Gary Summers, a sound engineer from Petaluma, won his fourth Oscar on Sunday night for his work on the soundtrack of the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Saving Private Ryan.
Summers, 43, won in the category for sound mixing, one of the technical film-making awards given by the Academy of Motion Pictures.
The veteran sound technician, who specializes in mixing re-recorded dialog into the final print, played a major role in preserving the realistic documentary-style sound that runs through Saving Private Ryan.
Summers is a 20-year employee of Skywalker Sound, a division of Lucas Digital in Marin County. He lives in Petaluma with his wife and three children.
His previous three Oscars for sound mixing were for Titanic in 1998, Jurassic Park in 1994, and Terminator 2 in 1992. He received Oscar nominations for sound mixing in Backdraft in 1992, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1990, and Return of the Jedi in 1984.
For a ship that sank, the Titanic has buoyed a lot of careers this year, including that of Gary Summers who won an Academy Award for Best Sound on the film that has become the world's all-time box office smash.
Summers, a longtime Petaluma resident and master sound technician at Lucasfilm, Ltd., took home his third Oscar in seven nominations. He won in 1991 for his work on Terminator 2 and in 1993 for Jurassic Park.
He has been nominated for a British Academy Award three times, winning in 1991 for Terminator 2. His work has been recognized by the Cinema Audio Society, the TEC Awards, and the Motion Picture Sound Editors Associations. His film credits are impressive, to say the least.
Titanic was a big winner at Monday night's 70th annual Academy Awards, winning a record-tying 11 awards, including honors for Best Picture, Director and Cinematography.
Summers went to work for George Lucas' fledgling Marin company right out of recording school and hasn't looked back since. His work has brought him together with Steven Spielberg, Brian DePalma, Ron Howard, Barry Levinson, Irvin Kirshner, George Lucas and practically every other major director of the past two decades.
His big-screen credits include The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, Cocoon: The Return, Backdraft, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Toy Story, and Mars Attacks, among others. He has also worked on television shows (receiving two Emmy Award nominations and an award) and sound tracks for amusement park rides for all the Disney parks.