D. Yuvaraj, national award winner for sound re-recording, recalls how Malayalam film industry infused life into his career.
In the late 1970s, young D. Yuvaraj used to spend most of his time after school at the AVM studio, located near his home in Chennai. He used to accompany his father, a production boy at the studio, on most days.
“Most of my time at the studio was spent near the recording room. The sounds coming out of that room were always a part of my life. More than the visual extravagance, this is what excited me,” Mr. Yuvaraj tells The Hindu over phone after winning the National Film Award for Best Sound Re-recording for his work in ‘Swapaanam’.
After completing school, he started spending all of his time there, as an assistant to the sound engineers.
“I started off with small work like helping them to fix the mike. This continued for about a decade. In between, I used to complete the work when the sound engineers were busy,” says Mr. Yuvaraj, in Tamil mixed with broken English. During that time, he was part of the sound crew for films like ‘Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback’, ‘Aalkkoottathil Thaniye’ and ‘Chithram’. One of his first works as a full-time sound engineer was in the 2003 film ‘Gourishankaram’.
But his career really took off only after director Ranjith hired him to work for ‘Pranchiyettan and the Saint’ in 2010. “Ranjith is one of the reasons for where I am right now. He gave me complete freedom in my work and also had full confidence in my output. After that, I went on to work with him in ‘Indian Rupee’ and ‘Spirit’ too. He gave life to my sagging career,” he says. He says that most of the directors as well as music directors have a clear idea of the output they want when they arrive for the re-recording.
“Some of them sit with me for the entire length of the work, telling me their needs at every point. But most of them are gracious enough to accept feedback from my side. Over the years, I have gained more confidence in communicating with them”
He says he did not expect any recognition to come his way when he started working with Shaji N. Karun for ‘Swapaanam’. But he is glad that the award came for his work in the Malayalam industry. “Though I am a Tamilian, most of my work has been in Malayalam films. But after this award, I hope I will get more opportunities from my home industry.” The only regret for the 49-year-old now is that his father, who has also been a constant guide for him in the film industry, is not there with him to witness his triumph.