Resul Pookutty introduces surround sync sound to Indian cinema with Praana
In this interview, the Academy Award-winning sound designer talks about his work in the upcoming horror film
Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty is a strong proponent of the use of sync sound in films. "It should be made part of our filmmaking process. Actors are not there to mime; they're there to act, and sync sound makes everything look authentic. You cannot recreate the truth of a particular moment in the studio later," he asserts.
His upcoming film, Praana, directed by VK Prakash, employs a modified version of sync sound called 'surround sync sound'. "In regular sync sound, dialogues are recorded. In surround sync, everything else apart from the dialogues, i.e. ambient sounds, is recorded. This is achieved with the help of multiple microphones, and we do live mixing as the shoot is going on," Resul explains.
Nithya Menen is the only actor in the horror film which will be released in four languages -- Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada. "This film is essentially about a woman trapped in this huge mansion. This place becomes the secondary character. When I heard the story, I asked myself how I can make this location -- with just one character interacting with the camera -- come alive. That can happen only if there is some texture. So I suggested doing sync sound in surround. I had tried and tested this before in some other films, and I found it to be extremely interesting," says Resul, who admits that it is a tedious process.
"It requires lots of microphones to be set up. As we have to take into account the changes in ambient sounds and time of day, we had to ensure that the scenes were shot in chronological order. Everything had to be consistent. And doing the same thing for four different languages (the film was simultaneously shot in all the languages) is no joke. Initially, we thought we were doing one small film, but when it came to post-production, it felt like doing four separate films."
With cinematography by PC Sreeram, Praana is scheduled for release on January 18.