UNC School of the Arts graduate's work contributes to Oscar win

Anthony Wilson Image
Monday, April 26, 2021
UNCSA graduate's work could contribute to Oscar nominee wins
In the best picture category, Zach Seivers (B.F.A. Film '06) was sound recording mixer and sound supervisor for "Nomadland."

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The best picture winner at the 93rd Academy Awards, Nomadland, had some help from a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.

Proud professor Dale Pollock of UNCSA Film Professor said, "This is a student who graduated... and has more than 2,000 credits to his name in the sound field."

A press notice from UNCSA says:

In the best picture category, Zach Seivers (B.F.A. Film '06) was sound recording mixer and sound supervisor for "Nomadland." The film is nominated for six Academy Awards. It won two Golden Globes, including best picture. Originally from Mount Airy, North Carolina, Seivers won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2011 for his work on "Gettysburg."

The work of Seivers did not bring him an Oscar nomination, but Pollock said, "I believe Nomadland is gonna won Best Picture, Best Director, and several other Academy Awards. So to have a student who played a key role, the sound, is so important."

The UNCSA media alert also says:

Other connections to best picture nominees include: Jessica McJunkins (B.M. '09), concertmaster and score coordinator for "Judas and the Black Messiah," which received six nominations; and Kaitlyn Ali (B.F.A. Film '18), key editing production assistant for "The Trial of the Chicago 7." It was nominated for six awards, including best achievement in film editing.

In the animated feature category, Eddie Barbash (H.S. Music '07) was featured jazz musician for "Soul," which won the Oscar for best animated film, adding to its Golden Globe for best-animated feature and best original score.

"UNCSA alumni contributed to some of the year's most celebrated film projects," said Chancellor Brian Cole. "That is especially significant during a challenging year for the arts and entertainment industry. We celebrate their excellent work and will be cheering them on when the award winners are announced."

Those who've seen Nomadland may recall the key scenes shot inside an Amazon warehouse, where Sievers's particular set of skills makes a subtle connection with viewers possible.

"Because that's what the star, Frances McDormand, does for a living," said Pollock. "She's a migrant who goes from warehouse to warehouse to keep herself alive. And inside those warehouses there are robots, there are constant conveyor belts. And the creation of the sound in those factories contrasts with the silence, when she was off living in her camper."