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Oscar-winning 'Sound of Metal' might not have been made without this North Texan’s talent

Arlington native Amy Greene helped bring the critically-acclaimed film to life.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Amy Greene thinks growing up on Cross Creek Court in Arlington turned her into who she is today.

“I remember being a sixth-grade kid playing with my friend Natalie Smith and I’d step on a rake and try to get out of the way before it hit me in the face,” she said. “Or, I’d jump off little brick walls and stuff like that.”

That daredevil child grew up to do stunts in major motion pictures.

“One of the first stunts I did was on a film in the redwoods in California falling 50 feet from a crane,” she said.

The minute it was over she was ready for more.

Greene is now a stunt coordinator and a producer and, along with her partner Chris Stinson, owns the independent film production company Live Free or Die Films.

About five years ago, the script for "Sound of Metal" came across their inboxes.

“The second I read it I knew it was something special,” Greene said.  

“I knew a lot of people would want to see this story told, and that it would be important. I don’t know if I knew about Oscar potential, but definitely, it was a really special film.”

But Stinson could see what Greene might not have been willing to admit.

“I’d say the first time reading it, I absolutely believed it could be up for Best Picture,” he said.

Even Stinson underestimated that script's power.

"Sound of Metal" received six Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Sound, Best Original Screenplay and Best Achievement in Film Editing.

It took home two awards Sunday night: Best Sound and Best Achievement in Film Editing.

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The movie chronicles the struggles of a drummer (Riz Ahmed) in a punk metal band who begins to lose his hearing.

Critics praised its brilliant acting, storytelling, and sound editing.

Live Free or Die works primarily with small independent films which often take “years and years” to make, Stinson said.

“When you get the right cast, funding falls apart and when you get the money, vice versa. It just happens and goes on and on for years.”

It happened to "Sound of Metal."

Credit: Amy Greene and Chris Stinson

“Finally, we stuck a flag in the ground and said we are making this, no matter what,” Stinson said. 

“And it happened to be the perfect combination of cast and financing.”

The crew that worked on the film immersed itself in the deaf community.

They also hired local deaf actors in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where "Sound of Metal" was made.

As Stinson and Greene watched "Sound of Metal" actors Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci, both Oscar-nominated, they knew their gut about the script's potential was right.

And they said as they observed the composer and sound mixer at work, they could see the magic happening.

But neither expected six nominations. 

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Greene said she traces her love of movies back to her parents, Richard and Sylvia.

Richard Greene is a former mayor of Arlington.

Amy Greene went to Martin High School, where she said the drama and theater program was incomparable.

“Arlington is my home and my heart,” she said.

While they would have loved to have been in Los Angeles attending the Oscars in person, Stinson and Greene began shooting their next film in New York City the week before the awards.

So they planned to watch from their couch beside their dog Louie, who often appears in the movies they make - including "Sound of Metal."  

“He’s in demand. He's got a little tag that says, ‘Have your people call my people,'" Greene said, with Louie in her arms dressed in a tuxedo.

 

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