Transcription: 0377 - Udit Duseja

Released: March 20, 2022

Darwin: Today, I have an opportunity to speak to somebody whose work I find quite incredible. His name's Udit Duseja, and he is a sound designer, sound engineer, music producer, all kinds of stuff. But most of what I've heard, and what I was introduced to, was his work as a sound designer for film. And so I am very excited to learn more about his work, and about his body of work, and so with no more formalities, let's speak to Udit. Hey man, how's it going?

Udit: Hey, Darwin. Good, how are you?

Darwin: I'm great. Thanks a lot for joining the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Udit: No, thank you. It's an honor to be speaking to you.

Darwin: Oh, likewise. I have done a little bit of research in preparing for this interview, and it's the kind of research I enjoy, because first of all, it's watching films, which is great, but it's watching some very interesting films, and films that have very, very intriguing sound work on them. And so I would like to have you... I gave a extraordinarily brief and strangled introduction, why don't you tell me a little bit about how you define yourself, and a little bit about your body of work?

Udit: I work as a sound designer/sound mixer, ambient music producer, but mainly, my primary job is to work as a sound designer for films, and I think that encompasses all of my work, the phrase "sound design". I live and work in London right now, but I'm originally from India. I was born and brought up in India, and then moved to the UK over the years. And now I'm based here in London. My role on a project is mainly of a collaborator on films. I see myself realizing director's vision through sound, and that is the foundation of my work.

Darwin: I've spoken to a number of people doing sound work for film recently, and I find it very interesting the divisions between sound designer, sound mixer, sound effects designer, post-production mixing, and then composers and music creators. I mean in some cases, these get meshed together, in other cases they're very separate jobs. Where do you find yourself lying in that? And for you, when you say you primarily think of yourself as a sound designer, what does that represent?

Udit: It represents, in the broad sense, what sound is to any project, especially if you talk about films, let's restrict it to films. As a sound designer, I would also call myself as a sound supervisor, where I'm closely working with the director, where I am the point-source contact for the director to discuss all the ideas. And then I have a team working under me, or if there's a smaller project, I basically just do it by myself. So I have to wear different hats through the process. I started off being a sound editor, because I guess that's how you grow in the process, but over these years, I see myself more collaborating with the directors directly, rather than dealing with the sound supervisors.

So it's all these little departments we have, because we sometimes hire editors just to do special sound design stuff, or just hire editors to just do cars, and just dedicated editors to just do ambiences in the backgrounds. So I see myself... I've done all these routes, and now I think I'm at that stage where I'd like to work more with directors directly, as a sound designer, like a production designer, for instance. And they have the art department under them.

So I see myself as the sound designer, where you have the sound department under me. Or which could be a bunch of sound designers working with me, and a bunch of sound editors or dialogue editors, and mixers. But I'm the point-source contact, and I take the final decisions at the end, where everyone feeds me all their tracks, and with the re-recording mixer. And also, same thing goes for mixing as well. The lines are so blurred now because we almost pre-mix the stuff, make it sound as if it's already mixed before going to the stage, and so I mean, I've also mixed my own films, so I have jumped between all these roles quite a lot now.

Darwin: Right. Now I imagine some of that has to do with both the type of the project and the size of the project. Now I noticed that one of the things is, you're involved in a lot of things that are either documentaries or documentary-like - does that pose any particular... I mean, is there a particular approach that you have to take on that versus something that's more like a feature-type film or a narrative film, a fictional film? Do you find that documentaries have a different run or even a different workflow?

Udit: Obviously workflow-wise, the documentaries are slightly different to a full-feature, definitely. But when it comes to storytelling with sound, I really don't look at it as a documentary. You're telling a story again, and the idea is to enhance the reality, and enhance the camera sound they've recorded, and build an environment around it, not obviously faking it too much. I mean, it just depends really on film-to-film, but on fiction, the approach is obviously completely different, I would say. I mean, in terms of workflows. But essentially, you're trying to tell a story, but every sound you add in fiction films, does have to make sense.

