in TN 07 AL 4777. For Meenakshi this time. For those who have just come in, TN.... is a remake of Taxi 9211. And Meenakshi is essaying the role of Sameera Reddy.
The director Lakshmikantan has been the one with whom several hours have been spent at the dubbing studio learning the ropes of the skill.
Read, Unnale Unnale and Dhaam Dhoom. Though Lakshmikantan anna was not part of DD in the beginning, he came in a little later. And the dubbing sessions at Trinity have been the best. Most of the movies I have dubbed for have been done there. UU, DD, Satham Podadhey and now TN07 AL 4777 have been done at Trinity. I am given to understand that the brain behind this place is Mr Lakshminarayan, 6 time National Award winner. Could be more but I forget the exact number now.
Lakshmikantan has a "punai peyar" which is "singam" .. So it goes like Singam this, singam that by the people in the studio. A lot of times I have felt that the lot of acting happens in the dubbing studio by means of extracting the right voice quality and delivery from the artistes. And believe me, to be at the receiving end and to judge the right take from several and more than anything else, to know what they want in a particular take and to get it from the artiste - this talent according to me is non pareil. I wonder how all of them manage that. The amount of voice acting that the engineers can do is amazing. If a voice artiste is unable to figure out how to say a particular line, the engineers say it and all that we have to do is just copy their feel.
A lot of the hilarious times in my life have been at the dubbing studio. To remember the Bucket list, to laugh hard enough to cry, have done that at the dubbing studios. Yes, as I have mentioned earlier, it can be tiring as well, as sometimes the right delivery just doesn't happen, or the clarity might be missing, or a certain voice quality that is fixed for the particular heroine, during the screen test needs to be maintained from beginning to end, and its but natural to forget that particular tone.
But the engineers know exactly when the quality changes and when tiredness sets in the voice. At that point they reschedule to finish the remaining work. To be supervising the dubbing requires a lot of skill apparently and the engineers at the console are usually the ones who take over and direct the artiste, as far as I have heard. Lakshmikantan is one of those super people who have that skill. He is also one of the most sincere and straightforward people I have met. Has the guts to call something crappy on the face and like most creative people in the industry, an amazing sense of humour. We have all laughed so hard that we have cried. Sometimes I would complain on being unable to lip-sync with the heroine. And the way we ll all go into peals of laughter cos there either the engineers or he would start off on something.
More often than not, a heroine does not know the language. And I marvel at how the actors are able to do their job with a straight face and do really well too. For all you know the girl in front of him is just blubb-blipp-blurbing. I remember SPB sir mentioning, he was dubbing for a hero and that the heroine in that particular movie, said just A, B, C.. and the entire alphabet in a certain manner and emoted for the remaning part. Once the alphabets were over, the numerals start.. 1... 2-3-4.. 5......some tears.. 6-7-8-9-10. Finish with anger. Imagine whatever you want.
Some day, I intend to take interviews of the engineers and post it here. Someday.
Sometimes people, even those I work with, ask me to not host, not dub, not do radio. At the risk of repeating myself, I have one motto, to learn and keep learning. I am offered the opportunities. So let me try. One lifetime. So much to do. So less time. Most of my energies have and will always go into music and learning the art form. There can only be a quest for perfection as I see. Perfection is something, maybe, that cannot be achieved. If you think you have achieved it, maybe thats it. What else is there? After one milestone is reached, the eyes search for the next one, gauge how far it is and choose the righteous path to reach it.
When I am at the end of my life, I want to know for sure, just not assume, that I have made a reasonable use of the time that I have been offered. Having said that, these are thoughts on this day, at this point in time. Like they say life is what happens when we are busy making plans :)