'Hollywood likes vibrancy of Indian cinema'

Chennai, July 7 (IANS) The western world has "great" regard for Indian cinema and the enthusiasm of our artistes, says debutant director R.S. Prasanna, who recently rubbed shoulders with Hollywood technicians during the sound mix for his upcoming Tamil romantic-comedy "Kalyana Samayal Saadham" (KSS).

"It's a misconception that they (people in the west) don't like Indian films. They have great regard for our films even though they can't speak or understand our language. From what I observed, westerners like the enthusiasm with which we work," Prasanna told IANS.

He credits the global recognition of Indian cinema to Indian technicians such as A.R. Rahman and Resul Pookutty and the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire".

"I think Rahman and Resul, with their work, have given India its global recognition, while 'Slumdog Millionaire' placed India right in top league of international cinema," he said.

Prasanna recorded the final sound mix of KSS with Hollywood sound designers Tom Marx, sound mixer of "Man of Steel", and with Bruce Nyznik, a legendary Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR) supervisor, known for films such as "Sin City" and "Space Jam".

He said opportunities such as these help in breaking borders.

"Cinema is a universal medium and it helps to merge cultures. I love working with different film talents, but working with Tom and Bruce was even more special because it helped me to break the cultural barrier between us," he said.

"The different perspective that we, as a team brought to the table, was amazing. It helped us to have a clearer vision of what we wanted as output," he added.

What about their working style?

"One of the quick observations I made is that they have a lot of flexibility with time. I was told that music scoring for some of their films can even take as many as eight to nine months. We hardly spend so much of time for making films, let alone on composing music," he said.

"There are also specialists in each department. One person specialises in only one task. For instance, while mixing for KSS, Tom and Bruce were even particular about the sound of a fan to the thud of walking barefoot," he said.

"They take special interest in getting even the faintest of sound to perfection," said Prasanna.

"They may be working for only eight to nine hours a day, but they are completely immersed in their work. I really wonder if we ever get to have such luxuries in India," he said.

Does he think sound mixing in the west is an expensive affair?

"I'm sure it will be expensive. My producers dealt with the cost. But then I look at the weightage that the cost will add to my overall experience of the film. I give a lot of importance to sound as I believe it serves as a narrative medium by itself. I think all the credit goes to my producers for making this effort," said Prasanna.

Buoyed by the overwhelming experience, Prasanna hopes to get the sound mixing of all his films in Hollywood, going forward.

"I would love to go back for all my films. Of course, not all producers give as much importance to sound as much as Arun and Govind (producers of KSS) did and therefore it depends on whom will I work with in the future," he added.

"Kalyana Samayal Saadham" features Prasanna Venkatesan and Lekha Washington in the lead. It is about the big fat south India wedding.

The film, produced by Arun Vaidyanathan and Ananth Govindan, is currently in its post-production phase.

(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at haricharanpudipeddi@gmail.com)

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