Michael J. Kohut
Born(1943-06-08)June 8, 1943
Died2012 (aged 68–69)
OccupationPresident, Digital Post Production Facilities, Sony Pictures Studios and Sound Rerecording Mixer
Years active1965-2008

Michael J. Kohut (June 8, 1943 – 2012) was an American audio engineer. He was a seven-time Academy Award nominee for Best Sound, a BAFTA award winner for Best Sound for Fame[1] and was President of Post Production Facilities[2] at Sony Pictures Studios.[3] During his tenure at Sony Pictures Studios, he led the American team in the development of Sony Dynamic Digital Sound the discrete eight-channel playback system for motion picture sound.

Kohut was a sound rerecording mixer for over eighty feature films and several television shows.[1] He was honored with a Career Achievement Award by the Cinema Audio Society,[4] several Cinema Audio Society Award wins and nominations, and was included in the "In Memoriam" tribute of the Academy Awards broadcast in 2013.[5]

Early life and career

Michael John Kohut moved to Los Angeles from Canada, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. He and his wife, Francine, have two sons, Tateum and Tyson. Tateum Kohut, is an Emmy-nominated sound re-recording mixer for his work on True Detective and Cinema Audio Society Award winner for The Blues.[6]

Michael J. Kohut started his 40+ year career at MGM in 1965 as a production sound cable operator, a boom operator, and worked on location in Hawaii for the original Hawaii Five-O series on CBS. After working on several television series, including Medical Center and several television movies, including Roe vs. Wade,[7] Kohut transitioned from mixing for television to sound mixing for motion pictures.

Professional experience

In addition to the seven films for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing, Meteor, Fame, Pennies from Heaven, WarGames, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, RoboCop and Total Recall, Kohut was re-recording mixer for award-winning feature films Rich and Famous[8] directed by the legendary George Cukor, Prince of Tides[9] directed by Barbra Streisand, Dead Poets Society[10] directed by Peter Weir, and Basic Instinct[11] directed by Paul Verhoeven. Among his other feature film credits are fan favorites Rocky IV[12] directed by Sylvester Stallone, Farewell to the King[13] directed by John Milius, The Presidio[14] directed by Peter Hyams, and The War of the Roses[15] and Throw Mama from the Train,[16] both directed by Danny DeVito.

After the physical property for the MGM Studios in Culver City, California was sold to Lorimar-Telepictures in 1988 (after a brief three-month ownership by Turner), Kohut was promoted to Sound Director of Lorimar Post Production Facilities, in addition to continuing his role of lead mixer on the storied Cary Grant Theatre[17] dub stage. EVP, Post Production Facilities, Charles A. Silvers promoted Kohut to VP, Post Production Facilities, expanding Kohut's duties to cover post production sound and editorial, over 100 cutting rooms, 7 dub stages, 2 ADR and 2 Foley stages, in addition to his sound mixing duties.

During the Lorimar years, Kohut transitioned the sound editorial department from traditional film cutting to digital post production with the introduction of Waveframe Digital Audio Workstations. He famously designed a campaign challenging competitors to step into the digital realm by showing Dallas editor, Fred W. Berger,[18] already in his 80s, proclaiming that it was never too late to learn new technology.

When Sony Corporation, purchased the Lorimar studio property in 1990, Silvers retired and Kohut was promoted to SVP, as Post Production Facilities continued to expand to encompass 25% of the 44-acre lot, adding dub stages and digital editing rooms and renovating existing facilities. Sony, a leading electronics company, sought to expand its product line with the acquisition of the studio, and Kohut lead the American development team at the studio, Dana Wood,[19] Jeffrey E. Taylor,[20] Stanley Wiegand,[21] Mark Koffman[22] and Melissa J. L. Smith,[23] in the development of the Sony Dynamic Digital Sound system, which made its debut in the Arnold Schwarzenegger hit, Last Action Hero[24] directed by John McTiernan for Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony. The technology was rolled out in the AMC theater chain and used a laser to direct focused beams of light. A patent for the technology was issued in 1998.[25]

Kohut retired from post production sound mixing as his managerial workload grew when he was promoted to Executive Vice President, then President of Post Production Facilities for Sony Pictures Studios, continuing the department's expansion[26] including the landmark William Holden Theatre.[27]

Kohut's achievements in sound was summarized in a 1996 article in which he recounted, "I worked with Paul Verhoeven on the first Robocop. At the end of the movie, I recall Paul saying to me: 'Mike, sound was 60% of this movie.' It was a great feeling."[28]

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ "Film in 1981 | BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  2. ^ Weiner, Rex (December 5, 1996). "Sony boosts Kohut to post-prod'n prez". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "Michael Kohut Interview". www.mediaandmarketing.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  4. ^ "Category:CAS Career Achievement Award honorees", Wikipedia, July 6, 2019, retrieved August 29, 2019
  5. ^ "The Oscars - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  6. ^ "Tateum Kohut - Filmography | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  7. ^ "Roe vs. Wade - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Rich and Famous - Cast | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  9. ^ "The Prince of Tides - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "Dead Poets Society - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  11. ^ "Basic Instinct - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "Rocky IV - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  13. ^ "Farewell to the King - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Presidio - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  15. ^ "The War of the Roses - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  16. ^ "Throw Momma from the Train - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  17. ^ Droney, Maureen. "Sony Pictures' Cary Grant Theatre". Mixonline. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  18. ^ "Fred W. Berger - Contact Info, Agent, Manager | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "Dana Wood - Contact Info, Agent, Manager | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ "Jeffrey Taylor - Contact Info, Agent, Manager | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ "Stan Wiegand". IMDb. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  22. ^ "Mark Koffman - Contact Info, Agent, Manager | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ "Melissa Smith - Contact Info, Agent, Manager | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "Last Action Hero - Production & Contact Info | IMDbPro". pro.imdb.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  25. ^ "Michael J. Kohut Inventions, Patents and Patent Applications - Justia Patents Search". patents.justia.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  26. ^ "Sound Mixing | Studio Operations". www.sonypicturesstudios.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  27. ^ Kenny, Tom. "William Holden Theatre: Sony Pictures Post Production, Culver City, Calif". Mixonline. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  28. ^ "Michael Kohut Interview". www.mediaandmarketing.com. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  29. ^ "The 52nd Academy Awards (1980) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  30. ^ "The 53rd Academy Awards (1981) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  31. ^ "The 54th Academy Awards (1982) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  32. ^ "The 56th Academy Awards (1984) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  33. ^ "The 57th Academy Awards (1985) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  34. ^ "The 60th Academy Awards (1988) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  35. ^ "The 63rd Academy Awards (1991) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved October 20, 2011.