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From child artist to a professional

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Anand Krishnamoorthy
Anand Krishnamoorthy

Meera Srinivasan

“I had a stint at the BBC, I started as a boom operator, then as sound assistant”

Remember the little boy in Anjali who makes friends with a child with disability, influencing his peers to be as empathetic?

The naughty junior photographer in May Madham, or the boy obsessed with the video camera in Sathileelavathi? Anand Krishnamoorthy, who entered the film industry as a child artist, is back, and this time as a location sound recording professional. Meera Srinivasan catches up with him…

Attired in red T-shirt and jeans, Anand could easily pass off for a college student. However, when he begins to speak, he sounds like a seasoned professional.

His work for Unnaipol Oruvan, in which he also plays an interesting role of a geek, has won a lot of praise.

“I was originally signed up for Marmayogi. I was part of the team and stayed on, and this opportunity came up. It was around the time director Chakri Toleti was deciding the cast and one fine day he said, ‘I have you in mind’.”

Anand was in charge of the dialogue track and also worked on capturing sounds on location.

“There are three aspects to sound engineering — the dialogue, music and effects. So, there were two others working on those aspects.”

His interest in the visual and sound arts dates back to his school days, when he loved being on stage. “In my school, Padma Seshadri, we had many opportunities for that.”

In fact, it was during this time that he casually went for the Anjali auditions with a friend and got selected by director Mani Ratnam. “I was plain lucky!” he says with a giggle.

But the “luck” didn’t quite stop there. After a visual communication course in Loyola College, he got to work as assistant director to Balu Mahendra, an experience he considers incredibly valuable.

“He [Balu Mahendra] handles the camera, edits, writes and directs and there is just so much one can learn from him.”

Meanwhile, he was also equipping himself in electronic media and management.

Anand later went to the University of Bristol to pursue an M.A. in films, specialising in sound, direction and production.

Great experience

“I had a stint at the BBC, where I started out as a boom operator and then worked as sound assistant to technicians there. It was a great learning experience.”

For someone like him who thoroughly enjoys exploring new avenues, Unnaipol Oruvan was a great opportunity. “I got to work with the topmost actors in the country.”

As a technician, he is in awe of how actors Kamal Haasan and Mohan Lal enhance scenes with their inimitable voice modulation. “Their spontaneity is such a treat!”

About his own scene, he says: “I’ve played a geek, who is in a way irreverent and does not particularly care for authority.

The sheer presence of Mohan Lal took care of everything. In Telugu, it is nuanced differently, as Mr. Venkatesh is a different actor. I’m equally kicked about both the performances.”

However, sound seems to be his calling. “Acting just happened, but sound is something I’ve been working for… the human voice is another instrument you can play with. It’s a very important area in story-telling. And to see how it adds value aesthetically is truly exciting!”

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