Mix and make it

On a high Resul Pookutty

On a high Resul Pookutty  

Sync-sound pro Resul Pookutty says he is delighted about the Oscar and CAS awards nomination

When he first got a call from the line producer to work on sound for Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (SM), Resul Pookutty was in the middle of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’ and the first question he asked was, “Is that Danny Boyle of ‘Trainspotting’?”

“I really think ‘SM’ is a film about destiny because during my days at FTII [Film and Television Institute of India], I had this big poster from ‘Trainspotting’ in my hostel room. Never had I thought then that 13 years later, a film with that very director would get me nominated for international awards,” says Resul, exuberant about being nominated for Best Sound Mixing at the 81st Annual Academy Awards, the 2009 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for best sound and the 2008 Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Awards, along with Richard Pryke and Ian Tapp for ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’

Valued award

But what he is most excited about is the ‘Big Daddy of all awards,’ the CAS Awards to be announced on February 14. “I am very close to European cinema. Moreover, as a sound technician, the CAS is very important as it is an honorary award given by the guild. Even within my community, the value of a CAS is unsurpassable,” says Resul.

A BSc (Physics) graduate, he would have almost become part of the judiciary if his father had his way. His mother supported his decision to join the FTII, Pune, instead. Resul specialised in sync sound recording or on-location recording, which didn’t have any takers at all in the film industry, more than a decade ago. His first film with other FTII grads (Rajat Kapoor and Rasool Mohammad) ‘Private Detective’ never saw the light of day, except at some film festivals. But he went on to do Dev Benegal’s ‘Split Wide Open,’ Sunil Sippy’s ‘Snip!’ and Rahul Bose’s ‘Everybody Says I’m Fine’ and began getting identified with the new breed of thinking Indian filmmakers. Slowly sync sound began to gain popularity – ‘Lagaan’ introduced sync sound to mainstream cinema and ‘Black’ established it.

But Resul considers Feroz Abbas Khan’s ‘Gandhi My Father’ as the finest work of his career in spite of its box office result. “I completely stand by the fact that the commercial success dictates how much your work gets appreciated. All my films are close to me but look at what ‘Black’ did for me versus what ‘Gandhi…’ couldn’t manage. It’s very sad. That’s where CAS comes in. That’s the actual recognition,” he adds.

At the CAS Awards, Resul is up against ‘Wall E’ and ‘Dark Knight,’ besides others. “We can do as good work as these films. In the last five or six years, our attitude to filmmaking has changed. The technology is there and our expertise is superior, and the cost is much lesser. Mixing for ‘SM’ in Los Angeles would have taken $ 1 million, while here it took us Rs. 30 lakh to 40 lakh. With amazing results.”

The 37-year-old father of two (a three-and-a-half-year-old son and an 11-month old daughter), confesses that he has been a bad father and husband. “I have not given them enough attention. The three of them have just returned from Dubai and we are all set to go to Vilakkuthara in Kollam,” he says. The only regret he has is that his parents are no longer there to be part of his success.

From walking seven km to school everyday and studying in a no-electricity village, this underdog has come a long way.


Recommended for you