The character of rain: A chat with Resul Pookutty
For this Academy award winning artiste, the element of sound is associated with memories. Especially so when it comes to the subject of rain. From the torrential rain sequences in Hariharan’s epic titled Pazhassiraja to the pitter patter ambience he created for 101 India’s latest web series, Interpreting The Monsoon, the veteran sound designer has a story attached to each soundscape he has ever created. Having worked in association with a team comprising of Sajeed A (director), Reuel Benedict (music composer), and Hari K Vedantam (cinematographer) for the production, the artiste ascertains that the last thing he wanted was to recreate another clichéd sound spectrum.“Growing up in a small village in the Kerala’s high range, my earliest recollections of rain include heavy downpours and the thick lines of water bouncing off the thatched roof of my home,” begins Resul, as he explains his fascination for the season. By integrating the aspects of Theyyam into the production, what Resul and his team bring out is not the season itself but its onset.“When used right, the rain itself can become a character,” shares the FTII alumnus, citing the example of A Rainy Day by Rajendra Talak, where the entire length of the film features showers of varying intensity.
White noise rewired
An experiment that he has been perfecting ever since Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black, Resul opines that while working the sound of water might not be easy, such experiments can help bring out the possibilities that lie within the craft. “The challenges in these projects were to ensure that the element of rain/water is not just reduced to white noise. And they succeeded in showing people the real value of sound production,” says the 46-year-old, adding that the industry still needs to open up to experiments within this aspect, as it constitutes more than 50 per cent of any audiovisual production, be it movies or short films. That being said, Resul thinks that there’s enormous potential for the medium in web series.“It is almost equal to a T20 cricket match,” he laughs, as he talks about the unrestricted creative space provided by such projects as opposed to a film, where everything ultimately contributes to a grand narrative. Though he admits to being smitten by the fresh ideas sprouting within the field of short productions, what he finds lacking here is finesse. “That’s where we come in,” he quips, claiming that he’s eager to work alongside youngsters from the industry. Apart from occasionally trying his hand at script writing, Resul informs us that his current projects include Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia (Hollywood-Bollywood crossover) and S Shanker’s Yenthiran 2.
Interpreting The Monsoon is available on 101 India’s YouTube Channel.
Pic credit:Salish Kumar PK