DS: Tell us a bit about what you do.
I work as a sound recordist and sound designer for film and elevision. In simple words I make a living out of listening to people.
DS: What got you interested in sound and how did you start out?
I was born and raised in Dubai and went to India to pursue degree in mechanical engineering after high school. However, I dropped out after two years since I wasn’t passionate about the subject anymore and pursued a career in sound instead.
As a kid I always fancied special effects in action movies, the audio aspect to be precise. I still remember the exact moment when I realised my passion for the craft – I was fascinated with the sound of the jet engine while watching Jurassic Park at my relative’s home. The pan from the right rear surround speaker across to the front left was fascinating.
I’m grateful to have had a few special people mentor me when I was starting out — Belgian and Iranian sound recordists David Thirion and Farhad Katrahmani (both former Dubai-based), production guru Kurt Barretto and UAE-based filmmaker Faisal Hashmi. My first gig was with Media Crew Dubai, thanks to whom I got a chance to be part of the industry. Finally, my mother was also a crucial part of formative years as she invested in my sound gear and education.
DS: What are three of your most memorable projects and why?
I worked on the behind-the-scenes documentary filming of Star Trek Beyond in Dubai (Sept 2015). I was only starting out then and ended up on a Hollywood set for a day. It was quite a crazy and nerve-wracking experience. I interacted with some members of the key crew. I also worked as the head of sound on a massive campaign for Marriott Hotels. I was working besides French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, Delicatessen) and two-time Oscar winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (The man behind all of Steven Spielberg’s films) for the Dubai segment of the shoot.Interacting directly with these two veterans on set was overwhelming.
One of my best pieces of work was for a shoot that involved plenty of travel for a feature documentary filmed in early 2019 on the Airbus A380. The documentary was directed by John Feist (producer of reality TV series, Survivor) commissioned by PBS. Filming was done onboard the aircraft around four continents. Finally my first ever horror short film Sleight, which I worked on in early 2015 with writer-director Faisal Hashmi, was quite memorable. I fractured my knee a day before shoot which took me nearly two years to recover from.
DS: Do the sacrifices of the job outweigh the perks?
Sometimes the hours are long and the job can get physically tiring. But I get to do what I love. Work lets me travel around places and meet new people every day. So it’s totally worth it.
DS: What are your future plans?
I’m steadfast towards my goal of working in well-established film industries like Hollywood, Vancouver or Toronto. Meanwhile, I plan to get on board on as many feature and short films as possible as well as exciting travel documentaries.
DS: If not recording the sights and sounds, what are you usually up to?
At the cinemas or at home catching up with the latest TV Shows. I love going on late night drives for some karak chai as well.