Cover image for Encyclopedia of motion picture sound
Encyclopedia of motion picture sound
McGee, Marty, 1971-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2001]

Physical Description:
vii, 292 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK7881.4 .M47 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Contains the people, processes, innovations, facilities, formats and films that have made sound a part of the motion pictures. There are entries for films that has won an Academy Award for Best Sound or Sound Effects Editing, sound mixers or editors who won an Academy Award and sound processes.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

For 75 years, sound has enriched the movie screens. This reference book covers movies and technicians who have won sound-related Oscars and also defines sound terminology. The author's personal interest in motion picture sound constitutes the basis for research. He viewed each award-winning movie available in video, DVD, or laser format on his home equipment. Secondary sources are listed in an extensive bibliography. The alphabetical arrangement combines terms, people, movies, processes, and facilities. Entries range in length from one sentence to five pages for Titanic. Films receive the most consistent coverage. Information includes the Academy Awards won; production details; the source of the reviewing copy of the film; sound highlights, such as notable music or sound effects (with their locations given in hours and minutes); an evaluative "sound summary"; a short plot summary; and a list of all credited cast and crew members. Coverage of significant sound people (e.g., mixers, editors, inventors) starts with nineteenth-century pioneers, such as Thomas Edison. Basic achievements and a filmography generally constitute their entries. An appendix provides a chronological list of "Films Winning the Academy Awards for Sound." Occasional black-and-white photos from the author's collection of movie stills and posters bring visual relief. There are few cross-references. The weakest part of the encyclopedia is the entries for terminology. The writing is sketchy, technical, and not very clear, certainly for a general audience. For example, the entire entry for time link is "A high-quality, yet economical, digital audio delay technology developed by Dolby and used in some Dolby Surround decoders." The index is inconsistent and sometimes cites the wrong page numbers. The main value of this reference is as a one-stop collection of Academy Award^-winning movies and associated technicians. However, the reader may be disappointed in its coverage of terminology and technicalities. Collections with extensive film collections may find this volume a possible addition.

Choice Review

McGee's resourceful compendium of motion picture sound defines sound terms accurately and helpfully. For every film that has won an Academy Award for Best Sound or Sound Effects, the work has entries that give complete specifications, plot summaries, cast and crew lists, other major awards won, sound highlights, and a sound summary. McGee screened each of the award-winning films in DVD on top-of-the-line equipment, making every effort to secure the best possible mastering. He includes brief filmographies for every sound crewmember who has won an Academy Award and profiles of historical figures, from Thomas Edison to George Lucas, who have contributed to the development of motion picture sound. The book is arranged alphabetically, Academy Curve to Yankee Doodle Dandy. It has an inviting bibliography, a helpful list of abbreviations, an effective index, attractive illustrations, and a chronological list of Academy Award winners, 1929-30 (The Big House) to 1999 (The Matrix). Definitely a useful and helpful work for readers who want nontechnical information about motion picture sound. Academic collections. R. E. Sutton emeritus, American University