And same goes with the documentaries as well, the stuff I've done, but documentary can be a bit more lenient in some ways. You don't have to perfect each sound for the close-up shot, or for the wide shot. I mean, there's a project I did, that's called Naomi Osaka, a documentary which is on Netflix now. Obviously the way the film was shot was very cinematic. It was a documentary. It was a documentary on a life, and we had these little moments in the film which was really beautifully crafted by the director, like close shots of her face, just looking at Naomi, and we had all sorts of sounds playing in the background. You don't see much of it, but you hear it a lot.

But when it came to the tennis sounds, we could almost take the documentary approach, and not be more fiction. For instance, we didn't have the subwoofers going through when she was hitting it, whereas if it was a fictional film about her, we could have pushed that a bit more. So it just basically depends, but every sound on any project has to make sense. Every sound is being thought about, and depends on how much you want to clean it, how much you don't want to clean it, especially dialogues. But it's all recreated in the end. It's all recreated, it's all reedited, it's all mixed together to give you that cinematic experience, or reality experience, or immersive experience, or all sorts of experiences.

Darwin: Well, I think that it's really interesting that one of the words you keep on coming back to is storytelling, and the way that what your work is, represents a form of storytelling, and I guess really has to mesh with the storytelling that the director is trying to do with the film as a whole too, right?

Udit: No, absolutely. It's just about realizing what they're trying to do in audio, through audio, interpret that every scene, every moment. What is it the characters are feeling? Do you want to add the sound what the character is feeling, or do you want to just define the geography of the place, or you want to contextualize the spaciality of the place? Or do you want to take more inner-approach, which is the story happens more internalized, and then use the sounds which are more internalized by the characters, and then represent that. So, it's a mix and match between... It depends on each film, each script, each form, I guess.

Darwin: Sure. That makes sense. Now, one of the things I like doing in my podcasts is, learning a little bit more about the backgrounds of the people that I'm talking to. And in your case, I'm curious. You've already told a little bit of a story, which you were born in India, you are now currently working in London. But when I look get the list of the films that you've been involved in, you're a multi-continental sound developer and a film worker. I'm curious though about your background, and how you got into sound, how you got into working with the technology of sound, because sound for film now, is a very technological exercise. But I'm curious about what are the beginnings? Who are the people that influenced you, and what were some of the breaks that got you into working on sound for film?

Udit: Well, I'll keep it... I'll summarize it. I think it's been a long journey so far. I mean, I'm not that old. But I was born in India. I was born in a city called Gwalior, which is part of Central India, and it's famous for its North Indian music traditions. And it's got a very rich cultural history, and there are forts, and the place has a lot of history and culture and music. So when I was a child, I started learning and practicing this North Indian classical music. My parents enrolled me in this post-school course, and that laid the foundation for my understanding of sound. And then many years after, I moved to Mumbai, which is the hub for Indian film industry, and where artists and people working with audio and music... I think it's the center of Indian film industry, and for the arts as well.

I moved there and I finished my graduation there, which was not in audio, but I started going to these studios as an intern, just sitting behind where they would do cut sound effects for big Bollywood films. So I started with studios, just observing, sitting behind, because I had this interest in audio and I was influenced where I met... In Bombay, I met a lot of filmmakers. I met a lot of artists. Somehow I got into this field, because there was a lot of interest and I got this opportunity to go to a studio with someone who was a filmmaker. And that's how I got into it, and then I started cutting effects, because I was just sitting behind and the editor would just go, "Do you want to have a go at these little things, and put some markers down on Pro Tools," or something like that. I started having a go at the computer, and started reading the manual Pro Tools, how it is. And this was year, what, 2006?

