‘Sound design’ is a specialised aesthetic technique that only international filmmakers appreciate & understand. Very few Indian filmmakers apply this to their films – and they readily stand out from the crowd. With the recent Oscar Award for Sound for Resul Pookutty, majority of Indian filmmakers woke up to the idea of ‘sound design.’ But, Annapurna College Sound Design Department visionaries have always aspired to bring in awareness of the importance of sound design to their students.
As a part of this mission, Annapurna College brought in four-time National Award winner Anup Mukhopadhyay for an intense workshop for its students. The weeklong workshop started on October 11th in Annapurna College’s state-of-the art preview theater, recently named, ‘SHIVA.’
Mr. Mukhopadhyay has more than 600 movies to his credit, some of which are simply of international standards. He generously shared his experiences, technique & artistic philosophy with Annapurna College students in an intense hands on workshop.
Taking us through the journey of his career, he spoke about the future of the field and how students can make a strong career in sound design. Here are snippets of the very interesting workshop and subsequent interview:
An insight into sound design:
It all started in the year 1927, Mr. Anup said, and right from then the philosophy of sound design has been to connect with people’s emotions. Sound is something that must be felt. “70% of a movie constitutes the sound,” he emphasised. It is through sound design that cacophony is converted into symphony and that makes all the difference in a movie.
Initially, different sound tracks were clubbed together for the final outcome but sound design makes the entire process seamless, he said, underscoring its importance once again. When asked about his favourite movie in terms of sound design, he answered, Once Upon A Time In the West, adding that it had “fantastically designed sound.”
How did it all begin for Mr. Anup?
It was the year 1971, he reflected. There was a lot of turbulence in Bengal and times were pretty tough. He accidentally stumbled upon the FTII brochure for admissions and decided to give it a shot.
Mr. Anup was one among the 10 students selected to study at the then elite college, FTII. He beat thousands of applicants to secure a seat and that’s where his journey started. There was no looking back for him after that.
His thoughts on Annapurna College & advice for the students
“What a person would generally take 15 years to learn in the industry, a film school like Annapurna College teaches in two”, he said, highlighting that our students had a great opportunity to learn and make a successful career in sound design. Furthermore, he was impressed by how attentive all our students were and how everyone was warm and welcoming.
If you are focused, patient, and have a sound mind with a zest to closely listen to a number of movies, you have what it takes to be the next star in sound design. Along with that word of encouragement, he smiled and said “don’t bunk classes!”
Our students were enthralled through the workshop, and why not? It was a very educational and extremely valuable session that could change their future.