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Thursday, 12 January 2017

HIndie Awards 2017: Best Sound Editing

Best Sound Editing

Sound Editing is the process of selecting and bringing together the sound elements such as Foleys and effects of a film to be processed eventually for mixing.

As with the last award, I will once again point out that sound is by far my weakest of studies as a filmmaker and thus if I do not get this right, do bear with me.

Since this is a new award that I am unsure of, let's get straight to it...

Vivek Sachidanand and Jyoti Chetia for Phobia

It is in the meticulous thought put into each simple and ethereal sound in Phobia, is what makes the film.

Horror movies are a relish for the technical aspects of filmmaking and those handling them, especially sound where the vibe of the film is found and the psychological plane created. It's the sound that helps inch by inch bring the viewer closer to the picture and mesmerize and immerse them into the very shattered frame of mind that Mehek adopts.

Phobia hits an absolute haunting high not just as a film but as a genre masterpiece [especially in Hindi cinemas oft derided horror genre] thanks to the simplistic sound design that lets the silences remain scary silent while the sound around play a game of minds with us.

This is how film magic happens, when works like these come to fruition.

Vinit D'Souza, Jyoti Chetai and Robinkutty for Raman Raghav 2.0

Fear is the game that Raman Raghav 2.0 plays.

It helps that the sound team is very much aware of the little ticks that amplify this fear.

In order to hold a constant uneasiness and dread over situation and make that grip slowly tighten over the audience, the design of the movie is very much minimalistic. Rarely are the sounds in silences made profound, yet like the nimble cat that titular protagonist Ramanna is; the sound floats across the screen and brims with stark pain once shit hits the ceiling and chaos seeps in.

Thus, Raman Raghav 2.0 is twisted in a web of absolute fear that keeps us arrested.

Anirban Borthakur and Subhash Sahu for Neerja

Silence can only be profound and cathartic when it is marred in absolute chaos.

That is the pattern with which the taut thriller Neerja's sound design works. In a piece brimming with an absolute rush and panic, the sound of the film consistently jars and interrupts allowing for the world of the plane and its poor stranded hostages to come to life for the viewer.

Immersing you with each heavenly strain of the airport to the complete mad frenzy of a hijacking and all the way towards its climactic bursting shootout, Neerja hooks one with the sound and never lets go; sinking the viewer into the terrible day.

It is then that the truthful moments of silence Neerja has to contemplate her heroism that shines through.

Great sound immerses you into its world. The finest sound however goes beyond that, in order to tell a story and this one does just fine.

Kunal Sharma and Anuroop Kukreja for Udta Punjab

In Udta Punjab just as drug scenes rush on screen, that expected swish or ting ting sounds of snorting or hitting the syringe don't come into play.

It's the all important sign that the film isn't looking to glorify the drug taking process, nor is the sound edit going to rest on its laurels and clich├ęs.

Just as the mix crafts an ethereal connection between its divergent stories, the edit keeps itself grounded in building the world of Punjab. The Punjab we never knew, so while the sights and smells might be the same; it is the sound that excavates a darker truth from within.

Without a reliable score to elevate the tension and dreariness of the situation which once again would have been an obvious route to go to, Chaubey's sound team comes to the fore in elevating each and every emotion the film wishes to evoke; even refusing to let the silences speak of emptiness.

It's a unique and wonderful way to deal.

Ryan Juggler and Anthony Prochaska for Parched

Unlike the very vibrant rustic folk music that is littered through Parched, the sound of the film is aptly dry [pun intended] creating for a well juxtaposed if not purely mixed sound palette.

The very design's high point is in a tender scene between its protagonists, as the painful score smartly fades away and the little shuffling of feet, shocks, shedding of clothes slowly and rubbing of medicine are closely followed; echoing with profound pain and intimacy until they evaporate into silence.

Sound in the film is the silent speaker, the side of femininity in the film as it plays around the brash louder judgemental harshness around the narrative.

And the Winner is...

Vivek Sachidanand and Jyoti Chetia for Phobia!!!

Phobia makes it two for two in the sound department, a sign of things to'll just have to find out!

Up Next: The final edit of a film is the film, so who wins Best Film Editing...does that one win Best Picture?

'Nuff Said,

Aneesh Raikundalia

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