Michael Minkler

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Michael Minkler
Born (1952-05-14) May 14, 1952 (age 66)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Sound Re-Recording Mixer
Years active 1969–present
Children Christian Minkler (son)
Family Bob Minkler (uncle), Lee Minkler (uncle)

Michael Minkler (born 14 May 1952) is a motion picture sound re-recording mixer. He has received Academy Awards for his work on Dreamgirls, Chicago and Black Hawk Down. His varied career has also included films like Inglourious Basterds, JFK and Star Wars, as well as television programs like The Pacific and John Adams.[1] Minkler works at Todd-AO Hollywood.[2] He is also the Managing Director of Moving Pictures Media Group, a company that specializes in film development, packaging projects for production funding acquisition.[3]

Early career

Minkler started working as a recordist when he was 17, and started mixing in 1974 when he was 22. His early projects included commercials, television shows and industrial films. His first major film came in 1976 when he was hired for temporary work on music and effects tracks for the foreign release of All the President’s Men, with rerecording mixers Arthur Piantadosi and Les Fresholtz, at Warner Brothers' Stage 5. He continued to work with Piantadosi and Fresholtz on another 35 films, and considers them his mentors.[4]

Family history

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Minkler was born into a family of sound-for-film professionals.

Darrell Minkler, his grandfather, worked at Chicago Labs in 1928, developing disc recorders. He came to Hollywood to work on the Vitaphone project at Warner Bros. Studios. Darrell Minkler also built a company then called Radio Recorders for music recording with such pop classic performers as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Tommy Dorsey. That studio later became a part of The Record Plant.[4]

Don Minkler, his father, began his sound career in the late 1940s and founded Producers Sound Service in 1964. Don Minkler's re-recording career includes such films as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces,The Last Picture Show" and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.[5]

His uncle, sound re-recording mixer Bob Minkler began working in the sound department back in the 1960s and won an Oscar in 1978 for his work on Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Other Bob Minkler credits include 10, Hair and Bull Durham and Saturday Night Fever". His other uncle, Lee, also a mixer, shares the distinction of being on the Oscar Nominated Sound Mixing team for "Tron" with Michael and Bob. That is the only time that three members of a single family were nominated for an Oscar for the same film.[6]

Minkler's son Christian is also a re-recording mixer, who has worked on both television and feature film projects since 1990. Christian's most recent credits include Repo Man, The Proposal and Role Models.[7]

Professional experience

After a four year stint at Warner Bros. Studios, he took the job as the chief mixer and managing director of facilities, at Robert Altman’s Lion’s Gate Films in 1980. In 1984, Minkler struck out as an independent, working at a number of facilities, until 1990 when he helped design and staff Skywalker Sound’s Lantana facility in Santa Monica. He continued to mix there after the facility was acquired by Todd-AO. While at renamed Todd-AO West, Minkler won a pair of Academy Awards, first for Black Hawk Down in 2001 and then Dreamgirls in 2006. In 2009, he moved to the Todd-AO Hollywood facility and quickly earned an Academy Award nomination for Inglourious Basterds.

Technical Advisor

In addition to his mixing credits, Minkler has been a sought after technical advisor for companies like Euphonix where he helped with the development of digital audio mixing technology, which is now an industry standard.[8]

Minkler has always been considered an innovator of technology and technique. On Inglourious Basterds, Minkler utilized a new technology developed by Penteo Surround that enables stereo music mixes to be converted and spread across a 5.1 surround sound field.[9]

Appears on

While Minkler is regularly profiled in trades magazines like Variety, Mix and Post, he’s also appeared on DVD featurettes discussing the sound of a particular film. The Sound of Miracle appears as an extra on the DVD release of the 2004 film Miracle.

Awards and nominations

Michael Minkler has been nominated for 11 Academy Awards (three wins), six BAFTA Awards (three wins), eight Cinema Audio Society Awards (two wins), one Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards (one win), two Emmy Award and three Satellite Awards (two wins).

In 2006, Minkler received the Cinema Audio Society’s Career Achievement Award at the 42nd annual CAS Awards Banquet. The event took place at the Millennium-Biltmore in Los Angeles. He was the president of the Cinema Audio Society in 1981.

Academy Awards
BAFTA Awards
  • 2005: Collateral (Best Sound) – Nominated
  • 2004: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (Best Sound) – Nominated
  • 2003: Chicago (Best Sound) – Won
  • 2002: Black Hawk Down (Best Sound) – Nominated
  • 1993: JFK (Best Sound) – Won
  • 1979: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (Best Sound) – Won
Cinema Audio Society Awards
  • 2009: John Adams (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movies and Mini-Series for episode Join or Die) – Won
  • 2009: John Adams (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movies and Mini-Series for episode Independence) – Nominated
  • 2008: Into the Wild (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures) – Nominated
  • 2007: Dreamgirls (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures) – Won
  • 2003: Chicago (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures) – Nominated
  • 2002: Black Hawk Down (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures) – Nominated
  • 1995: True Lies (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures) – Nominated
  • 1994: Cliffhanger (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Feature Film) – Nominated
Emmy Awards
Motion Picture Sound Editors - Golden Reel Award
  • 1990: Born on the Fourth of July (Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects) – Won (Tied with The Abyss)
Satellite Awards
  • 2006: Dreamgirls (Best Sound, Editing & Mixing) – Won
  • 2005: Collateral (Best Sound, Editing & Mixing) – Won
  • 2004: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (Best Sound) – Nominated

2007 Academy Awards Controversy

After winning the Oscar in 2007 for his work on Dreamgirls, Minkler exchanged the following dialogue with a reporter:

Reporter: Each one of you has won an Oscar before tonight. One of your other nominees, Kevin O'Connell, has never won in 19 tries now. Do you have anything to say to him?

