As a production sound engineer, Mr Pookutty had to adapt his techniques accordingly. Multiple cameras on location meant close‐ups and wide‐angle shots being canned simultaneously, which required the boom mics to be positioned in such a way that they were not visible in the wide shots, nor in the frame of any of the other cameras. And when there were multiple takes of the same scene, the cameras in a second take would not necessarily give the same frame or the same magnification as in the previous take, so every retake was actually like a new shot. The boom men really had their work cut out for them.
‘Covering a complete scene on location [noisy Mumbai streets during the peak summer season with a huge crowd of onlookers] with four cameras simultaneously, posed its own set of challenges,’ Mr Pookutty recalls. ‘I had a team of more than 10 people with me at times, because I needed a ton of gear to get the job done.’I decided to go for the Deva 5.8 multitrack recorder – we got a brand new unit down for the film. I also had a DAT backup running, at all times. With multiple boom mics, multiple radio mics, an elaborate
communications chain, feeds to cameramen, Danny and script supervisors and so on, I had my handsfull.
There were about 10 video cameras to cover the video shoot and the game was played out as it happens on TV. For this, Mr Pookutty had to first set up a complete TV sound rig including radio mics on the host and participant, audience mics and a PA system for the live audience with the show music being played back on the floor – just as it is done for the television version. Now for the film shoot – this was carried out simultaneously with four HD cameras and four film cameras. This required two hidden lapel radio mics, two Sanken surface mics hidden in the computer monitor screens in front of the host and player, a
5.1‐surround mic to record the ambience in true 5.1, as well as audience mics. Effectively, there were two shoots taking place at the same time. Here, Mr Pookutty added a further Deva 5.8 as the track count had gone up – one TV mix, one mix for the film editor, one multitrack recording of the show (on the two Deva 5.8 recorders), PA to television audience, the headphone mix to the director and script supervisor. When there were shoots at outdoor locations where an extremely mobile gig was required – such as on the train rooftop ‐ Mr Pookutty had to configure a portable set‐up to match the same quality and track configuration as the regular cart.