They are two Aussie guys who, if you bumped into at the local supermarket or sat next to at a pub, you’d presume were just average fellas.


Tim Crosbie and David Lee are not average fellas.

They are members of Hollywood’s most exclusive class of 2015, joining Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Keaton, Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore and Bradley Cooper as Oscar nominees for Monday’s (AEDT) 87th Annual Academy Awards.

Adelaide visual effects wizard Crosbie is in the hunt for the first Academy Award of his career, while Lee, a sound mixer and surfer from the NSW mid-north coast town of Scotts Head, is an experienced Oscar campaigner.

He won a gold statuette in 2000 for his work on The Matrix and is nominated this year for his sound mixing on Angelina Jolie’s Australian-shot World War II drama, Unbroken.

“It’s an amazing thrill,” Crosbie, nominated as part of the visual effects team for X-Men: Days of Future Past, told AAP.

Australians have been spoiled by A-List Oscar nominees, with Cate Blanchett and Catherine Martin picking up three wins last year and Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger, Russell Crowe and Jacki Weaver among the annual roll call of acting winners or nominees the past 15 years.

Crosbie and Lee are blue collar guys who don’t call Hollywood home.

They’re not paparazzi targets or red carpet stars, but are key to dazzling popcorn munching audiences who pack cinemas around the world to watch their films.

Lee is known in the industry for his skill in recording dialogue in scenes.

“My work is everything that’s in front of the camera,” Lee, whose resume includes Avatar, Mao’s Last Dancer and all three Matrix films, explained.

“I record it if there’s one person talking or 10 people talking and sometimes locations are very difficult if they are near airports or freeways.

“You record the dialogue, but sometimes it’s not usable because of those technical problems and they have to replace it.

“The aim is to not replace it.”

Australia may not have a Kidman, Jackman or Watts in the Oscar race this year, but Crosbie and Lee’s nods are another major vote of confidence in Australia’s reputation for skilled crews.

Crosbie and his 160-person team at Adelaide’s Rising Sun Pictures, which also worked on last year’s visual effects winner Gravity, were responsible for the extraordinary Pentagon kitchen scene in the X-Men film involving the supersonic mutant Quicksilver.

“It might be a cliche to say ‘It’s an honour to be nominated’, but it really, truly is for our team in Adelaide,” Crosbie said.

The Academy Awards, held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, begins midday Monday (AEDT).