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HOT 100 – Audio Experts – Kunal Sharma, sound designer, Kapoor & Sons

Kunal Sharma almost ended up giving Kapoor & Sons a miss. “When director Shakun Batra showed me the script initially, I could hardly believe that it was a Dharma Productions, especially as I wasn’t keen on doing a typical tear-jearker at that time,” he recalled. But when he read the atypical storyline, the interplay between the characters, and given his wave length with Batra, he dived straight into the project.

Sharma wanted a realistic soundscape so that the audience would follow the lives of the characters and get involved with the dramatic dialogues. He purposely chose not to overcrowd the sound track of Rishi Kapoor’s character, though his was the most-anticipated performance of the movie.

“Even if I raised the dialogue’s sound a little, Batra would ask me to bring it down. However, when we saw the first cut, we realized we had to push the mix up, because theatres play at sound low volumes so the dialogues could barely be heard. We later pushed it up by 4 DB in certain places,” Sharma recalled.

The most cherished moment for this National Film Award winner (he won it for Best Audiography for 1971) was when the cast and crew jumped up in their seats during Rajat Kapoor’s accident in the movie, during the screening. “They were so absorbed by the sound without even realizing it; that is when I knew I had done a great job,” he stated, by ensuring the sound was realistic, yet unobtrusive.

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