Sunday, April 8, 2012

All the greats of the cricketing world and then the sensation Rajnikanth

Jalsa , Mumbai                  Apr  6 ,  2012                     Fri  9 : 43 PM


With all the greats of the cricketing world and then the sensation Rajnikanth … these were the ones I spoke about the other day, the honor and the privilege to be among them, to learn to gather to imbibe and emulate. Its always such a humbling moment ! Glad that I had the opportunity to be in their midst.
The second round of the Gujarat Tourism campaign is getting ready and I was up at 6 am to do the dub. Early mornings are always healthy for me to do this. The mind and the body and the voice is fresh, the streets are relatively free from traffic and it is generally a lot more quiet – fewer flights taking off from nearby Juhu airport which do bring a take in process to a halt. The theater too is less busy and at that hour in the morning, it is never a problem to get a booking. BR Dubbing is the one I generally like dubbing at. It has been a favorite of mine for years. The location is close – about 5 mins at that hour – and the recordist is conversant with your voice and method of dubbing which is a huge benefit. BR Dubbing is the studio belonging to Late Mr BR Chopra, built inside his own residence, modern and with some of the latest equipment. It was one of the first dubbing studios to get the latest systems in place, where loops did not have to be cut and prepared to dub for each particular artist. Normally in the early days, the scene or portion to be dubbed used to be cut from the copy of the negative, pasted into a loop, which was then loaded on to the projector, which then kept playing it again and again … but only that one looped scene or portion of a scene. BR brought the first system where no loops were required. The entire film was loaded on to the projector and had a fast forward and rewind system so that which ever portion came up for a dub you just ran the film till there and then rewound it to start again. It was a lot faster than the loop system. For an artist to dub it was always convenient to get back to the portion to be dubbed as quickly as possible, so that you remained with the mood and did not have to work yourself again and again to capture the same intensity with which the scene was shot. Most dubs were done months after the shoot was over and it was difficult to remember the exact temperament, or at times if the general recording was not of quality, to get the lip sync and the dialogues right. The abandoning of the loop system was a huge relief to the direction department. A lot of labor had to be gone into to prepare for the dub. With the rewind system it became a lot easier and faster and convenient. But … then came in the digital world and it did away with the rewind system altogether. A CD was downloaded and then at the touch of a button within a hundredth of a second the cue to dub from was obtained. Also if you were out of sync in a take by a few frames the machine had the ability to move the dialogue up and down to bring it in order. Much like what happens at song recording studios. The computer is fed with the right notes, the artist, someone as out of tune like myself sings a song, and it is fed into the computer which brings the singing into tune automatically, and you come out sounding glorious. As glorious as a professional singer !!
The equipments too have been made a lot more compact as technology has progressed. Space conservation is the key gain. Large areas required for theaters now have given way to a compact little room perhaps a 6′by 6′ and a small tv screen is enough to provide a visual of the film to dub and that is it ..
How times change !!
Recent developments in filming too are going through a vast change. In time maybe the artist too shall become extinct. A virtual image could be doing all his work for him, or her. Created visually on a machine. With many other DNA and medical discoveries taking place, I read somewhere that there could be a process where they could prolong life till as long as one wished. Death would be obsolete. Wonder how life and society would handle that ..
Ah ! well … no worries for me at this point. We’re not going to be around for it in any case  …
My love
Amitabh Bachchan

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