Designing the sound for a movie where a Bollywood superstar played himself AND his biggest fan left little margin for errors. So, while the audience lapped up the multi-layered role that Shah Rukh Khan pulled off in Fan, Ganesh Gangadharan pulled off the equally difficult task of ensuring that the voices of Aryan Khanna and Gaurav Chadana sounded distinct, though SRK enacted both characters.
He revealed that in the first half, Khanna’s voice had a sophisticated treble, while the younger Chadana’s dialogues were rendered in a higher pitch. However in the second half, he had to consciously avoid this, since Chadana was copying Khanna and hence timbre had to be similar in some places. He also tried to incorporate some of Delhi’s local sounds in Fan, especially in the first half and climax, with subtle ambient background sounds.
His toughest moment was where Khanna greets the crowds. “Managing the sound in crowd scenes is tough, but when a superstar like SRK is involved people go berserk. There is so much noise, which we can’t retain, and yet we want to capture the enthusiasm,” Gangadharan ruefully encapsulated every designer’s Catch-22 situation.
Luckily, since this supervising sound editor and sound designer at YRF Studios had worked with director Maneesh Sharma earlier, he knew what the latter expected and rendered just that. Now with 30 movies under his belt, some with directors like Aditya Chopra, Kabir Khan and Vijay Krishna Acharya, he can glide into a project knowing what the creator has in mind and deliver the sound the movie needs, nay, deserves.