The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Lincoln gets SMU grad nominated for third Oscar

Mike Rawlings

A still from Steven Spielberg’s newest film, Lincoln. (Courtesy of AP)

As the Academy Awards approach SMU is pleased to congratulate alumnus, Ronald Judkins on his nomination for “Lincoln” as the production mixer. In previous years, Judkins has won an Academy Award for Best Sound in 1993 for “Jurassic Park” and again in 1998 for “Saving Private Ryan”.

Additionally, he was nominated in 1993 for “Schindler’s List”, in 2005 for “War of the Worlds” and again in 2013 for “Lincoln.”

Judkins is nominated with fellow sound mixers Andy Nelson and Gary Rydstrom.

“Lincoln” won the AFI award for movie of the year; furthermore it is nominated for 12 Academy Awards.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Fields star in this historical biopic about the 16th President of the United States.

Needless to say, only the best of the best are used in the production for such large-scale movies. He began his relationship with “Lincoln” director Steven Spielberg when they worked on the set of “Hook” and without a doubt the Judkins made an impression on Spielberg with his talents dealing with sound.

The SMU grad completed his education with a BFA in film from the Meadows School of the Arts in 1975.

The alumnus’ first job was at KERA where he worked on sound for documentaries.

His advice for future filmmakers, “There is no specific body of knowledge, no school, no book… a lot of this job is knowing what the important battles are. Talk to people, ask questions, listen…”

“Just get a job, any kind, office assistant, production assistant, even volunteer. I’m amazed at the amount of that kind of labor this town can support. When I was in Montana working on my own film I hired some of the locals. Four of them decided to come to LA. They got bit by the bug and I thought, great now I’ve caused them to move down here and I’m sort of responsible; but they all have jobs now. You just need to have the desire. Try.”

Four years later, he made the move to California to get into the film business.

He sums up his job by saying, “I’m that guy who records the original dialogue on the film set.”

In 1999 he made a film called “Hi-Line”, which competed in the dramatic competition at Sundance Film Festival.

Currently, he is making another film that he writes and directs titled, “Neighbors”. For those students interested in following in Judkins footsteps, Professor Mark Kerins’ FILM 3384 Sound Design and Recording course might just be the class for you.

The recently refurbished soundproof studio rooms on campus located at Umphrey Lee play host as the perfect set-up for sound recording and mixing.

“Lincoln” is playing at the Angelika Theatre in Mockingbird Station next to campus.

Be sure to tune in to the 85th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 24th to see Judkins hopefully go home with a third Oscar statue.

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