Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Short Film Trajectory #6 Sound

After edit which seemed to take forever because we just couldn't muster enough courage to let it go, to make a final cut, Aalayalam, my editor half heartedly decided to let it be. We moved on to post production work in sound, popularly known as post or sound. NN, my sound designer and i sat with the final cut deciding on the tracks we were going to use, the design we would try and work out etc.

NN during the sound mix

It was important that we got the ambience of North Kolkata right. So she recorded actual ambience. We needed azan from a mosque in Kolkata. We went to Tipu Sultan Mosque, found a building next to it and entered it without permission and stationed ourselves there from 2 p.m because we wanted to record the one at 2.38. Nothing happened at 2.38. We were on a scooty that a junior kindly lent us so we roamed around the place till 3 pm when someone told us that there was going to be one at around that time. It was really confusing because the timing given online was quite different from what was being practised there. Finally we got what we wanted at 5.15 pm. Here it is. I like this sound a lot in itself because it is very evocative. Anything which evokes anything ends up being on a filmmaker's hitlist of sounds or visuals. Well, i am not a filmmaker yet, but technically i make films too. So evocative is good.
Here is the recording.

During sound, we also shot our titles. One of the earliest lessons i learnt after joining a film school is that a movie is from title to title. I wanted the titles to be in malayalam and bangla script. The bangla part didn't happen. So i settled for malayalam alone. We had already exceeded the time limit of ten minutes set by the institute. So we hardly managed to have the main titles. I used my favourite font Meera, to make the title cards in Gimp. We shot the cards in a classroom in the department of MPP (Motion Picture Photography).

Aalayam, editor, takes a look at Meera (font) before D Jeet shoots the titles

Godard famously said 'Every edit is a lie'. I totally agree. Every cut is a lie. Every shot is stolen. All stories are told. I am a nasty thief. From every movie i watch and like i make a list of things i would later like to rob. My favourite among that list is a director's POV turning to character's POV and vice versa. Another is cutting on the look and beginning an OTS. A sentence that one of my professors said, 'Don't let things fall' is one i marked for later use. It sounds stupid but the idea is that once you show the beginning of a fall of a thing or a person unless there is someone catching it, it is understood that it hit the ground. So a shot of it hitting the ground is redundant. I implemented that in the cut at 00:43 in the 'Waiting without showing the clock' exercise that we had to do in our second semester. Here

But that was not enough for me. During edit i asked Aalayam to implement that again in the montage. Later i learnt that Suresh Pai remarked it was good. I felt on top of the world for a day. Even now, for some reason it remains to be the only place in the film that i am genuinely happy about. Stealing is good. :)
The ghungroo falling here

Sound work got over over a span of ten and many more secret mixing days. The next step is to make a married print. The only place which does the process in the country is Mumbai. We are planning to visit the lab to watch the process. It is something which is facing extinction.

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