Originally intent on a fine arts career, Bigelow studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She later became interested in filmmaking and received a scholarship to Columbia University's graduate film school. Her debut as a feature director came in 1982 with the drama The Loveless (co-written and co-directed by Monty Montgomery). That was followed by the features Near Dark (1987), Blue Steel (1989), Point Break (1991), Strange Days (1995), The Weight of Water (2000) and K-9: The Widowmaker, as well as several television projects.
The Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker (2008) won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. Zero Dark Thirty, which followed in 2012, also achieved widespread critical and commercial success, and earned Best Director nominations from the Golden Globes and BAFTA (as well as an Oscar for Best Sound Editing). Her latest project, Detroit, is a deep and unsettling portrait of the race riots that gripped that city in 1967. The Los Angeles Times called it "a picture whose political resonance in the Black Lives Matter era is fierce and unambiguous.”
“Collaboration with the sound editor is a gratifying and inspiring time in the post process,” said Bigelow. “It is the moment that the film wraps itself around you, revealing its final form. I am honored to receive this award from my colleagues in sound editing.”
John is a 30-year veteran of the sound industry, and has contributed to more than 150 motion pictures. He began his career as a musician and songwriter, but gravitated toward Post Production sound in the 1980s. Among his first big successes was Top Gun for which he recorded many of the memorable jet aircraft sound effects. He has been a member of the sound teams on several films that have won Academy Awards in sound categories, including Inception, The Dark Knight, Mast and Commander: The Far Side of the World and The Hunt for Red October. He is best known for his groundbreaking work in field recording. Among his many credits are Top Gun, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Interstellar, Life of Pi and this year’s box office hit Dunkirk.
“Sound artists typically work behind the scenes, out of the limelight, and so to be recognized in this way by my peers is humbling, It is also an honor to join the past recipients of this award, many of whom are my colleagues and are still going strong. I am grateful to the MPSE for this wonderful distinction.”
Founded in 1953, the MPSE is an organization dedicated to improving the recognition of its members by educating the public and the rest of the filmmaking community as to the artistic merit of sound editing. The efforts of our talented and hard-working members can be heard every hour of the day all over the world. MPSE members are the artists who sculpt dramatic sound effects and invent new sounds for imaginary worlds. In addition to sound effects editors, members also include Foley editors who edit the specially created sound effects performed to the picture that are so frequently taken for granted as a natural part of the scene, including footsteps, key jingles, leather jacket squeaks and so on. Dialogue editors are the craftspeople who painstakingly smooth out the production sound recorded on location. ADR editors help to seamlessly weave the re-recorded dialogue that replaces problematic tracks. Music editors work with composers and music supervisors to spot cues and stitch together a sonic tapestry from the original score and prerecorded music from various sources.