Back in the mid-'80s, a day or two after the Academy Awards, I was chatting with the landlord of the West Berkeley office building where my business shared a floor with other small publishing, film and graphic design outfits.
"I was watching the Oscars," the landlord said with amazement, "and I thought I saw Mark Berger. Was that OUR Mark Berger?"
It was. Berger, a sound engineer who won an Academy Award that year for his work on Amadeus, was the moving force behind a loose-knit group of creative types who leased the office space on a cooperative basis for several years. Although his film work was mostly done elsewhere, Berger retained a small office there.
Evidently the building had good film sound karma. Michael Silvers, the husband of one of my co-workers in the building and an Albany resident, won an Emmy for his sound editing on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles a few years later, and some years after that, an Academy Award for sound editing on The Incredibles.
These days, Berger — who has four Oscars to his credit — is an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley, where he teaches “Film 140: The Sound of Film” to undergraduates. You can read about his life, his work and his feelings about receiving four Oscars ("It's like Cinderella") in "The Oscars? Berkeley adjunct’s been there, won that" on the UC Berkeley News Center website.