And then I thought I should take this field... I got my first credit on a film as an associate editor, right at the end, and that gave me that confidence of some sort. "Actually, I can do it." I got paid peanuts - or nothing in fact for that project - but this is how you begin. If you actually don't have any formal education, and you don't have any experience, you have to just sit behind and observe people. So I thought I should do this formally, and then I applied for a master's course at Edinburgh University, which is the MSC sound design course. Being in a university setting, and being in a different country, and exploring, that opened my mind up, that broadened my horizons. I finished that course, which was really fantastic, which was not a typical film sound course as well. It had different modules like Max/MSP. There was a whole section about Max/MSP. There was film audio. There was interactive. We made games in Flash and it was very interdisciplinary with other departments as well.

And then there was a lot of influence by the electroacoustic music side of things over there. There was live diffusion performances, which I got really interested in. And just how to use sound creatively in any medium, that's what it taught me, and not to be afraid to experiment. I obviously made terrible mistakes while at the university, recorded really high stuff. Because I had never basically just seen things getting recorded, and I recorded it really loud, or bad, or distorted, and people would just... I read my way through, and I got a lot of feedback from my supervisors and my professors, so that was very good. And then after the course got finished... I mean, I had two options, either go back to India, start working in Bombay again, or continue for a few years in London, or anywhere in the UK, because I had the visa. So I basically moved to London. I thought, "There's no point going back right now, because I'm here. Might as well just push it a bit."

So I moved to London and I struggled a bit in the beginning, did the odd jobs and everything. But then somehow I met the studio in London called Sound Disposition, where I started working with them on a freelance basis. And this is where I did most of my British independent projects as a sound effects editor, because of my little bit of experience in Bombay and Edinburgh Uni. I had done a short film as well after the university in Edinburgh, which helped me to get some confidence on how to edit and how to deal with directors, and just the whole side of things.

Darwin: Sure.

Udit: So I moved to London, and then started working on these British independent projects. And then one thing led to another, I had to come back to India for a project, and then the big Bollywood stuff happened, and I started making these trips back to London with this association with the studio. And I also made my own clients in that while, and this is where I am right now. And now working with filmmakers from the US, which is really exciting. That's been the journey. I mean-

Darwin: Wow. That's a hell of a journey, but it's also one that... I always love stories where people don't necessarily set their sights up front. They allow the wave of time and circumstances to take them somewhere. My question is... First of all, you said that when you first went to school, I guess you went to school in Mumbai, is that where you-

Udit: Yeah, my college.

Darwin: Yeah, your college years. What did you study then?

Udit: I studied commerce. I studied business management, which is sort of a thing...

Darwin: Probably helpful, actually.

Udit: Well I mean, in some ways it is. My family is into business as well, so it helps a little bit, but it's one of those courses in India, which you do when you don't know what you're doing.

Darwin: Right. Right.

Udit: It was one of those things. I mean, before that, before the college started, I was studying physics, chemistry and maths, and the interest... I didn't get through big engineering colleges, so I thought, "Okay, take a step back. Might as well do some commerce stuff," because that was the thing everyone was doing back then. But one thing... I actually wanted to tell you this. How I got really interested into sound, was also at my folk's place where I grew up. At my parents' house, where there was... My father used to listen to the radio a lot, so it wasn't really FM or short wave. I mean, it was just news or old Hindi songs playing, and garbled voices coming through the radio.

There were maybe two radios in a couple of rooms, and they were sometimes left on at a very low volume. And I have been brought up listening to that sound of the radio all through my life, and I still am very close to that sound. And I think behind that plastic box, whatever was happening, was very intriguing, and I associate that sound with comfort. And I think that has enabled me to use this language through my work. Radio is one of the key influences, and listening to these voices and listening to stories through my dad, which is just a history about an old Hindi song, or a history about some piece of music, or some interview, and this and that, was very crucial in my working where I am right now. So I think that was subconsciously working all the time.

Darwin: That's really interesting. I have a similar thing in my life. My mother always around the house had radios going, oftentimes with religious preachers droning on and on. But oftentimes they were three rooms away, so it was just a little thread of sound. But the thing that I found unique about the radio, is that oftentimes it was just a little bit louder than the background noise of the world around me, right? But there was almost a give and take between the noise of the world and the noise of this radio, and it made for a real complex soundtrack to life, right?

