UB alumnus, Tom Curley, wins Oscar at 87th Academy Awards

Film studies student wins in ‘Best Sound Mixing’ category for 'Whiplash'


Thomas Curley, a UB alumnus, received an Oscar at the 87th Academy Awards for Best Sound Mixing for the film Whiplash on Sunday.

The film chronicles a young drummer attending a prestigious music academy and his personal experiences with his struggle to grow as a musician. Whiplash won numerous awards during the Academy Awards on Sunday, including “Best Film Editing” (Tom Cross) and “Best Supporting Actor” (JK Simmons).

The film was lauded for its music, dialogue and sound effects, and accordingly received the Oscar for “Best Sound Mixing.”

Curley, who accepted the Oscar along with Craig Mann and Ben Wilkins for their work on Whiplash, attended the University at Buffalo from 1997-2001, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in film studies.

Tony Conrad, a SUNY distinguished professor in the Department of Media Study, remembers teaching Curley and is proud of his former “good” student’s accomplishment.

Curley took a lot of film courses and Conrad’s video analysis class.

“I guess the broad media arts background he found here helped to launch him on a very specialized and spectacularly successful career working with sound,” Conrad wrote in an email. “Sound work is no small thing: Those of us who make films know that it’s the SOUND that delivers about 80 percent of the emotional impact of a film!”

Curley could not be reached for comment.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com