• Tuesday, March 03, 2015


10 things you didn't know about Ratan Paul

Photo: Ridwan Adid Rupon
Photo: Ridwan Adid Rupon

1.    What led you to the world of sound and music?
Truly speaking, I solely wanted to study in the music school in Pune, India. I started studying sound not for my love for it rather my passion for the school. Sound was a possible gateway for me in this case. Earlier, I was obsessed with photography, movies and travelling. I was not interested in sound. The fact is I could understand the variation in sound better than my friends could. Therefore, I did not have to give much effort to it. But, I had a junior course in movie making that helped me a lot.  
2.    Was there a trigger? A defining moment when you realized you wanted to work with sound professionally?
It was during the end of my second year of university life that I became serious about sound. Once I visited a concert and found that the sound manager was perplexed and almost lost in the wires. That was an epiphanic moment for me, I guess, which made me rethink regarding sound. I thought I must know the technological aspect of sound and the technical philosophy to understand the works of renowned directors.
3.    Do you think studying sound engineering is necessary?
To be very honest, studying sound engineering in Bangladesh doesn't add much value. I am not denying the necessity of learning but I would like to emphasize on establishing a professional institute in Bangladesh where people can learn things easily and professionally – learn the things which they can apply to building their careers.  If we can ensure the presence of a professional institute, the people working in this sector would be qualified enough to cope with the outer world. At present, anyone and everyone is working in production with less than required knowledge in sound. Personally, I don't like the situation as it demotivates experienced and learned musicians and directors.
4.    What is the basic ingredient for such creative work?

The basic ingredient is creative imagination and dedication to the work that paves his future path. Knowledge and education of course helps, but it can never make you successful in a creative field unless you have a creative knack.
5.    How can a professional institute help people working in this sector?
Since movie production is an artistic creation, it should come spontaneously from people's aesthetic imagination. Anyone having a basic creative impulse can work in direction, camera or cinematography. Firstly, a professional institute provides a better platform to start one's career. Secondly, an institute can help understand the ever changing scenario of outer world, which is more and more technologically advanced every day. Third is the obvious bit, an institute can teach the technical aspect of production.
6.    What challenges do you think the industry is facing as a whole?
The structural myth or experience-centered monopoly of producing things has been destructed.  At one hand, it has been a good sign and on the other hand the piracy of programs has increased a lot. If the government or any other academy took initiative to promote this sector as industry, we could incorporate growing number of people in this sector. The frustrating fact is nobody is considering it as an industry. Nobody is taking the consumer cultural need of our larger population into account.
7.    How important is the role of sound in movies?
The role of sound in visual culture is beyond description. Starting from the television commercials we often see, the importance of sound is easily understood in movies, dramas and even in talk-shows.  Few people think that the role of sound is less than visual image in visual culture. I would rather say that the culture is audio-visual and the role of sound is beyond measure. Now the presentation of sound should be aesthetically of accepted level.
8.    What are your thoughts about the young learners of our country who are entering the media today?
It is amazing to see our young learners in this sector. I think they are really great and have a lot of potential. I admire their dedication and brilliance. However, some people introduce themselves as producers after having little knowledge and a mediocre production. This is a real shame. Apart from this fact, the young learners of our country are brilliant – but they need to be patient and have an open mind in each production. There is no substitute for experience – the best teacher. I think they need some direction and guideline in order to improve.
9.    Which musicians do you look up to the most?
The works of Jacques Tati and Tchaikovsky inspire me a lot. Besiddes, Bresoe, Hritthik Ghotok and Vim Bendors are notable.
10.    What are your favorite movies in terms of sound and background score?
'Shuborno Rekha', 'The Man Escaped', 'My Uncle', 'Playtime', 'Gravity', 'The Slumdog Millionaire' and 'The Conversation' are a few to name in terms of their brilliant sound.  

Interviewed by Mohammad Zahidul Islam

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

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