Udit: Absolutely.

Darwin: And I feel like when I watch the movies that I saw that you were involved in, a lot of times the sound work has that feel to it. There is a wafting between music and environmental sound, sound effects, sometimes sound effects used as a device for moving the story along, but it seems like you bring some of that to your work.

Udit: It's very well observed by you. I have this... Almost using the radio as an instrument, is what I try to... When I'm given a scene to work on, I sometimes just go completely abstract and put some noise crackle over it. That's the basic foundation I think, is starting point is a crackle sound from my library, which I recorded from a radio I had. I found an old radio, which I recorded. And I'm just going to put that up and see how it's reacting, and if it's making me feel anything, and how I am reacting to that image.

And then I start building up the environment, maybe add some nature sounds, maybe add some voices, which don't make any sense, which has nothing to do with the picture, but I make it sound like a radio, and then the ideas will come. And maybe I'll take it off at the end, but it's almost like I want to be in that environment and create my own story first, and then I'll react to the image and let the story inform what I'm supposed to do. But I would set some foundations. I mean, I've tried it on a few projects. I want to evolve that style a bit more, but it has done some tricks in my mind especially. I've got some interesting results.

Darwin: That's really cool. Now I'm curious... just because I'm curious about this... is what is the tooling that you use? I'm sure to actually spot the stuff and to put together final mixes, you're using Pro Tools, but there's a significant creative piece that you have to do, and in my experience, Pro Tools isn't necessarily the most creative tool to use for that, although some people do. What do you use to do your sound development, and do you dabble in synthesis, or is it mostly in working with sound libraries and tearing those apart?

Udit: It's a combination of both. I mean, there's some sort of synthesis I do. I own a couple of pieces of modular synths, which I have recorded in the past. But then what I do, I do an improvisation on it, and then take it into Ableton or something and then there's a combination of Ableton and Pro Tools, and that basically. So get these sounds, manipulate them, bring it back into Pro Tools, put it with the picture. Because I'm usually working with the picture, and I think Pro Tools is really great with picture.

Darwin: That is true. It really locks the picture well, that's for sure.

Udit: So I'm very comfortable on Pro Tools and on Ableton, so I switch between these two, but it's synthesis, and making a sample out of it, then possibly performing it live, and then storing it into the library, then taking it back from the library into Pro Tools, and then cutting it. Not cutting it - I don't really like that word. It's more shaping it.

Darwin: Right. Right.

Udit: And it's then you have the various plugins there, tool manipulation as well. I use the fuzz box a lot, the McDSP, all sorts of stuff. I've just recently started using Indoor for a radio play I did, which was really interesting as well for spatialization. So it's nothing too complicated. You hear something, you record it, you take it in, and then you add this depth on Pro Tools.

Darwin: Well, that I imagine is the point where you also are integrating what you've gotten as sound effects, what you've gotten as foley, and all that stuff, and weaving it into the big picture as well.

Udit: Absolutely. The real sounds are doing that thing on Pro Tools anyway, and then you have this layer of ambient "music", if you may call it that. And electroacoustic, music concrete, all that kind of things piled up together, muddled up, and then you throw it all in, and then start reducing stuff.

Darwin: I think it's fascinating to me, to hear you talk about it, almost in the same strained way as I do, because it's actually hard to say. In fact, when I look at... I love watching credits. I'm one of the three people on earth that watch the credits of every movie, I think.

Udit: Nice.

Darwin: But one of the things I notice is, on the work that you did, oftentimes there's somebody else credited with music, as well as you doing the work, and it's hard to actually know where those things are even separated. Because in something like - when I watched America, right, as an example, there's something there where it's really hard... The thing that I would think of as the music, and the thing that I would think of as sound design, are so intertwined, it's hard for me to even understand where one stopped and the other took over.

