) and “Wanted” (2008).

Both won BAFTAs for “The Revenant,” as well as Cinema Audio Society prizes for “Birdman” and “The Revenant.” Montaño picked up additional BAFTA and CAS Awards for “The Fugitive.”

Their Oscar bid this year is one of four “First Man” received overall. It also competes for Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.

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Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 24.

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