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After a long wait, sound editors may finally get recognition

Bobby had sense of deja vu when Venu’s ‘Carbon’ swept the sound segment awards in the 49th Kerala State Film Awards which were announced on Wednesday.

Published: 02nd March 2019 04:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2019 04:34 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: When Dr Biju’s 2016 movie ‘Kaadu Pookunna Neram’ swept the state film awards in the sound segment viz., Best Sound Designer, Best Sync Sound and Best Sound Mixing, during that year, Bobby John Mathew, the fourth man in the team and the sound and dialogue editor of the movie, could not find a place on the dais. Reason: There is no award in this category.

Bobby had sense of deja vu when Venu’s ‘Carbon’ swept the sound segment awards in the 49th Kerala State Film Awards which were announced on Wednesday. However, things may change for the better in the coming year with the Award Jury recommending sync sound award be shared with the dialogue/sound editor, and sound designing and mixing could be combined as another award.

“I have submitted a proposal stating sync sound and dialogue editing be combined as one award. Similarly, sound designing and mixing are connected and these two can also be combined as another award. This will be discussed by experts and a decision will be taken, hopefully before the next awards,” said Mohandas V P, a jury member, who is also a sound designer. Through this, sound/dialogue editors who also give sound effects at the editing table will get recognition for the key role they play.

In the national awards too, only these three segments  - sound designer, sync sound and sound mixing - are recognised. However, the Oscars recognises the ‘sound editing’ and ‘sound mixing’ category, providing an opportunity for the entire team behind the sound segment to share the prestigious award. “The films made based on sync sound go through a lot of post-production work. A dialogue editor is a key person who cleans up the dialogues. So, I feel the sync sound award should be shared with the dialogue editor,” said Mohandas.

The fact that the dialogue editor, who plays an important role, gets no recognition is unfair, the Jury felt. All the credit goes to sync sound person, who may be indebted to the dialogue/sound editor for the clarity of the location sound, he said. “For an outside person, it’s very difficult to understand who played the crucial role - the sync sound person or the sound/dialogue editor. So, it’s better to recognise both of them together,” said Mohandas, who, however, felt there was no need for two separate awards.

The matter will be discussed with Western India Motion Picture & Television Sound Engineers’ Association and experts like Resul Pookutty, who shared the Oscar in Sound Mixing/Location Mixing for the movie ‘Slumdog Millionnaire’.Bobby said the awards jury must consider the changes happening in technology and should recognise those who are toiling hard in the post-production work. “Sound editor not only does dialogue editing, but he also does effects editing,” said Bobby.

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