Udit: No, you're absolutely right. I mean, it was Trevor Matheson who did the score for America. I mean, he's a legend. He was part of this Black Audio Film Collective in the past with John Akomfrah, and he basically had already composed the music for America when it came to me, if you want to talk about America. So I basically reassembled his tracks almost, because when the director approached me, Garrett, she just wanted a sound mix. And then I saw a lot of scope in that film for sound design, and I just instinctively started playing with his stems, which I had at a few places, and then wherever the gaps were... So there was no score after the picture. I was literally editing the score to the picture.

Darwin: Oh, I see. Okay.

Udit: So taking the stems and moving it around, with the director obviously, and then started filling the gaps as well, with my music, which I had recorded, and then mixing it with sound design. So, I mean, it was a funny one, because I guess the credit, obviously this music, you see Trevor's score, but I've been credited as "ambient music".

Darwin: I noticed that too. Right. Right. Ambience.

Udit: Because they asked me, "What do you want to be credited as?" I mean, I'm not a traditional composer, which is what I feel that sometimes the composition side of things is more alluded to a traditional composer who writes music. I don't work with 100-piece orchestras or anything, which I would love to at some point, but I would ask them to do some weird sounds. So that's why it's a really funny... I think that's why maybe sound design encapsulates all of these little things that we do, manipulation of sound we do. That's the broad term I feel. But then there was a few music pieces which we were going through, which were very abstract as well. I mean, I recorded this piano long time ago, which I threw it in, and changed the pitch and it worked with the image. It also was in the same key. I tried to match the key, just a shape of it. And then obviously all the sounds you hear were me.

Darwin: Now, one of the things I'm fascinated by here, is you talking about the recordings that you have, or sometimes you refer to it as your sound library. Way back, one of the earliest podcasts I did was with Katie Wood, a New Zealander who has been involved in a lot of sound for film. And she talked about how when she's in between projects, she spends just a lot of time going places, getting sounds for her... Different locals. Every city has a different sound. Every environment has a different sound. And so she collects those as part of her personal library. What is your library? When did you start creating your library, and what are the things that you collect?

Udit: All sorts of stuff. I mean, I started collecting my library... I was lucky enough to get some sounds from someone when I started, so that was the beginning. And then started buying libraries on the way, but also making my own libraries was from university's time, when I was just given a recorder and a microphone, I started recording on binaural. That was because it was easy to carry a bit, and then you could take it out from the university. And so, I guess that's where it all began, and whenever there's an interesting opportunity, I always carry my Sony PCM-D50 with me. It's always with me wherever I'm traveling.

So it could be a weird fan noise somewhere in a hotel room if I'm staying. It could be the nature if you're visiting a different country. And India, especially, it's this place full of sound. There's so much diversity in the environment in India, if you visit. There's all sorts of birds, there's all sorts of traffic noise, mixed with chants coming from a temple or a mosque. And they're all intertwined. And you hear political rallies passing by, which are also speaking on a megaphone. So the place itself is so overwhelming as a westerner, if you visit India. You will hear it's very strong. And I grew up in this environment, in Bombay, in my hometown, everywhere. And I record all that sort of stuff, whenever I get a chance. I mean these days, if we talk about Bombay right now, the sound of marble cutting is very... Because it's developing quite rapidly. There are skyscrapers coming every other day, so there's a lot of marble cutting sound in the city.

Darwin: Interesting.

Udit: So it's this piercing sound, which travels through into your apartment, and you're just like, "Oh, God. Not again." And we used that really... There's a film I worked on, which is on Netflix, called Yah Ballet, which means "this ballet". It's about these two guys who were ballet dancers. It's based on a true story. We used the marble cutting sound contextualizing the city, which is really piercing. I carry my recorder everywhere, and if there's an opportunity, I would just record that. I mean, I also own a couple of pair of good mics and a recorder, so I go out and also do with proper windjammers and everything as well. But D50 is pretty good for getting little stuff, which you can hide behind any mix.

Darwin: Now, when you're working on a project, do you also generally put together a library of sounds that are specific to a project?

