ALEX CHADWICK, host:
Well, okay, we're getting ready. One of the people we're going to want to keep an eye on at that theater on Sunday night is sound mixer Kevin O'Connell.
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
Right. He is, well, the Susan Lucci of the Oscars. He's nominated for his twentieth Academy award this year. It's for the film "Transformers". And he has never won.
CHADWICK: So you'd think he would be a little irritable. But we went to see him yesterday at the Sony studios. Kevin O'Connell, he seemed like the happiest guy in the world.
Mr. KEVIN O'CONNELL (Sound Mixer): You have to understand, you know, it's an honor to be nominated 19 or 20 times. You know, I never take it for granted. It's the best feeling on the planet. And you know, every time I get nominated, I feel that it's just spectacularly wonderful.
CHADWICK: You're nominated, I believe, as a re-recording mixer. At least that's your - that's the title attached to - what exactly is a re-recording mixer?
Mr. O'CONNELL: A re-recording mixer is someone who takes all of the sounds in a movie - the dialogue, the music, and the sound effects - and they blend them together to create the voice of the film. It's a very involved process. We have control over every single sound in a movie, and it's a great job.
CHADWICK: Is there a talisman or something you maybe have carried with you that would be a good luck item?
Mr. O'CONNELL: Well, I haven't figured out what that is yet. But an interesting story this year is I was at a function called the Mothers of the Motion Picture Industry, where I was actually winning an award. And they said if you have a blue dot underneath your cup you win the table prize. And I lifted up my cup, I had a blue dot. I said, hey, I finally won something. So when I got up and made my acceptance speech for the plaque they were giving me, I actually said, you know, my mother would be proud of me today because I actually finally won something. And everyone had a good laugh at it.
CHADWICK: Last year you went to the Oscars. You left that ceremony and went to see your mother, who was very ill.
O'CONNELL: Right. That was a rough night. And she actually died that night. And I left the ceremony right after my award was announced and I went to the hospital. And I was lucky enough to be with her when she died. So it was just a rough night all the way around. And you know, last year was a rough year, but you know, I know my mother would want me to continue. She would want me to, you know, buck up and stay positive, and that's what I'm doing. And if one person gets a message from this to never give up on their dreams, then it was worth it to me.
CHADWICK: You know, Kevin, this year's going to be better than last anyway.
O'CONNELL: Well, it's already better than last. I can just tell you that. I mean, right now I feel just so honored to be even talking to you right now. I wouldn't be having this conversation if I had won 20 year ago. And if the world knows a little bit more about how important sound is to the filmmaking process, then at the end of the day I feel good about it.
CHADWICK: Kevin O'Connell, nominated for an Oscar Sunday night in sound. Good luck to you.
Mr. O'CONNELL: Thanks very much, Alex. Appreciate it.
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