For the upcoming Bollywood action feature film Ghajni, a Hindi remake of the classic Tamil film, sound designer Resul Pookutty was posed with the challenge of capturing the ambient sounds of the busy streets of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. With many action sequences taking place in the city, Pookutty selected the Holophone’s H2-PRO as part of his audio setup because of its portability and superior audio capture.
Ghajni, set for release in early 2008, is a revenge film in which the main protagonist searches the streets of the city to seek revenge on the man who has murdered his girlfriend. To effectively create the sense of urgency the protagonist is experiencing, Pookutty wanted a mic that would be able to stay with the overhead camera as it followed the actor as he traveled through the city.
“I’m a great lover of natural sound and like ambient sounds available from each location to use when I’m cutting the final product,” Pookutty explains. “In Bombay, the H2-PRO followed the camera on the protagonist as he walked through the city streets. This way, I can get dramatic 5.1 sound images when the camera makes a swish pan—a sound I would otherwise have to re-create in the edit stages. Here, I get it naturally.
“I have used all kinds of stereo mics, made X/Y patterns with various shotguns, and used double M/S mics for surround recordings, but I have never heard such clean, wide images as I receive from the H2-PRO,” Pookutty continues. “It’s easy to record surround sound on-location with the H2-PRO because it’s just one mic with all discrete outputs and no confusion.”
Pookutty says he is able to set up the H2-PRO as he would a stereo mic, following the camera. He keeps the surround mic’s L/C/R channels in line with the camera angle so that the front and back sound distribution corresponds with the image size and angle. Audio from the H2-PRO is recorded to a PDR 2000 or Zaxcom Deva IV multichannel recorder.
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