Jeffrey Stern, an assistant professor of professional practice at the School of Communication, has won an Emmy for his work in the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire.
The award, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series, was announced by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences during the Primetime Creative Arts Awards ceremony, held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Stern was the dialogue editor in the winning team, which included Fred Rosenberg, supervising sound editor; Roland Vajs and Bill Orrico, sound editors; Ruy Garcia, sound effects editor; Annette Kudrak, music editor; Steve Visscher, foley editor, and Marko Costanzo, foley artist.
“It’s terrific fun to work on a project that sustains such a high level in every aspect of the production: Writing, acting, art direction, photography…” Stern said. “It’s at a feature-film creative level on a weekly schedule. Our sound crew is a great team of editors, all working at the prime of their craft.”
Stern, who teaches in the in the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, has worked in more than 100 films, including The Original Kings of Comedy, School of Rock, Silence of the Lambs, Goodfellas, The Untouchables, American Splendor, Chicago and The Cove, which won the Academy Award for best feature-length documentary in 2009. Stern was previously nominated for an Emmy for his work on the documentary Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind.
“I am thrilled for Jeffrey and proud,” said School of Communication Dean Gregory Shepherd. “He has been a terrific member of our faculty for many years. It’s a great feeling for us all, knowing that our students are learning from someone whose work has been recognized with an Emmy award.”
Boardwalk Empire, which revolves around the men who controlled alcohol sales in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during Prohibition, is now in its fourth season on HBO. It is set in Atlantic City, Chicago, Tampa and Manhattan in the 1920s, but filmed mostly in Brooklyn and surrounding boroughs, on location and on a sound stage. Stern has been on the sound team since the series’ launch.
“Sound is 50 percent of the narrative experience,” Stern said. “In a series such as Boardwalk, sound is a major element in creating that time, place and mood.”
This semester at the School of Communication, Stern is teaching courses on post-production sound editing and design, and motion picture storytelling. He is also continuing his work on the show. The schedule creates a busy commute.
“I have fully embraced the flexibility that the digital workflow offers,” he said. “I'm working wherever I am – Miami, New York… Being in the middle of Season 4, it was hard to take the time to go to L.A. for the Emmys. I was editing on the plane.”
Boardwalk Empire stars Steve Buscemi and airs Sundays at 9 p.m. In addition to the sound award, it also received Emmys for art direction for a single-camera series, for hairstyling and for sound mixing during last Sunday’s ceremony.
The Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards honor technical disciplines such art direction, cinematography, music, picture editing, sound editing and special visual effects. They are traditionally presented a week before the national Emmy telecast, which will take place this year on Sunday, Sept. 22, beginning at 8 p.m. on CBS.