Udit: Yes. We create a folder for sure. I try to get the original recordings from the location, or go out and record myself if there's not anythings available, which needs some attention. And so I try to record that, definitely. I wouldn't really necessarily go out and record all the sounds, because I haven't really worked on those budgets yet, where you get this opportunity to go out and do a very site-specific recording. But I would love to do that, be somewhere else. I watched this interview for the film Dune, where actually they went out in the desert and recorded all of that stuff, which is what I would love to do, if you give me this opportunity to ...

Darwin: "Please send the check."

Udit: If you give me this opportunity to go out in the desert and stay there for a month and interact with the crew, but I definitely... You tell this production mixer, or if I'm... I've recorded a feature, the same film Yeh Ballet, which is on Netflix, I made sure I did every location. We shot entirely in the city, so we made sure we recorded every weird interesting sounds, with one which I don't have in my library, and then go back to the space as well, and then record it again. But America, obviously I didn't record much, except my music pieces, which I had recorded earlier and stuff. I mean it's just... Every project definitely have a folder of sounds.

Darwin: So almost the polar opposite in terms of development-wise, the movie All Light Everywhere, which actually you got quite a bit of acclaim for, very interesting film, but also one that struck me as probably challenging to do the sound work on - if for no other reason, than I would say that the director made some interesting choices about cinematography. One of the things I would say, is oftentimes when it would be talking with a person, the camera would sit on them a little bit longer than was comfortable, right? And so, there was a sense of tension that just came with the cinematography and the photography, the image capture, right? But I also noticed that you bolstered that, both by changes in the ambient sound... So I assume that you got some sort of a feed of all the ambient sound in all the different places this was shot, right?

Udit: Not all of it, except-

Darwin: Not all of it? Okay.

Udit: So just a little bit off the factory... You see the Axon Factory stuff? They had recorded some stuff separately, but rest, every thing was, again, recreated.

Darwin: Recreated. Oh, my goodness. Because it's really studying it, especially where sometimes, even when they were having this meeting with all of the officers and stuff, and just the way that the background sound ebbed and flowed, really changed the tension of something that, taken a different way, might not even have seemed to have a lot of tension to it. But I thought that the sound was particularly useful in really fully developing the scenes in that movie.

Udit: No, I wanted to create depth. When I received the cut, the dialogues were a bit noisy, and all the sound effects... We started putting some room tones and stuff, but it was just adding to the noise really. So we stripped down all the dialogue, cleaned it, dialogue isolate... this really good tool now... cleaned it all, and then started filling in and creating these room tones. And I wanted to create this tension, because the brief I had from the filmmakers, for the directors and the producers, was to, "We want a sci-fi documentary vibe," which was-

Darwin: Right. It did have that futurescape feel to it, that's for sure.

Udit: But not too much on the nose. And I wanted to represent the sounds of the technology, almost which allows you to see the world in its invisibility. So the spaces were full of big room tones, which were from the libraries, and then little sounds like the water cooler sound in this police... It would just come at the right spot at the right point, between the dialogues. You carefully place every sounds as well. And then it would cut through to go to the factory, and it had that tension as well. It was all very recreated.

Darwin: Interesting. That's fascinating. I assumed that most of that was captured in-place. That's amazing that, that was all recreated. But that makes me actually want to go to the next extension, because in addition to doing sound for film and stuff, you've also been involved in doing installations and other art pieces, and very unlike working with film, you don't necessarily completely control the viewer's experience. You don't necessarily know when they're walking in, or when they're going to walk out, and you don't necessarily know the angle and the setting of what they're going to experience. How does that change the way that you work on the sound?

Udit: So you mean specifically how it's installed, and do I have to keep that in mind throughout?

Darwin: In the sound designer/compositional framework that you take these things, how do you change your approach, when it's something that's not necessarily as linear as something that's going to be provided as a fixed-media film piece?

