The Master’s voice- When the baritome boomed in a Russell Street Studio

The Master’s voice- When the baritome boomed in a Russell Street Studio

By: || Updated: 13 Nov 2014 02:39 AM

 @SrBachchan After shoot a dub for ICICI .. where? a studio just where I lived in 1962 ... Russell Street, in one room with 8 occupants ! Life


@SrBachchan But ..looked hard for Clacton Aprts, our room.. lost in infrastructure.. TRINKA’s though was brightly visible.. our Sunday haunt


Amitabh Bachchan spent 90 minutes of his Tuesday evening in Music Room Studio on Russell Street. The man behind the studio, Jay Choudhury, 34, is a playback singer trained under Sonu Nigam. He tells t2 about his fanboy brush with Bachchan.


On the morning of November 8, I got a call from a production house. They wanted to visit my studio (Music Room) in Queens Mansion and do a recce. They came, saw the place and the hardware, clicked some pictures and left. They checked out some other studios too. All the pictures were sent to Mumbai and I later heard that Mr Bachchan himself took the final call and chose my studio! It was for an ICICI Bank ad and as Mr Bachchan is shooting in Calcutta for Shoojit Sircar’s Piku, he would not be able to go to Mumbai for the recording.


On Tuesday, after his shooting wrapped up, he first went back to his hotel (Oberoi Grand) and then reached Music Room sharp at 6pm.


I was on the third floor of Queens Mansion and there must have been around 20,000 fans outside (the entrance to the building is opposite Gangaur on Russell Street) when I heard a roar as though I was watching a cricket match in Eden Gardens! I was numb, my heart fluttered like a feather and I didn’t know what to say, how to react, what expression to have when I met Mr Bachchan.


We waited for the lift to come down — being an old building it still has an old-fashioned lift — and Mr Bachchan looked around and he had this extremely nostalgic look on his face.


It was only later when he tweeted that I came to know that he had stayed on Russell Street and spent some time at Trinca’s across the road!


I couldn’t imagine that someone of his stature was in my studio, the actor who I grew up seeing in my favourite films Agneepath and Khuda Gawah. But being a professional, I behaved like one. We went inside the control room where he saw the frames and read and rehearsed the voiceover he had to give. Inside the dubbing room, I had to adjust the mic because it was like Mount Everest was suddenly in front of me!


My mind was not working but still somehow I managed to ask him, “Would you like to sit or stand?” He chose to stand and do the dubbing. So I adjusted the mic to his 6’2” frame and then he told me to wait till he had tested it. He was just 1.5ft away from me in the dubbing room!


Then he did the entire take in different varieties of voice. Yes, THAT VOICE! It had three segments — 20, 35 and 80 seconds. He was so focused and the most surprising thing is that in those 90 minutes that he was in the studio, he didn’t sit even once or take a sip of water. He came across as very professional, with no time to waste. He came, saw, read his dialogues, rehearsed them and did the take. We, the new generation, should learn from him how to work and if there’s one lesson I took back, it is this.


He also told me, “Fantastic studio”!


I opened Music Room Studio in 2007, then shut it for three years, upgraded it and reopened it in 2013. It is spread across 7,000sq ft and equipped with a dubbing room, foley sound room, editing, VFX, colour correction (DI) room and a screen measuring 18ft X 9ft.


Music is my passion and I wanted to open a studio that’s ahead of its time. A big problem producers and music directors were facing was that there was no studio up to the mark in Calcutta where everything from shot to music mastering could be done under one roof.


Now the plane is taking off and I consider it a gift from Amitabh Bachchan. After his visit, I would sum up my feelings with Mr. Bachchan’s dialogue from Deewar: “Aaj khush toh bahut hogey tum”!


--The Telegraph, Calcutta

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