No Academy Awards had ever contributed and influenced Indian cinema as the 81st Academy Awards in 2009, as it unleashed the invisible potential of a hitherto unpopular species in the Indian context, Sound Designer. When Resul Pookutty, a Kerala-born sound designer and a graduate from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, kissed the golden statue along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke for the Danny Boyle directorial Slumdog Millionaire, history of Indian soundscape catapulted into new heights and an instant limelight phenomenon.

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In this comprehensive face-to-face, Resul reflects upon the enormous possibilities of sound in visual narratives and shares his insights about the scope of a sound designer in an Indian context. Resul turned up with the golden statue when a predominantly dubbing oriented Bollywood was reluctant to pay the commendations it deserves to the sound department and sync sound alternative. In the conversation, he emphasizes on the ways in which a keen-eyed and hardworking sound designer can elevate an otherwise mundane sequence and give it multiple dimensions of meaning making.

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Resul dominated the Indian cinema’s soundscape in the early 2000s and lifted the stature of a sound designer from a mere technical guy among the lot, and established the role as a crucial one both in the aesthetic and commercial credentials of the movie. A new breed of sound wizards like Resul makes it ineluctable to have a zealous sound designer in contemporary film productions, especially in an Indian soundscape where it’s difficult to catch a single shot without an infinite number of sound pieces jumping in, ranging from crows, trains, traffic, babies, and people.    

Written By: Ragesh Dipu

Video Courtesy: Jamuura

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