Minkler: I kind of figured this question was going to come up, so they said if it does come up, go ahead and say something. I think Kevin should just like maybe just go away with 19 wins[sic] and just call it a record and that would be the end of it. We work really, really hard at what we do, all of us do in our craft. And if we, you know, stumble upon an award like this, somebody is willing to honor us with something like this, we are so grateful. And I just wonder what Kevin's trying to do out there by trying to get an award by using sympathy. And Kevin's an okay mixer but enough's enough about Kevin.

Reporter: You think he should take his name out of consideration?

Minkler: No, no, I just think that he should take up another line of work."

— February 24, 2007[21]

Several online[22][23][24] publications found the comments to be controversial, surprising, or otherwise noteworthy, with one referring to Minkler specifically as being a "Sore Winner".[25] L.A. Times contributor Tom O'Neil reported on the event after contacting O'Connell, receiving the following response from him:

"As you may or may not know, my mother Skippy passed away on Sunday night right after the Oscars. I was holding her in my arms when she died. I was not made aware of Mr. Minkler's comments until Monday morning. I have not seen them personally and at this point I have no intention of looking at them or reading about them. I'll get back to you when I get that far down on my list of what is important to me. Take care, Kevin."

— O'Connell was with dying mom while being bashed at Oscars - March 1, 2007 [26]

Minkler apologized to O'Connell within a few weeks of making his original remarks in an open letter, and by calling and speaking to him personally, as referenced in the letter.[27] Minkler framed his apology with the statement, "A very unfortunate situation has developed because of my stupid answers to some inappropriate questions. I did not seek this spotlight — the press did, as they have in the past. It was wrong of them to ask the questions, and wrong, wrong, wrong of me to answer them the way that I did."

Writing on the controversy once again, Tom O'Neil characterized the apology in his LA Times blog as, "Minkler blames the media for his bashing of O'Connell."[28] As reported in the updated article, O'Connell accepted the apology cordially with the statement, "I think it is time for all of us to move on in the best interest of the sound community, and put this behind us."


  1. ^ nm0591444/ IMDB
  2. ^ [1] "Todd-AO gets Makeover, Editors Guild Magazine]
  3. ^ http://www.movingpicturesmg.com/company/micheal-minkler/
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2010-03-21.  Mike Minkler Q&A, Tom Kenny, Mix magazine, September 1, 2002
  5. ^ [2] IMDB Credits for Don Minkler
  6. ^ [3] IMDB Credits for Bob Minkler
  7. ^ [4] IMDB Credits for Christian Minkler
  8. ^ [5] Todd-AO Hollywood Gets Euphonix Makeover - and Minkler too, Michael Kunkes, ‘’Editor's Guild’’ magazine, August 24, 2009
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2010-03-22.  Inglourious Basterds Features Penteo Surround, David Goggin, ‘’Electronic Musician’’ The Briefing Room, August 26, 2009
  10. ^ "The 82nd Academy Awards (2010) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  11. ^ "The 79th Academy Awards (2007) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  12. ^ "The 75th Academy Awards (2003) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  13. ^ "The 74th Academy Awards (2002) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  14. ^ "The 66th Academy Awards (1994) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  15. ^ "The 64th Academy Awards (1992) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  16. ^ "The 62nd Academy Awards (1990) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  17. ^ "The 58th Academy Awards (1986) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  18. ^ "The 55th Academy Awards (1983) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  19. ^ "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  20. ^ "The 52nd Academy Awards (1980) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  21. ^ http://www.leesmovieinfo.net/Oscar-Show.php?interview_id=27
  22. ^ http://www.incontention.com/2007/02/greg_p_russell_responds_to_mic.html
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  24. ^ http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1593578,00.html
  25. ^ http://pagesix.com/2007/03/04/sore-winner/
  26. ^ http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2007/03/after_mothers_d.html
  27. ^ http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/2007/03/minkler-apologi/
  28. ^ http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2007/03/minkler_blames_.html

External links

  • Michael Minkler on IMDb
  • Moving Pictures Media Group
  • Michael Minkler Bio at Todd-AO website
  • A video profile of the work done on Inglourious Basterds by the SoundWorks Collection
  • Article at Mix magazine covering Minkler moving to Todd-AO Hollywood
  • CSS Studios Company Blog with Minkler news
  • The Oscars Nominee Questionnaire for Inglourious Basterds nomination
  • WordPress Blog Entries covering Michael Minkler
  • Story about Michael Minkler's CAS Award win for Dreamgirls
  • Article about Michael Minkler's 2010 Oscar Nominations at ProSoundWeb
  • Article at The Hollywood Reporter covering the work done on Inglourious Basterds written by Debra Kaufman
  • Michael Minkler Information at Freebase
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