Deadline has confirmed that Brian Kurland, a four-time Oscar-nominated sound mixer who sits on the board of directors of the Cinema Audio Society, has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over his pre-production project. -save multiple categories including best sound.
The news comes a day after CAS and the Association of Motion Picture Sound weighed in on the simmering controversy, saying AMPAS defined the categories as less important “second tier” skills. And Tom Fleischman, longtime re-recording mixer and frequent Martin Scorsese collaborator, left the Academy a few weeks ago.
On Monday, IATSE President Matthew Loeb also called the Academy out on its “damaging” plan to pre-register Oscar categories, saying, “The workers behind the scenes are little recognized as such.”
The plan has also drawn criticism on several other fronts, including that of the Academy Music branch governor Laura Karpman and at least three directors whose films are in the running for best picture: Steven Spielberg, Jane Campion and Denis Villeneuve.
Kurland has worked in sound production for over 35 years, including all of the Coen Brothers films. He scored names at the Sound Mixing Oscars for their No country for old men, True Grit and Inside Llewyn Davis – with James Mangold Walk the line – and also worked on Joel Coen’s 2021 photo The Tragedy of Macbeth. He is also the Business Manager for IATSE Local 492 for Studio Mechanics in Nashville.
Along with Best Sound, the other seven categories that will be showcased in the hour leading up to the Academy Awards and then incorporated into the TV broadcast are Editing, Makeup and Hair, Original Music, Production Design and Documentary, animation and live action short film.
The 94th Annual Academy Awards, produced by Will Packer, airs live coast-to-coast on ABC.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported Kurland’s resignation.