Archive for the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ Category
By Luke Johnson & Allen Payton
Antioch native Michael Semanick has received his tenth Academy Award nomination for Best Sound for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and has a chance to bring home a third Oscar Trophy.
The sound mixer earned his first Academy Award nomination in 2001 for “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring,” and later won for the first time in 2004 for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” Semanick went on to wrap his hands around more gold in 2006 for his work in “King Kong.”
Antioch held a celebration of his first Oscar win, in 2004. Semanick gave a talk at Antioch High’s Beede Auditorium, followed by a reception at Schooner’s.
Semanick did the mixing for the latest Hobbit movie in New Zealand, last fall.
This year, he’s up against four other movies: Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Captain Phillips and Lone Survivor.
Since 1987, the 51-year-old Semanick has taken part in over 110 films, and he said it has gone by too quickly.
“Sometimes I think ‘Did I really do all that?’” Semanick said. “I don’t realize until afterwards and I say to myself, ‘Wow! That’s what I’ve been doing.’”
Before graduating from Antioch High School in 1981, Semanick found a passion for music and performing arts, and knew that was the career path he wanted to pursue since his sophomore year.
He said the best part of his success is sharing it with the Antioch community, and hopes to inspire others that come out of the small suburban town.
“I want people to say, ‘If he can do it, I can do it, too,” Semanick added.
The Oscar winner said one of his biggest mentors has been his drama teacher Theresa Rossi at Antioch High. The school’s drama program has been defunct since 2012. Semanick feels it is a shame that something that was incredibly influential to him is no longer existent.
The 86th Academy Awards ceremony will take place Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theater, which used to be the Kodak Theater – where they’ve been held since 2001, in Hollywood and televised on the ABC network, beginning at 4 p.m.
In a separate, two-hour conversation on Wednesday, February 19, Semanick shared more background on the Academy Awards and his work:
Nominees are always on the floor of the theater. He was seated in the back, but close enough to get up to the stage, if announced.
“Two years ago I took my daughter,” he said. “This year, I’m taking my 15-year-old son.”
The wife, daughter, and the rest of his family will be in Los Angeles, as well, and probably go to a viewing party of the live broadcast.
The studio parties are usually held on Thursday or Friday nights. Warner Brothers is having a party for all of the nominees for their movies.
The studios scaled back since 2008, with less extravagant spending even though the companies were making more money than ever.
Semanick is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences and in the Sound Mixers and Editors Union.
The various divisions of the Academy nominate their own members. Actors only nominate actors, directors only nominate directors and sound branch members can nominate for sound and best picture.
“So you’re really being chosen by your peers,” he said. “But the voting is open to any active member of the Academy. So I can vote for all the categories.”
“Technically you should have watched the movies if you’re going to vote,” said Semanick. “Voting just opened up and closes next week. I don’t want to be swayed by friendship. I ask myself oes it stand on it’s own merit
He pointed out that there’s a difference between sound editing and sound mixing, and each has its own category for Oscar nominations and awards.
On winning an Oscar:
“It can be kind of a curse,” Semanick said with a laugh. “After winning my second Oscar I stopped getting work because they assumed they couldn’t afford me, because I had raised my rates.”
He doesn’t have an agent or a public relations person.
“I’m just fortunate they keep nominating me,” he added.
On his particular craft:
“Sound in a movie is good. But it can be too loud and it pushes people out of the movie.”
The key is to keep it well balanced.
“For me it’s all about creating dynamic in a soundtrack.”
He’s working on a picture called Big Eyes, by Tim Burton, starring Amy Adams, which is based on the painters of the big eye paintings, Margaret and Walter Keane.
“It’s a drama about who actually did the paintings,” Semanick shared. “He took all the credit but she did the actual paintings, locked in a closet. It actually happened in Marin County and it’s a fascinating story.”
Then, he’ll be working on 22 Jump Street, then a David Fincher movie called Gone Girl.
Then off to New Zealand for Hobbit 3, for the third and final installment.
- The other movies for which he was nominated for an Academy Award are The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Ratatouille (2007), WALL-E (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).
- To learn more about Michael Semanick, visit www.redmachinemm.com/msemanick/.
- Publisher’s Note: We wish Michael good luck, this Sunday night and will be watching with fingers crossed!
Miniatures give us the opportunity to portray and preserve memories and history. They also allow us to use our imaginations to make our dreams a reality. While, for many of us, our first doll house as a child began our fascination with things small, the craftsmanship and quality of the displays will show you that these creations are definitely NOT children’s toys.
Bring the family – young and old will enjoy these delightful creations!
The Exhibit will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm through February 26, 2014 at the Antioch Historical Society, 1500 W. Fourth St., Antioch.
Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Group tours may be arranged by contacting Carole Ann Davis at (510) 501-3957.
A collaborative group of nonprofits will once again host Antioch’s Black History Month exhibit. The free exhibit will provide a timeline of historical events featuring art, artifacts, literature, and creative arts that reflect the African American experience in America.
The timeline will highlight the homeland of Africa, slavery, the adaptation to plantation living, the Church, the emancipation of the slaves, adaptation to freedom, the civil rights movement, and end with the historic election of Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States.
The Black History Art & Artifacts Exhibit will be held through Saturday, February 15, 2014 at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center (multipurpose room) at 213 F Antioch, CA. The Exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, 2/14 and Saturday, 2/15 with a closing Reception from 2-4 p.m.
The Exhibit will provide a great educational experience for families and elementary and high school student groups. For more information, visit www.art4antioch.org/Black-History-Exhibit.asp.
The Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch is pleased to announce the latest exhibit at Antioch’s Umpqua Bank for local artists to showcase their work. The exhibit changes every two months and features five to six artists per exhibit. The latest exhibit begins February 1st and continues through March 28th, from 9 AM – 5 PM (excluding bank holidays). This is the 4th exhibit for the ongoing display. Featured artists for the February – March exhibit are: Clyde Cox, Doug Hampton, Mayette Ignacio, Beverly Martinez, Richard Meyer, Paul Schorr and Wiley Walker.
The exhibit is free and open to the public from February 1st – March 28th, 2014 from Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM (excluding bank holidays). The bank is located at 3700 Lone Tree Way, in the Raley’s shopping center. The free artist reception will be held on Thursday, February 6th, 5-7 PM. For more information about this exhibit, click here.
ACFA is currently seeking artists for the ongoing exhibit. The next exhibit window is April-May, which will feature the artworks from students from Antioch Senior High School. The Umpqua exhibit changes every two months.
If you are interested in participating, please email Executive Director Diane Gibson-Gray atDiane@Art4Antioch.org or call her at (925) 325-9897. Click here for more information.
A Night of Inter-Denominational Fellowship Concert with Gospel singer Dave Crandall, will be held at the Flood Gate Ministry Church, in Antioch, this Saturday night.
Date: January 25th, 2014
Place: 605 Madill & G Street
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: FREE. An offering will be taken
Everyone is invited to be a part of this uplifting evening as we worship God through music as one body.
Noche de Congregación Inter Denominacional con el cantante cristiano Dave Crandall. Unete a nosotros y se parte de este evento vivificador en el cual alabaremos a Dios a través de la música como una sola iglesia.