Odia man on Bajirao high

Sound designer unplugged

By ANWESHA AMBALY in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 1.01.16
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Nihar Ranjan Samal. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 31: For Nihar Ranjan Samal, the best thing about this year was working with the star film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

And his New Year gift was winning the Best Sound Designer award for Bhansali's latest film, Bajirao Mastani, at the Sony Guild Awards.

Hailing from Jajpur, Samal has worked in a number of popular Bollywood films, including Piku, 3 Idiots, Tevar and Ferrari ki Sawaari among others. He had also received the National Award for his sound designing skills in Madras Café in 2013.

For Samal, working with Bhansali was a learning experience.

The sound designer, who is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, said: "He is very meticulous and technically very sound. I had always wanted to work with him. Therefore, when I got a call from his office, I agreed without giving it a single thought."

He further said that most of the sound recordings for the historical epic had been done without dubbing.

"We recorded the sound live as we wanted to give a natural feeling. Apart from the typical background scores, the voices of all the actors were recorded on the locations. It was a very arduous task," said the sound designer, who is in his late thirties.

Eliminating the modern sounds is the most difficult part, he said. "This being a historical flick, we had to take care that sounds of vehicles and honking did not integrate into the recording. At times, they were spoilsport and disturbing the mood of the film. For a few scenes, we, therefore, had to do the recording a number of times," said Samal, who is into the field for over 19 years now.

Samal had been so engrossed into the film that the sound designer had to give up Amir Khan's upcoming film Dangal, as it would be difficult for him to juggle both the productions.

Admitting of being a Deepika Padukone fan, Samal said: "I have worked with her in three films, and we share a great bond. She is a very nice person. I also became friend with Ranveer Singh, and we had a lot of fun during the shoots."

Riding high on the success of Bajirao, Samal has a few films lined up in the film industry. "I am working on a film with Nana Patekar, and there are other films in the pipeline as well," summed up Samal. He also wishes to work in the Odia film industry.