Double Oscar-nominee Skip Lievsay used music in the mix of "Gravity" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" to tell parts of the story that couldn't have been told with dialogue or other sounds.
With the scientific issue of sound not being possible where there's no air, "Gravity" helmer Alfonso Cuaron wanted a way to convey the explosions on space stations and other physical threats. So Cuaron and Lievsay turned to the music written by Steven Price.
"Inside Llewyn Davis" returned Lievsay to collaboration with the Coen brothers, with whom he's worked since "Blood Simple." Here music functioned in a different way.
"You couldn't really have this character turn the to camera and say, 'I'm sad,' but you can have him start to sing a song about his melancholy," Lievsay says.
Despite collaborations with such notables as Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton, Lievsay believes he has simply been in the right place at the right time.
"I was lucky to meet the Coens when I did," he says. "Just about all the good things the have happened to me are because of them."