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The voice behind John, Muzammil, Dino and Upen

Courtesy: IndiaFM
Thursday, September 06, 2007

He might not be the man in limelight but he is has made one of the most crucial contribution to Pooja Bhatt's film Dhoka. Viraj Adav is the man who has given his voice to actor Muzammil Ibrahim in the film. A part of this industry since 13 years, Viraj is one of those four hundred dubbing artists whose performance takes a back seat as the media is busy crediting the actors for their onscreen performances.

Pooja Bhatt is extremely happy with Viraj's work, so much that she has gone on record to saying, "It's imperative to grant credit to the dubbing artist, Viraj for Muzammil's performance. 50% of the job is done by the expressions in his voice."

Viraj who is obviously flattered by the compliment coming from the director says, "I am very thankful to Pooja Bhatt for a simple reason that at least there is somebody in the industry who is giving credit to a dubbing artist. It's a big thing for me. No one really pays attention or bothers about giving credit to the dubbing artist whether a male or female."

Viraj a through professional at his work says that it's not just the voice but other factors like lip synchronization, pitching your lines, conveying what you are speaking are areas an actor has to master in dubbing. Any one of these factors missing could be the reason for the dubbing artist to take the seat of the actor while dubbing. How one's voice sounds behind the mike is a different ball game compared to his performance in front of the camera.

Viraj has dubbed for Muzammil in Dhoka. But is Muzammil not the only one for whom Viraj has dubbed. Viraj has also given voice for actors like John Abraham, Dino Morea Upen Patel, Ashmit Patel and Zulfi Sayyed in the past. But out of all these names, only two actors bothered to compliment Viraj for his contribution to their performances. Says Viraj, "As far as the actors are concerned I got feed back from John and Dino. That's very sweet of them. I had no interaction with Ashmit, Zulfi and Upen Patel regarding this. Besides at the end of the day, what matters to me is the final verdict of my producers and directors, who I feel are very happy and satisfied with my work."

An ambitious Viraj also boasts about his skills which are not only restricted to films but also spread out to commercials and animation as well. Vijay says "Apart from films, I have dubbed for lot of commercials like Mountain Dew, Pepsodent, Head and Shoulders, Speed -the petrol, Colgate, Mistair fabrics, Reid and Taylor, SRK and John's new Pepsi commercial. Also, few animation channels like I have given voice to Mickey in Disney channel."

Talking about the animation industry, Viraj says, "Animation is something which is booming big time. Even feature films made earlier like Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai would be converted into an animated version, ofcourse Shahrukh and Kajol would be recording their own voices. However, films like Hanuman and Krishna have the voices of the dubbing artists. Animation is booming big time." This definitely will bring a wave of opportunities for dubbing artists. "Definitely there's a good scope" says Viraj.

For those who aspire to enter this field, Viraj says, "There are lots of courses these days. Earlier these courses were the part of acting course in FTI. When I started with my career, these courses didn't exist. These days lots of workshops are conducted. There are few people who have come up with voice culture classes. As far as im concerned I have not done any course of such kind."

But a word of caution, despite the endeavour one puts in; credit is something which never comes in the picture. In Viraj's words "One thing that I hope is that the way Pooja Bhatt has been giving credit to people like me, other people from film faternity pay heed to this talent as well. Other than me there are around 400 other dubbing artists. Nobody knows about them. People watch cartoon shows but don't know about voices behind their favourite characters."

One question that haunts his mind all the time is "If spot boys are given credit why not a dubbing artists."

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