Public Programs And Events

Master Class in Sound Editing and Direction with Maurice Schell

Master Class in Sound Editing and Direction with Maurice Schell

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorum, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center

Please join us for this DocTalk-cum-workshop with the talented and prolific sound editor, Maurice Schell, who has been called “The Ear of Hollywood.” 

Born in France before World War II, Maurice began his career as an apprentice sound editor on the Maysles’ brothers’ classic documentary, Salesman, and as sound assistant for Gimme Shelter.  For over 40 years, he has been sought out by the leading filmmakers of his generation for his artistry, creative intuition, and meticulous editing direction. His collaborators have included: Brian DePalma, Francis Ford Coppola, Bob Fosse, Sydney Lumet, David Mamet, Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader, Bruce Weber, and Jan Kadar, just a few of the many award-winning filmmakers who have relied on his understanding of sound. His best known work on feature films includes: Apocalypse Now, Carlito’s Way, Chicago, The Cider House Rules, Desperately Seeking Susan, Heist, Reds, Scarface, The Spanish Prisoner, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and The Winslow Boy, a few of 112 film credits.  He was honored with a BAFTA Award for Chicago, a Canadian Film Award for Lies My Father Told Me, and seven other nominations. He has worked closely with documentary filmmaker Nina Rosenblum on all her films including America and Lewis Hine, which received an Emmy Award for best sound editing.  He has also worked with Jonathan Demme on his documentary, Let’s Get Lost, among other films.

Maurice is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), The Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild (MPSE), IATSE local 700 Motion Picture & VideoTape Editors Guild (MPEG), The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS).  He is a practitioner, not an academic, and so very approachable when talking about the art of sound editing and design.  He is currently retired but has been known to advise promising graduate filmmakers, such as Stephane Goldsand (class of 2009), who received several awards for his documentary short, Leap Before You Look, which screened at over 25 film festivals around the world. 

This workshop is practical and will begin with some examples from Schell’s own work, then go on to focus entirely on selections from DocStudies student rough cuts. The goal is for students to present their work for suggestions on how to resolve sound problems and also imagine ways to add to the overall richness and evocative atmosphere of their documentary.  Everyone is encouraged to bring in a short QuickTime file or vimeo link to their work-in-progress; all who plan to share their work are encouraged to arrive a little before 1 pm so that files can be uploaded to the computer.  This is a rare opportunity to get advice from a film expert eager to lend his experience and support to help make your work better.  We hope most of you will take advantage of Maurice’s generosity.

This session will be hosted by Deirdre Boyle, faculty member in the Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies, and a long-time friend and admirer of Maurice’s work. 

Sponsored by The School of Media Studies

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