CSU academic in Mad Max sound design Oscar winning team

Friday 4 Mar 2016

Damien Candusso Mad Max 4As part of the team that won the 'Best Sound Editing' Academy Award this week, a Charles Sturt University (CSU) academic says global careers are not precluded by living in regional Australia.

Dr Damian Candusso (pictured), senior lecturer in sound and multimedia in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Wagga Wagga was a member of the sound design team for Mad Max: Fury Road, (directed by George Miller, 2015) which won six Oscars in Los Angeles on Monday 29 February.

"It's important that young people living anywhere in regional Australia who aim for global careers to recognise that they can achieve it." Dr Candusso said.

"I grew up in Griffith NSW and now live and work in Wagga Wagga, but I have contributed to major movies and other productions that have been seen by millions of people around the world and which have received the highest industry awards."

Some of the other cinema blockbusters Dr Candusso has contributed to include Happy Feet (George Miller, 2006), Australia (Baz Luhrman, 2008), The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrman, 2013), and The Lego Movie (Phil Lord and Chris Miller, 2014).

Dr Candusso said he had known that George Miller was working on developing the newest Mad Max movie at least 15 years ago, and he knew that this was a project in which he wanted to be involved.

"The first three Mad Max films were all so iconic, and it was a credit to George to stick with that original flavour of real stunts and huge car chase scenes," Dr Candusso said.

"The soundtrack of this film is relentless. There is so much going on with the cars and other vehicles really highlighting what can be accomplished with sound.

"I was involved early on in the film, creating many concept sounds for the attacks on the 'War Rig' and other explosions. Even at this early stage, we knew the film was going to be a hit."

Dr Candusso said that CSU aims to offer a unique new specialty/major in sound design and production within the School of Communication and Creative Industries starting in 2017.

"This will be a unique offering in Australia, as I know of only one or two other institutions with 'diploma' level courses," he said. "This degree teaches sound design and production not just for film and television, but across the range of emerging technologies including computing, gaming, 3-D virtual reality, and 360-film.

"We have just completely renovated three of our sound studios at the University in Wagga Wagga, including a new dedicated foley and automated dialogue replacement (ADR) room, which means you can record dialogue synchronised to imagery. These rooms provide students with facilities that are state-of-the-art and rival many industry studios.

"Students can elect to study a range of sound subjects that focus on sound design and production, music technology, mixing and mastering, and new emerging forms of media including 360-film and virtual reality."

Now that he has been awarded his PhD, Dr Candusso is able to supervisor higher degree students in the film and sound disciplines and welcomes enquiries from prospective students in this regard.

Here is another example this week of the potential for international recognition for a regional Australian: CSU student finalist for Sony World Photo Awards.


Media contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Damien Candusso.

The photo of Dr Candusso was taken by Mr Timothy Crutchett, technical specialist in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Wagga Wagga.

Details about the 2016 Academy Awards can be found here.

Dr Candusso has worked as a member of sound editing teams on other Australian films The Magician (Scott Ryan, 2005), Little Fish (Rowan Woods, 2005), Candy (Neil Armfield, 2006), Catch a Fire (Phil Noyce, 2006), Like Minds (Gregory J. Ryan, 2006), the TV show Farscape (1999-2004), and television animation for Yoram Gross ( Blinky Bill, series 3). Damian also wrote music for Jewboy (Tony Krawitz, 2005) and K-Zone (2002), worked on X-Box games, and has mixed and produced music for bands such as The Allniters , The Porkers and Hi-5.