Sunday, March 15, 2009

AFTER THE OSCAR - A few Thoughts

The Oscar award had magically transformed tiny Resul Pookutty into a super mega phenomenon. Everywhere he went he was mobbed by thousands of people from all walks of life. TV Channels and newspapers were vying with each other for interviews and oraganisations are competing with each other to shower him with more awards and gifts. I was the witness for two of the occassions of which one of them was a TV Channel's Film Award night. At the jampacked stadium Resul got the biggest standing ovation and cheers even the so called "Super stars" of the Malayalam film industry could have ever imagined.

Reception at Thiruvananthapuram

Oscar and BAFTA awards

It was a very proud moment for me. I, as a Technician was really moved by the reception he got in Kerala - especially witnessing a fellow technician like Resul who remains on the set in the background as an invisible presence is being treated like a superstar. The spotlight and boquets are always reserved only for those who don the greasepaint. Those poor technicians who mould, make and and embellish them are treated as dirt. There are many Satellite TV Channels giving various Film awards - there are many awards for actors - Best Actor , Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting actress, Villain, Comedian, New comer, Best pair, Overall performance etc but NONE for Sound Recordists!

There was once a move made by some of the TV channels even to stop giving awards to technicians like Cinematographers and Editors etc. Their argument was why waste money on those who are behind the screen and the crowds just are not interested in seeing them! They only come to see the stars, the dances and to hear the songs and nothing else. But, strong opposition from Technician's Unions made them to rethink and some of the technicians managed get in the awards lists. Even when Oscar winner's names are published in the newapapers the technician's names are coveniently left out to save space. The full list never gets published! Sometime back even the Oscar telecast people wanted to trim down the length of the Ceremony but dispensing away with the Technical Awards distribution visuals!

Resul with CAS Award

When Resul got the CAS Award, which is a honour given to the Sound Mixers for the their career achievement in Motion Pictures by The Cinema Audio Society consisting of over 550 Sound Mixers and Associates from the Film and Television Industries. The Society was founded to create a proper channel of communication between the related sound crafts and between those instrumental to the production and distribution of film and television soundtracks. The winner can add “CAS” after their names in the film screen credit. The previous achievers include multiple Oscar winners like Ray Dolby, Robert Altman, Jack Solomon, and Walter Murch etc.

This important news item was conveyed by the Audiographers union to all the Print and TV Media houses, but none of them bothered to publish even a line or mention it in their newscasts! Strangely after the Oscars, the very same people were seen running after Resul for a glimpse of him!

This Oscar Award had changed their mindset. It had opened their eyes and the spot light is turned upon the hard working technicians, the unsung heroes of the film Industry. I hope from the next year onward the TV Channels and others will include an Award for the Sound Recordist too !


resul said...

Babu sir,

You were always different with your work and your thoughts.Great piece of article.hope it opens up the mind of people!

love you.
My nos are the same,txt me i'll call you back.i can't handle the traffic of phone calls.So i don't take calls!

Ramachandra Babu said...

Thank you Resul for finding time to read my blog and to post a comment!