This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
I would like to welcome HariKumar Pillai to the Ackernon community. We met working on a project in 2005 and we are hoping to have his talents for the next season. Hari resides in India and has an extensive background on major Indian feature productions as a Field Sound Engineer. One of his recent projects Peepli Live, was India’s entry for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category. He was also responsible for the sound on a student film that was also accepted for Oscar consideration-The Road Home(UK),came 2nd at Student Oscar 2010 For a full listing of his credits go to http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3492300/ Q:Welcome Hari. Can you tell our followers a little about yourself, your background and please tell us a little about Peepi Live? Thanks Paul, I am a Production Sound Mixer/Designer based in India, Mumbai. Graduate of FILM SCHOOL (FTII PUNE,INDIA,www.ftiindia.com), 16yrs + working in Feature Films, Documentaries and Television for National and International Productions., traveling with work I live with my family. In my free time I do traveling, watching films, music,taking workshops at film schools, do charity work(teaching street kids,work on environmental protection),gardening etc) Peepl live Peepli Live was my Feature film which was selected as India s official entry for the Academy Awards 2010, it was produced by Actor-director Aamir Khan under his home banner, AKPFILMS I was called to work on this project with him after I was referred by someone to him, after a few rounds of discussions and script reading I was on board. We started working on Jan 2009 and wrapped by March end and the film released to a grand opening in Aug 2010, it was certified as India’s fastest hit and I was very proud to be part of it, it has been to Berlin and other well known festivals and in the USA it was one of the biggest grossers for Foreign film. I was very happy that my work had been well received and much appreciated esp from USA and Europe I was nominated to 2 prestigious Industry Awards-Screen and FilmFare 2010 for Sound Design. Peepli Live was also the 1st instance in India Cinema when a song was recorded live on location, I recorded the song Mehangayi Dayen(on price rise) on location, its a folk song(Kind of bluesy), it was a super hit and am proud for that honor too The year 2010 , is also memorable as I had another film The Road Home(UK), a student film came 2nd at the Student Oscar at the Academy Awards. This must be the 1st instance someone having 2 films at the Academy Awards in different categories Q: What are your favorite microphones and recording equipment that you normally work with and why?
I have a long list of Microphones(Boom Mics) I usually work with, depending on the nature of work, type of mic (polar pattern) ,ease of use, locations and minimality (using one mic for multiple situations) My favorite mics are by type(polar pattern) FEATURE FILMS, DOCUMENTARIES AND TELEVISON 1-KMR 81/82I AND MKH 70-LONG GUNS 2-MKH 60- SHOT GUN 3-CMIT 5U4-MKH 50/40-HYPER CARDIODE 5-MKH 416-SHOT GUN Another mic which I havnt used yet but would to is the CS-3E STEREO-MKH 418 S Recording equipment I usually use the ZAXCOM DEVA 5.8(HARD DISK RECORDER,8 TRACKS expandable), for its ease of operation and facilities and back compatibility with post, for Fiction work (Features and short) ,haven’t had a reason to not like it and has never let me down. Deva is a standard recording equipment used all over the world with great results and dependability, I am comfortable with it, made by Zaxcom. I am open to trying other equipment as and when need be. Beside this I also a Zoom H4N,SD 552, SD 788T, for short films and docus, for dependability, ease of use, and technical reasons(compatibility, seamless use in various setups, easy availability) Q: What are a couple of challenging sound recording situations you have run into and how did you deal with the challenges? There are numerous challenges while working on location(where I primarily work) and Post. 1-locations-sometimes I need to deliver in not sound friendly locations 2-artistes-need to be pampered and may throw tantrums, never ever had a problem as I sort it [out] much before if it ever came to that situations, all of them have been good 3-style of shooting-2 camera, v wide, steady cam,non sync cameras 4-constraints-time, light 5-not sound friendly crew-Director, DOP etc, they have been few and far between for me 6-while at post, it is usually delivering under time constraint and sometimes technical issues I primarily insist on a few things for good work from my side. 1-A proper bound script with shot divisions and dialogs 2-locations condusive to sync shoot 3-artistes being cooperative 4-production support 5-equipment compatible for good work One of the most regular problems I face is very noisy locations and its not just for sound, the ambient sound levels are rising everywhere and that is a problem to doing good work not just for sound but making it difficult for actors as well.