Udit: I mean, we fuse it. We don't really think about, at the time when we composing, how it's going to get experienced. You just react to... Because most of my collaborations have been with the artist/filmmakers. So they already have a little bit of an idea of how they want to use the sound, and then when it comes to me, I just go with the instinct and with what they have in mind. I just basically do my bit on it really, to be honest. It's not really thought about how it's going to get experienced, but there is a lot more freedom for sure, in these environments, when you work on these installation films, which is, there is no limit. You can can explore. You have all the sound coming from one side and it's moves to the other side, which is not necessarily disturbing the film as well.

So you can have odd sounds, you can have a lot of offscreen material, you can have... Or I did a film about an underwater... The canals of London, where it's a collaboration with an anthropologist and a filmmaker. And they had a lot of underwater recordings of the canals of London. So they had a little bit of an idea of what they wanted to do, but they wanted to use a voice of the underwater as well. So we had recorded a person for that. And then I took those recordings and embedded in the water, as if they were... It's as if it was the sound of the underwater.

So there's a lot more scope for experimentation and expression, and using sound as a material. You could really develop that in these projects, which I really love. And it gives you that freedom to try a few things, place this voice in the 5.1 environment, or 7.1. You can try a lot more things. A lot of prelap happens. So there's no film editing rules. It's more the fluid... The whole soundscape is a bit more fluid, which I really... I mean, I thrive in that environment. Even if it's a little scene on a not so traditional filmmaking, there's a little sound designing moment, I really enjoy doing those parts, and it comes very instinctively. So it's very freeing.

Darwin: Sure. Now our time is already up. I can't believe it, but before we go, I am curious about one more thing, which is the kind of films that you do. You've done a number of shorts. You've done a lot of documentaries. And you've already talked about how not all of these have huge budgets. Do you do a lot of work where your interactions with people are completely remote? Are you doing Zoom calls to spot films and stuff like that?

Udit: Yep. Well, this is also pre-pandemic. So America was done all remotely, so this is in 2019.

Darwin: Right.

Udit: I hadn't even met the director, but there was a synergy which was developed by just calls and by seeing my work, and me doing some passes and giving them for reviews. So there has been, obviously post-pandemic... Again, All Light Everywhere was done all remotely. I met the director at a screening in London, which is lucky. Obviously they approached me with a certain soundscape idea they had for the film, and they thought I was the right fit, which was really amazing. And I'm really happy that my work has traveled all this way, and people are not afraid to work remotely with me. It's reassuring that, "Okay, something is happening right."

But no, it's not ideal. It's not. Absolutely. I would love to be in the same room with the director. I just finished another documentary film on Andrea Watkins, who's an American feminist author. I did the premix-ish, the whole design, the whole sound edit, and the final mix was done at the Skywalker Sound with Laura Hershberg. I couldn't go to the US. Some issues traveling between... COVID times and everything. It's a shame not to be there. Your film's getting mixed at Skywalker. You want to be with the director and the mixer in the same room, you want to have the directors in the same room while you're mixing it. For All Light Everywhere, which was done just literally by me by myself, mixing it in a studio in Mumbai. It's not ideal, but I don't mind it if it's a smaller production. It doesn't really matter. But when there are more people involved, it's a bigger production, there's many more approvals to be taken-

Darwin: I see. Of course.

Udit: ... and execs, and channel, and Netflix. And then it gets complicated, because there's lots more to do. It's definitely not ideal. I'd rather be in-person and mix it.

Darwin: Of course.

Udit: But no, I'm open for collaborations remotely. I've been doing it since 2019.

Darwin: Well Udit, I want to thank you so much for taking this time. This is fabulous. For people that want to learn more about your work, where's the best place to send them?

Udit: My website. It's That's where I keep updating it with my projects and my work, and what I think about film sound, and that's the best place. Even my art installationey work I do with other artist/filmmakers, or my own stuff, it's all listed there.

Darwin: All right. I'll make sure that we put a link to that in the show notes. With that, I am going to have to say goodbye. Thank you so much for your time. It was really great talking with you.

Udit: It's been a pleasure.

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