Celebrating the 2017 MPSE & CAS Student Award Nominees

By in Audio Post, Education, Pro Mixing

As part of Avid’s ongoing commitment to preparing the next generation of filmmakers for future success, Avid sponsored this year’s CAS Student Recognition Award and MPSE Verna Fields Award for Student Filmmakers. These awards, given at the CAS Awards on Saturday, February 18 and the MPSE Golden Reel Awards on Sunday, February 19, respectively celebrate the achievements of sound editing, mixing, and recording.

To kick off “Awards Weekend” Avid hosted a CAS & MPSE Student luncheon for all of the Student Award Nominees:


CAS Student Recognition Award Nominees

  • Jeremy Culver – Baylor University in Waco, TX
  • Sammy Duff – Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA
  • Wenrui Fan – Chapman University in Orange, CA
  • Lauren Johnson – University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA
  • Matthew Kluchin – The University of Texas in Austin, TX


MPSE Verna Fiels Award for Student Film Makers

  • Zoltan Juhasz – National Film and Televsion School in Beaconsfield, England for Fishwitch
  • Gerry Vazquez – Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA for Icarus
  • Xiang Li – Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA for It’s Just a Gun
  • Peiqi Duan – Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA for Shallow Grave
  • Xiaodan Li – Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA for Jerry
  • Chris Morocco – University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA for Amelia’s Closet
  • Tom Jenkins – National Film and Televsion School in Beaconsfield, England for Those Who Are Lost
  • Taylor Scherer – Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, CA for Eden

The event, held at the Avid offices in Burbank, featured David Fluhr, CAS, an award-winning re-recording mixer known most recently for his work on Zootopia, Moana, and Frozen. Fluhr discussed his career experience in post production sound mixing, highlighted some of his workflows for projects, and answered student questions about “making it” in Hollywood.

The Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Panel for the Verna Fields Award, Glenn T. Morgan, MPSE, also shared stories about his own challenges and successes in the industry.  Avid Solutions Specialist Ozzie Sutherland was also on hand to discuss the world of sound for film and tv, highlighting some of Avid’s technology for the industry and sharing tips with the up and coming filmmakers along the way.

Following the presentations and lunch, students were each awarded their own copy of Pro Tools to help continue their success. Students then departed for an afternoon at Sony Pictures Entertainment, hosted by MPSE president Tom McCarthy, complete with a tour of the Studio, screenings of the MPSE nominated films and dinner.

On Saturday, February 18, CAS Student Nominees headed to the OMNI Los Angeles Hotel as it played host to the 53rd Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards. Over 500 were in attendance to recognize the year’s top sound mixers in film and television. Big winners on the night included La La Land, Finding Dory, Game of Thrones and Modern Family.

2017 CAS Student Recognition Award Winner Sam Fan

During the evening, Student Wenrui “Sam” Fan from Chapman University also received the CAS Student Recognition Award and was presented with a check for $2500. This award is based on the recommendation of an instructor or professor and on the student’s accomplishments, enthusiasm, and demonstrated potential in the field of sound mixing and/or sound recording for film and television. Congratulations, Sam!

The following night Hollywood’s post directors, mixers and editors gathered at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles for the 64th Annual Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Awards. The MPSE Student Award nominees joined the crowd of almost 900 to recognize the year’s best achievements in sound editing for feature film, TV, animation and web-based productions. Hacksaw Ridge, Westworld, La La Land and Strangers Things walked away with the night’s most notable awards.

Avid’s Director of Worldwide Pro Audio Solutions Specialists Rich Nevens was also in attendance to present the Verna Fields Award in Sound Editing for Student Films. This award, which recognizes high-quality and imaginative sound editing in student film and video projects, also includes the Ethel Crutcher Scholarship in the amount of $1000. This year two students tied for the honor:

Zoltan Juhasz, a student at the National Film and Television School, for his Sound Editing, Sound Design and Foley work on Fishwitch and Gerry Vasquez, a student at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University,  for his Sound Editing and Sound Design work on Icarus. Congratulations to Gerry and Zoltan!

2017 Verna Field Award Winners Zoltan Juhasz (left) and Gerry Vasquez (right)

Avid’s mission is to help anyone tell their story – from industry professionals to young filmmakers who are just starting their careers in the entertainment industry.

“By providing support to students through sponsorships like these and developing strong relationships with educators in the process, Avid can help better prepare the next generation of talent for our industry,” said Nevens. “Based on the student talent we’ve seen this year, the future of the industry looks pretty bright.”


Photo Credits: Avid, Alex Berliner (CAS Awards), and Chris Schmitt Photography (MPSE Awards).

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