The C.A.S. Award has been a dream of the Society since its inception in 1964, the details of "what" and "how" eluded several attempts at making it a reality. Then, in March 1993, a special Awards Committee was formed under the co-chairmanship of Melissa Hofmann,C.A.S. and Mark Rozett,C.A.S. Other members of the committee were Glenn Berkovitz,C.A.S., Jim Cook,C.A.S., Steve Hawk,C.A.S., Tom Huth,C.A.S. and Mark McNabb,C.A.S.
The Awards Committee must be commended for its tremendous amount of work on the goals and logistics and the hammering out of the procedures for submissions, nominations and balloting. Their task was to "develop a meaningful award that would be uniquely distinctive, and offer recognition of the craft of sound mixing in films and television." Most importantly, the recipients would be chosen in a democratic vote by the practitioners of the craft.
On March 5, 1994 the Cinema Audio Society unveiled its own award for Outstanding
Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures and Television. Nominations and Winners are selected by a written balloting of the C.A.S. Full Membership -- truly an award of, by, and for Sound Mixers.
The C.A.S.Award itself was developed in conjunction with graphic designer Christine Jaszkowiak. Each award is individually handcrafted and constructed of a special type of crystal clear glass called "ice".
The award bears the C.A.S. logo etched onto a freestanding vertical plane. The logo captures moving, kinetic film frames, rising from rings in a pool of sound waves. These concentric rings represent the past and future of sound recording, from early wax cylinders to tape, magneto-optical disks and future technologies.
The glass blocks supporting it are perfectly balanced and proportional, just as sound must be in perfect balance with the moving images. Finally, the transparency of the glass symbolizes an important property; an outstanding sound track with perfect clarity.
The C.A.S. Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing are presented annually to the winning Re-Recording and Production Mixers in each of four categories: Television Non-Fiction, Variety or Music Series or Special; Television Series; Television Movies or Mini-Series; and Motion Pictures. The competition is open to feature films and television programs released or aired during the calendar year, and the winners are revealed in a sealed envelope ceremony at the Cinema Audio Society Annual Awards Banquet.