In that case I usually start a location [recon] and then get best equipment and then do the needful before hand by planning it in production meetings, by giving out instructions to all depts. and then take care of the recording part and follow up in the post. I make it a point to delegate work to my crew and make sure that they understand. [In] no situation [will I] lose my cool or calm come what may, making me easy to work with and usually repeated for next projects My crew is very important as they know what we need and they go about their job with minimum fuss and remembering that they work for the film just like me and its their film as much as it is mine. Another problem is bad planning on the part of others, and sudden problems of equipment failure(rare these days but a nightmare as well, mics, recorder) Another factor is the weather,which of course I cant have much control. Next week a discussion of selecting and use of the right type of mic for various situations You can find additional information on Peepli Live at http://www.akpfilms.com/peeplilive/crew5.html
Interview with Harikumar Pillai – Pt 2
Q: I know you use both wireless microphones and boom mics. What conditions dictate one over the other? A: I use both and firstly they are not one over another, rather they complement each other, they serve different purpose and I always have them in tandem , recorded on separate tracks, rest in post. The final sound is a mix of Lavs and Boom I personally, like most, love the boom, but these days it is becoming difficult to use boom due to shooting style, locations and actors. So even if I may not like Lavs ,it is very essential to have them. Plainly speaking in terms of sound, the lavs gives u good clean , close pick up and the boom gives you the body, depth and perspective to the sound, at times the lav saves your day when you cant get a boom in. Never one for another, they are always there and very much needed for the parts they play, Aesthetically the boom always as 1st choice but very difficult these days. The lavs are used over Boom when you have very noisy locations, soft speaking actors, and shot very wide and your life depends on it cos you don’t have a boom to cover it up. You might use only a boom when doing sit down interviews but rare not to use a lav as such. You can use both and decide not to use it in the final mix Q: Do you place microphones on the set or location and if so, when and for what purpose? A: Yes as plant mics, for dialogs and sound fx, hidden under a prop used when you cannot use a boom or a lav. Stereo mics on location when you record the ambience while and after shoot for mixing. Q: What are some of the common problems you see with sound in Independent Films? A: Well plenty. 1-bad dialogs, mostly from bad recording(low levels, mumbled dialogs), poor post work and bad mixing, 2-not using experienced sound crew or good equipment 3-mixing itself
4-use of loud music 5-lack of ambience 6-excessive use of loud foley 7-last but not least, not giving sound a proper planning and ;leading to poor product and the tendency to Fix in the Mix, which leads to the film going over budget Q: What can the Field Sound Engineer do to minimize problems in post production? A: Well good question. 1-select locations carefully, if possible 2-record good tracks for dialog, saving time in post to fix it 3-get clean ambience to lay over cuts and smooth tracks 4-maintain good reports, transfer properly to various media 5-check with post before shoot for instructions and follow them, in case of issues tell them immediately so that you don’t land with surprises 6-treat post as a friend and co worker and not as an enemy 7-follow through the with post even after the shoot Q: It seems there are some film makers at all budget levels that undervalue the contribution of sound. What advice would you give? A: Its universal and they do it at their own peril. Post love it when they see that they have a fat cow (Production) which can be milked, don’t fall prey to fix in the mix thing, you will lose sleep over it spending time in post. Plan well, get a good sound crew (pre and post), support the sound at all levels and enjoy the film. You will not notice a good sound but bad sound will stick out. Sound is fifty percent of your film, remember that. Remember the quality is long remembered after the cost is forgotten. IF IT SOUNDS GOOD IT LOOKS BETTER Here is a quote I would like to add. Importance of Sound In films “I’m always amused when I’m introduced to somebody as a Sound person, they often say something like, ‘Well, sound is so important to film.’ Saying that tells me that they don’t really think sound is important at all, because they would never, if they were introduced to the Director of photography, say, ‘You know, visual images are so important to film. My crew My crew is very important as they know what we need and they go about their job with minimum fuss and remembering that they work for the film just like me and it’s their film as much as it is mine. I make them feel connected to the film and they deliver the best when they feel connected to it. On any new project, I personally introduce all of them to the crew and request the crew to address them by name rather than positions (Boom man, utlity etc) I feel that to deliver a good product it is a combination of so many factors. I choose my team with care making sure that petty ego, insecurity doesn’t come into play and we always work as a team
Pl visit the weblinks for more deatils http://ackernon.com/2011/07/interview-with-harikumar-pillai-pt-1/ http://ackernon.com/2011/07/interview-with-harikumar-pillai-pt-2/
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.