TRAVERSE CITY -- Michael Piotrowski knows what success sounds like.
The Traverse City man worked as a boom operator for the film "Star Trek," which received an Academy Award nomination in sound mixing. Winners of the Oscar, among the film industry's most-coveted awards, will be announced during a glamorous ceremony Sunday. Television viewers can watch the show on ABC.
"Star Trek" was primarily shot in Los Angeles from the fall of 2007 through the spring of 2008.
"When this pops back up and nominations come out, it kind of takes me right back to all of the challenges we had in doing it, and it's nice to get that reward of the nomination," Piotrowski said.
He plans to attend the Oscar ceremony with his wife Angeline. The two own Kids Creek Productions, a local film and video production company.
The "Star Trek" sound mixing team was led by Peter Devlin and two others. Should the movie win the category, Piotrowski said the three sound mixers would receive an Oscar.
"Hopefully, I will get a 'Thank you to my boom operator,'" Piotrowski said.
In 1987, he graduated from high school in Traverse City. Then he earned a bachelor's degree in film and video and a master's degree in communications from Grand Valley State University and moved to North Carolina. He met his wife during the making of the film "Radio," and she convinced him to move to Los Angeles in 2002. He recorded sound with Devlin for movies including "Transformers," "Frost/Nixon" and "Angels & Demons," his last film as a boom operator.
When Michigan approved generous tax credit incentives for filmmakers, Piotrowski seized the chance to step up to sound mixing and return to his home state. He still has a place in California, but has kept busy here mixing a handful of made-in-Michigan films. He worked on "What's Wrong with Virginia," filmed in Holland and starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris, and in "A Year in Mooring," filmed recently in Traverse City.
"We wouldn't have the opportunity to stay close to home and be in Michigan without the film incentives, because there wouldn't be any films," Piotrowski said. "That was just incredible to do a movie at home in Traverse City."
His team's work on "Transformers" was also nominated for a 2007 Academy Award, but Piotrowski didn't attend the ceremony. Instead, he spent that weekend with his family back in Traverse City.
"The whole family just preferred to be together here," Angeline said.
This time, the couple is ready for the big Oscar night. Piotrowski plans to wear a black suit, and Angeline picked out a gown.