For Vishnu Govind and Sree Sankar it was a dilemma on what to do after completing their graduation from St Berchmans’ College, Changanassery. Both had the talent and interest in music but were unsure about making a career out of their passion. It was then that they attended a seminar in the college which finally lead them to pursue their aspirations in sound designing.
And with the already hit Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim starrer Neram, the duo has shown how sound can become an inevitable part of a film. The movie which was much acclaimed for its technical brilliance, snazzy editing and background score also has much to give for its recreation of sounds and minute detailing that helps in establishing its characters or place or a situation.
“Neram was the kind of movie that required lots of realistic sounds. For instance during the introduction scene of the goon Vatti Raja we used lot of exaggerated sound so as to create an impact for the audience that they could match with the visuals on the screen,” says Vishnu. For the movie the duo had to record the sounds of vehicles and various minute sounds required during the chase sequences separately. “During the chase sequence there is a song running along but in between there are scenes where the hero and villain are running on narrow streets packed with houses and even they run inside these houses, so there we recreated the surrounding sounds that come out from the house...maybe a sound of TV programme, a child crying and the like that helps to create the surrounding ambience. Extra mikes and high-end recorders were used to get a high quality sound,” explains Vishnu.
From the movie, one can see the two-months long hard work that they had put in. “Thanks to Alphonse (director of Neram) who understands the detailing of sound. He is a person who says if in a film 40 per cent is attributed to visual then 60 per cent should be for sound,” says Vishnu.
Ask them about the general working of sound designers, they say, “Sound design means giving the required sounds and working out aesthetically creating realistic sound effects needed for a movie. Generally the work of a sound designer starts from the post production stage but he can help out giving inputs starting from the script. Take for instance a man opening a drawer is the script. The drawer can be made of wood, iron or steel. If it is a horror movie putting a steel drawer as the prop will be the apt thing to do.”
Though Neram is the debut Malayalam movie for Vishnu and Sankar, they began their sonorous journey for various short films. And the much needed break came to them with 2012 Karthik Subbaraj’s horror thriller Pizza.
The duo along with final sound mixer M R Rajakrishnan for the first time in South India had introduced 7.1 surround sound cinema experience. “As the film was a thriller and as we had associated with Karthik earlier, he asked even our inputs in the script. So for each frames we suggested the props needed and things required to bring out eerie effects that could be supported by sound,” says Vishnu.
They are also the sound designers of the recently released Tamil movie Soodhu Kavvum. “The next project we are working is under the banner of Pizza 2 and the film is titled Villa. It is a horror suspense thriller and we are introducing dolby atmos sound format for it.”
The two are much happy with the acclaims they are getting but they point out the lack of theatres with good sound quality. “There won’t be a problem in multiplex theatres but our work won’t be noticed in a less-equipped theatre. That is the sad part of it,” adds Vishnu with a whiff of sadness.