Award-Winning Sound Designer Baylon Fonseca Cruises Bollywood with Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless Technology
Mumbai, India (Oct 1, 2015) — Dil Dhadakne Do (“Let the Heart Beat”), redefines the Bollywood family drama, focusing on the dysfunction behind the happy façade presented by a Punjabi clan who invite their friends to join them on a Mediterranean cruise to celebrate the parents’ thirtieth wedding anniversary. Baylon Fonseca, who provided location recording, sound design and post production services on the film, employed Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless technology to meet the challenges of a large ensemble cast and a dynamic RF environment as the ship visited ports in Spain, Tunisia, Italy and France.
Fonseca, a multi-award-winning production mixer in India who has been a major pioneer in the recent transition from all dialog being recorded in post-production to the modern process of capturing dialog on location, added to his collection of Lectrosonics equipment specifically for this latest film. Ordinarily he would have used his SIXPACK, he reports, which provides RF and power distribution for up to six Lectrosonics compact diversity receivers. But on Dil Dhadakne Do, he says, “I knew there were a lot of actors and I would require more transmitters. I’ve been using the UCR411a with the ALP antenna and I get a great range out of it. I had a lengthy discussion with Karl Winkler, at Lectrosonics, just to make sure I was on the right track, and then I bought four more 411s. I had 10 of them in total, plus two wireless boom transmitters.”
There were 23 actors in the cast, Fonseca reports, including seven principals, typically with another three or four actors around them. “When you have so many people in a scene you think you will have three or four people talking and you end up with seven or eight,” he observes.
“I was prepped for 10 wireless transmitters at any point in time, along with my booms, so 12 tracks of recording. I use the Deva 5.8 hard disk recorder, which is eight tracks, and I had a Sound Devices 788 recording in parallel, timecode-locked. I used a Sonosox SX ST/8D, a digital mixer, which I love. I feel that the Lectrosonics equipment, along with the mixer, is the powerhouses of my arsenal. I can’t work without them, and I wouldn’t trade either of them for anything in the world.”
Fonseca miked the actors using Sanken COS-11 lavaliers. “When I had a scene that required special miking, because of the kind of clothes that my actors might be wearing, I would go to the B3 Countryman. I would also use Countryman B6s and EMWs, depending on the scene.”
Having developed close relationships with many of the actors over the years, Fonseca normally works with them personally to fit them with their microphones. That relationship also means that they trust him to record wild tracks away from the set moments after the performance. “My actors were happy to give me a delivery of the line as safety. It’s the same thing as ADR, so I can punch in a line like it was said on set; it will sound just as real.” Sometimes, he says, he doesn’t even have to ask: “They sometimes come to me and ask me to pick up a line, in case I want to use it later.”
The film was shot in the Mediterranean during six weeks on a working cruise liner with 2,500 vacationers and 700 ship crew then relocated to Turkey for four weeks followed by a four-week shoot in Mumbai.
“As I design my own films, one of my briefs to the team on this project was that the dialog that is actually the heart of the sound design of this film. It’s not effects—there are no crazy car chases, gunfights, nothing. So here, capturing the dialog took precedence over everything,” says Fonseca.
Dil Dhadakne Do, produced by Excel Entertainment of Mumbai, was released worldwide in June 2015 to critical acclaim and commercial success.
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