Interview : Vijay Dayal


‘Vijay Dayal: Resul Pookutty has created a benchmark for Sound Engineers’

Not many know Vijay Dayal by his name, but will definitely recognize him from his body of work. He is the man behind ‘engineering’ some of Bollywood’s successful chartbusters from films like GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA, DHOOM 3, GUNDAY, STUDENT OF THE YEAR among others. In a brief conversation, Vijay, the Chief Sound Engineer of Yash Raj Films, differentiates between veterans and young guns of Bollywood, talks about his challenging projects and Oscar winner Resul Pookutty.



Resul Pookutty has won an Oscar for Sound engineering and created a benchmark. What do you have to say about that?
Absolutely! As you said, Resul has definitely created a benchmark for our community. It is because of him that people have started knowing that a creature like ‘engineer’ exists in filmmaking. It was always there, but there was no recognition, in India at least. I have had a long association with Resul and he is a super sincere engineer, very talented guy and has done a great job. It is his hard work because of which he has achieved this position.

You have worked with veteran music composers and simultaneously with those from gen-next. What are the stark differences you have witnessed?
Earlier you could become a composer only if you are extraordinarily talented. All the veteran music directors were really brilliant. Now also, there are talented guys like Vishal-Shekhar, Salim-Suleiman, Amit Trivedi among many others and there’s no doubt about it. But the main difference is that it has become a lot easier to get in the field. Earlier, the first step into the field was so high, that unless and until you were confident of taking the leap, you would not dare to enter. The entry now has become easier, so what happens is gradually you become popular. But because there is no filtration happening at the initial stage, there is so much of crap. Eventually what is happening is that the good work has taken a back seat and bad work is coming in the limelight.

‘Directors don’t understand music at all’

Having worked with so many directors of caliber, what has been your experience of associating with them? Have they helped you in bettering your profession of sound recording?
I have had horrible experiences working with the directors because they actually don’t understand anything about music. Today what happens is that the directors interfere so much that they spoil a good product. They think that they have the power, so they can mess up with the songs. Not only the directors, there are many producers and actors who come into the studio and spoil the good work. But as you said there are few good directors as well, who really understand music and with their suggestions take the output one step ahead. And Adi (Aditya Chopra) is one such person. He has the ability to listen to the song from a layman’s point of view. Rakesh Roshan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Anurag Basu, Karan Malhotra, Farah Khan are few others who understand music. Especially, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Farah Khan, they are very particular about the music and have immense knowledge about it.

Among the films that you have worked, which has been the most challenging film and why?
My personal favorite film is definitely FANAA. But if you talk about challenging, I would say SAAWARIYA. Firstly, it was Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who understands music and secondly, he is a creative person. And when it comes to quality, Sanjay ji is very particular. So making those 10 songs to his level of satisfaction was a challenge. It was a good experience but was also difficult. Also, simultaneously I was doing OM SHANTI OM, which again required high level of creativity. So yes these were challenging. In the past one year if I have to say, then it has to be DHOOM 3, which was a big task. We worked on that film for about a year. Even GUNDAY was amazing. The mixing was done quickly and Sohail Sen has done a brilliant job.

Which are the forthcoming films you are working on?
Currently, I am working on DAAWAT-E-ISHQ, RAKS (a film directed by UMRAO JAAN director) and a Marathi film by Ajay-Atul.



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