Monday, 19 April 2010

The Gateway

2008 March 19th,Bombay 09:00 AM.
Usually I don’t sleep after 07:30 AM.

But last night,  till 02:00 AM I was reading the book “ From Sex to Super Consciousness  “ by OSHO.

There wasn't anyone  to wake me because I live alone.
Stirred into consciousness by Padmasri A.R. Rahman’s voice. "Aeylelooooo elo Aeylelloooo"... an interlude humming in the song 'chinna chinna asai',my phone rings in ARR’s voice.
So I reached for my Nokia N-Gage...
“ Calling Bejoy Nambiar ”
 Bejoy is associate to director Mani Rathinam sir... I know that now he is participating in a reality show “ GATEWAY ” in Sony Pix who are now hunting for the best young director in India
... Prize? Well! “a chance to direct a Hollywood film”
... Not bad right...!?
The show is held at “ Whistling Woods International “,Subhash Ghai’s Film Institute.
But, I don’t  have any idea about what  happened in the show and what’s  'happening' generally  because I don’t watch Television. So I was confused, "Hey!how come he is calling me now !!!!..."
Anyway I said a good morning to Bejoy.

The scene : Bejoy wants me to do sound design for his film, which he had made for GATEWAY reality show.
Yes! He reached the final round !!! Now (that's a  good news to begin a day!)
Even though I was busy with the work “Leaving Home”, the life and music of the band Indian Ocean, I can’t say NO to Bejoy because its not our first time together. I've done sound edit and sound design for his 40 minutes Malayalam film “RAHU”.
So I agreed to meet up at HashTone(my studio) at 10:00 am.
I refreshed and reached studio by 09:45 am
By 10:00, I was ready to work.
The door bell rang, when I opened the door, a lady with a camera, zooming into me !!!!!
I was stunned, then I heard Bejoy saying from behind the camera person-" hey renga ! it's me ! "
It took me a few seconds to accommodate that reality show camera !

I congratulated him for reaching the last round.While the audio and video files were copying into my system, we had a little chat. I came to know another Keralite participated in the show Mr. Lijo Jose Pellissery, S/o actor Jose Pelliserry. But he was eliminated in the second last round. I felt sorry for him, still I was happy to hear “ two keralites competing for a Hollywood film.  “Woooow" !

While we watched the film, Bejoy was briefing me  on the suggestions for sound.The film is called “ SOAP ” Jackie Shroff and Raj Zutshi  in the lead roles. Bejoy conveyed a very confusing subject just in 13Minutes, and it was convincing too.
Time 10:45 AM. Bejoy is supposed to be there by 2 pm. So,he should start back at least by 1.30 pm...
It was  GO for both of us...
we both forgot about that ' reality camera'.  At work ,we argued a lot ! (Well,it always happens with good directors because they are sure of what  they need in their film)But he was open to my suggestions too.
We were done by 13:15.
For the final real time dump it took another 15 Minutes.
I wished him for the Best and  by 13:35 ,he and the camera left.

The next day Bejoy called me and said  " Renga!...SOAP won ! "

Later in 2008, I got a call from my friend Prasanth Pillai(assistant to Sri A.R .Rahman) who composed music for Bejoy Nambiar’s RAHU. Prasanth informed me that  Lijo Jose Pellissery (the same participant in GATEWAY) is making a film in Malayalam and  he is impressed by my work in Bejoy’s films ..So Lijo has a plan to choose me as the sound designer, and Prasanth is already composing music for the film.

I was really happy to hear it. But,a doubt....SOUND DESIGNER ? in a main stream Malayalam film ? !It was always a impossible task because,the producers are not interested to spend ' more' money for sound and most of the directors are least concerned about sound...

Anyway I asked him to e-mail me the script.
After few days I got the script, the first day itself I went through it in detail.
Speaking frankly I didn't find anything very interesting in the story.
It was a usual subject “REVENGE ”. But, the main thread of the story, the contrast “ KATHAKALI & UNDERWORLD ”... I was sure it is something new in Malayalam cinema and the story is been told  in a entirely new style, divided into different chapters,in  the way Kathakali is performed.
                                So, I called up the director Mr.Lijo Jose Pellissery and conveyed my interest to meet him. We decided to meet on my next visit to my home town,Kochi. On August’08 I met the M.B.A holder, director.Thereon Lijo surprised me at every moment. He showed me the sketches of all main characters in the film !!!! Lijo narrated the story, it was almost like watching the film. The film was already made in his mind,all he needed to do was to film it! I realized his ability and confidence. So I didn't give a second thought to shake hands for “NAYAKAN”. Lijo has made two fantastic short films "Three" &"The Game".Yet after experiencing all this, it is still unbelievable, that Lijo is a first timer in the main stream film Industry!
                             The most pathetic thing was  that Bejoy Nambiar's  Gateway producer turnabout and said- "Recession"... his Hollywood project stood scrapped!
                             The Gateway Show was my gateway to main stream Malayalam film industry. But another interesting coincidence !!!!! 
I worked in the Gateway film “ SOAP ” on 19th March 2008 & ” NAYAKAN ” was  released all over Kerala on 60 Screens on 19th March 2010.
Is the number 19 good for sound ??? :-)