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Shajith Koyeri: Sohan Roy kept an open budget for sound designing

November 24, 2011 07:19:21 PM IST
Nikita Wagh, Glamsham Editorial
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Regarded as one of the best sound designers in the industry, Shajith Koyeri has come a long way in a very short span of time. The Punnol born sound designer has worked on more than 65-70 films, including KAMINEY, ISHQIYA, BLACK, MAQBOOL, OMKARA, MITHYA, SAAWARIYA et al. However, with no pre-audiography training and having zero knowledge in sound designing, the industry was certainly a daunting place for Shajith once. But soon enough Shajith joined 'Firefly's Post Sound Studio' in Mumbai and learned the art of sound designing.


Says Shajith, ''I came from Kerala to Mumbai 11 years back. My friend called me over here. Though I came to Mumbai I was absolutely new to this sound designing world. After six months, I joined 'Firefly's Post Sound Studio' where I got a good opportunity to explore myself.''

At present the National Award Winner sound designer is looking forward to his upcoming release DAM999. Ask Shajith what attracted him to do DAM999 and he says, ''There were two crucial things I had in my mind when I was approached for DAM999. First is social commitment. The cadence of the film itself is so upfront and bold and the fact that it is based on real incidents, I just couldn't say no to it. Moreover, the story line of DAM999 is so unique and original... Basically it's based on the Banqiao dam disaster of 1975 that claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people in China as well as the calamity for Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala. Since, I am very much aware of the incidents I chose to do the film.''

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''Secondly, in India most filmmakers believe in doing glamorous films than doing some actual good stuff. As a result, we sound-designers hardly get opportunities to experiment on some good kind of sound possibilities. But after reading the script of DAM999, I felt excited; I started imagining the possibilities where I can make good use of different sounds. So, finally I said yes to it,' he adds further.

Though Shajith has worked with topnotch filmmakers, the sound designer finds debutant Sohan Roy as one of the best directors he has ever worked with.

Shajith confesses, ''It was really the best experience working with Sohan. I have done more than 60 films till date but working with Sohan was something unusual in my career. He supported me financially as well as in terms of time i.e. he gave me enough space and flexibility in my work. He kept an open budget for sound designing which is honestly very rare. In fact there are very few directors in industry who actually are aware of the importance of sound in a film. I believe that if a good sound-work is missing then the entire film can go waste.''

Since DAM999 is technically high film so obviously it involved huge challenges also. Says Shajith, ''The problems I encountered during DAM999 were those that were isolating sounds from its environment. Studio recording is less troublesome because you can control the environment, but in the field - anything can trouble you! No matter how expensive your mics and recorders are, if the background is noisy then the recordings will be noisy too. During DAM999 there was this huge ship where a couple of scenes were shot. There the environment was too much noisy because of the generators' sound. Recording the dialogues, then adding the backgrounds like the machinery sound, then the halka sa water waves sound, and what not was a big task for me. But somehow it got managed. The music director coordinated with me a lot though. And it all came well ultimately.''

''Though it was a tough job I really enjoyed doing it. Because I found it very challenging at the same time it was fun. I got a big opportunity to work on minute sounds and that gave me a huge satisfaction indeed,'' adds Shajith before signing off.


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