Kunal Rajan is a sound designer who has worked with a few Hollywood projects and two south Indian movies like '
Uttama Villain' and 'Vishwaroopam.’ Rajan when he was just starting work on Tamil musical drama 'Uttama Villain,’ had asked Oscar-winning sound mixer, Craig Mann, if he was interested to be part of an India movie. And thus Craig was part of ‘Uttama Villain.’ Kunal has since completed a hundred movies as a Supervising Sound Editor as of 2016.
Kunal Rajan moved to Los Angeles, California to explore a career in Hollywood after having worked on feature films in India. Some of the Indian projects he had handled include 'Thoongavanam,’ 'Enthirian,' and ‘Vishwaroppam.’
He worked with Sound Dogs, one of the world’s largest sound effect companies. Some of the major films, he was associated includes ‘Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer’, ‘Blades of Glory,’ ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles,’ ‘Emerald City,’ ‘The Umbrella,’ ‘Huntsville,‘ and ’For the Love of Mone.’ Also, he received awards for his sound design work in movies like Fear Clinic, Vishwaroopam, and Blue.
Kunal hails from Puducherry and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sound. Even he did know how and when his passion for cinema began. But sound designing has always fascinated him since. Hence he moved to America to achieve his goal in Hollywood and hence, achieved his dream.
In the beginning, he started getting associated with some short films and a few festival movies. As his experience grew with the passage of the time, he grabbed bigger movies.
He also has worked in the sound design department for ‘Jem and the Holograms’ which is a 2015 American musical fantasy drama film co-produced and directed by Jon M. Chu. Earlier too, he was a part of a project which belonged to Jon M. Chu, it was science fiction movie titled ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation ‘ released in 2013. Rajan was also involved with Jon M. Chu’s ‘Step Up Series.’
In the year 2003 and 2009, he worked in sound design for F. Gray Gray's two American movies, 'The Italian Job' and 'Law Abiding Citizen.’ In the year 2014, Rajan handled the sound design artworks for Ava DuVernay's American movie 'Selma.’
He has unique regard for Oscar winner Craig Mann’s works. Rajan feels that Craig, himself checks the sound levels of each score and mixes them as per the director’s tastes. As per Rajan’s like on Kamal’s knowledge in the sound department, the sound designer feels Kamal is knowledgeable in every aspect of filmmaking.
Can we all remember the seven-minute battle scene In Vishwaroopam that comes just before the interval? If one would understand then he would be able to grasp that there were many kinds of sounds used in the weapons.
So that it had a more authentic feel, the sound department researched on guns and drones to get an exact sound beat and applied the technique in the movie. That is the reason, the sound effect was unheard before and really authentic too.
For Uttama Villain, a lot of periodical instruments were used that belonged to the eighteenth century. It was not only challenging but also delighting experience to capture those sounds. As a Sound Designer job is to stay behind the scenes, and it is very crucial that this should remain unchanged.