Oscar-winning Hollywood sound designer visits University Film Institute

  Randy Thom
22 Jun 2012 14:43:59.060


A leading Hollywood sound designer who has won two Oscars is visiting The University of Nottingham next week as part of a unique collaboration between the global film industry and pioneering academic researchers.

Randy Thom is Director of Sound at Lucasfilm Ltd’s Skywalker Sound facility in Northern California and has a string of blockbuster movies to his name including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter. His most recent award was an Oscar for his work on Pixar’s The Incredibles.

Mr Thom is coming to the University’s recently-founded Institute of Screen Industries Research (ISIR) on a University-funded Industrial Fellowship. He will carry out a series of events from Monday 25th to Friday 29th June including a lecture and seminars at the University and a public presentation, Q&A and screening of Apocalypse Now at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham. He will also share his expertise at a sell-out event at the British Film Institute on London’s South Bank to an audience of industry professionals, journalists and academics.

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Films for the future

The University’s Institute of Screen Industries Research is the first of its kind in the UK and has been set up to bridge the gap between the film business and pioneering academic research by offering industry partners…

  • An ideas incubator and innovation generator in a confidential, data-secured environment.
  • Expert and cost-effective research back-up from staff and scholars in several disciplines including Film/TV, Business and Computer Science.
  • Access to a unique talent development resource and audience testing from the University’s 40,000 students over campuses in Nottingham, China and Malaysia. The University is the first institution in the UK to offer internships to Hollywood studios, Fox and Lionsgate.
  • A new programme of executive and postgraduate courses in Screen Industries Studies including a brand new MA/MSc in Film and Television within the ISIR.

Director of the Institute, Dr Gianluca Sergi, said: “ISIR is thrilled to host a week of events with Randy Thom, who is one of the leading figures in Hollywood production. This is a unique opportunity for staff, students and the general public to get an inside look at how some of Hollywood’s most iconic films are made. Randy has been a great supporter of the ISIR project and we look forward to working together.”

Randy Thom was awarded a highly prestigious Industrial Fellowship from the University’s Centre for Advanced Studies, designed to bring in expertise from top professionals from the international film industry. He is the second Hollywood name to join the University as visiting lecturer. Last year the Institute hosted the award-winning American film production designer Tom Walsh (President of the Art Directors Guild of American and famous for his work on the TV smash hit Desperate Housewives).

An audience with Creative Students

As well as lectures and seminars for staff, students and alumni, Randy Thom will meet students from the University’s Creative Student Network which includes the student drama group, New Theatre, NUTS TV and University Radio Nottingham.

An all-day ‘sandpit’ event will look at developing collaboration between universities and industry with academics from the Department of Culture, Film and Media and Schools of Education, Business School, Computer Science, the Horizon Digital Economy Research Hub, as well as external participant from the new regional media support agency, Creative England and Nottingham Trent University. Nottinghamshire’s Welbeck Estate will also host an event to showcase its growing profile as a film and television location.

Inside Hollywood – Randy Thom + Apocalypse Now’  is the culminating event on Friday 29 June at 5.15pm at Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema on Broad Street. This is a unique opportunity for the public to meet Randy and ask him about his career, the filmmaking process, and the many famous directors and stars he has worked with over the years. A screening of Apocalypse Now, Thom's very first experience working on a major film, will precede a Question and Answer session. The screening will start at 5.15PM and the talk will begin at 8.15PM. Tickets are £5 available here

Follow ISIR on Twitter here : http://www.twitter.com/@UoN_ISIR 


Randy Thom Biography :

Randy Thom is one of Hollywood's leading professionals and has been at the core of most of the key developments in the industry for over 30 years.

A two-time Oscars winner, his illustrious career spans over 100 films and has seen him work on all kinds of movies, production contexts and genre, ranging from huge blockbusters (Stars Wars, Indiana Jones, Forrest Gump, Harry Potter, War of the Worlds), animation (Shrek, The Polar Express, The Incredibles, The Simpsons Movie, Bolt). He has also worked on less commercial projects, including documentary filmmaking, international productions (China, Hong Kong & Japan amongst others) and prestigious award winning productions such as Apocalypse Now, Wild at Heart, The Thin Blue Line and Contact.

For his work on sound he has received over 20 main awards nominations, including 14 Academy Awards (Oscar) and several amongst BAFTAS, and Emmys. He has won two Oscars has well as numerous other awards.

His work extends beyond the making of films. He is a member of the team in charge of Skywalker Ranch (Lucasfilm). Based in San Francisco, this is widely recognised as the most prestigious post-production facility in the world. Thom is the Director of Sound as well as arguably Skywalker’s most prestigious filmmaker.

He has working knowledge also close links with virtually all key studios, including what is currently perhaps the most successful studio in the world, Pixar Studios (with whom Randy has collaborated on several movies, including The Incredibles and Ratatouille).

Furthermore, his knowledge and understanding of technology, both audio and visual, makes him today one of the world's foremost filmmakers, capable of marrying seamlessly technology and art through his exceptional understanding of the creative industries.

Thom is also an accomplished speaker and has been a vocal advocate of dialogue between practitioners and academia. He is the author of several papers and has delivered keynotes at many international conferences. He is widely recognised as one the most active practitioners in fostering debate on and understanding of filmmaking today and is especially active in helping young scholars and students.

Here is a selected filmography (most recent first) of Thom's work:

  • Coraline (2009)
  • Bolt (2008)
  • Beowulf (2007)
  • Enchanted (2007)
  • The Simpsons Movie (2007)
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Scarface: The World Is Yours (2006) (Video Game)
  • Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle (2006)
  • War of the Worlds (2005)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • The Polar Express (2004)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
  • Cast Away (2000)
  • Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)
  • The Iron Giant (1999)
  • Arlington Road (1999)
  • Starship Troopers (1997)
  • Contact (1997)
  • Mars Attacks! (1996)
  • The Frighteners (1996)
  • Forrest Gump (1994)
  • Iron Monkey (Hong Kong) (1993)
  • Backdraft (1991)
  • Wild at Heart (1990)
  • The Thin Blue Line (1988)
  • Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
  • Spaceballs (1987)
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  • The Right Stuff (1983)
  • Rumble Fish (1983)
  • Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
  • Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Gianluca Sergi, on +44 (0) 115 846 7466, gianluca.sergi@nottingham.ac.uk

Additional resources

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