Sumit Ghosh: Dialogue restricts Cinema when it dictates images and sound

Posted by Kaahon Desk On February 5, 2017

Sumit Ghosh is considered to be among the most seasoned editors of contemporary ties working both in the fiction as well as nonfiction formats. He passed out of FTII, Pune in 1990. Even during his stint as a student he had started assisting in Bombay but decided to shift to Calcutta after passing out. In the following years he had worked on a considerable body of films, working with acclaimed filmmakers like Supriyo Sen (Way Back Home), Sourav Sarangi (Tushu Katha), Joshy Joseph (Walking Dead) and Arvind Sinha (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea). He has also edited acclaimed fiction films such as Gautam Haldar’s Bhalo Theko (2003) and Indranil Roy Chowdhury’s Phoring (2013) among others. Besides editing, Sumit Ghosh has also been the visiting faculty at Roopkala Kendro and conducting workshops at Films Division and FTII.

Fiction and Non Fiction Edit 

When asked about his personal take on the subject, Sumit Ghosh expresses his clear preference for editing in nonfiction format. He finds fiction often quite restrictive primarily because of the dialogue which seems to guide the images. In nonfiction, on the other hand, an editor finds a wider space to work with which can be very liberating. However he also talks about two circumstances where this might change. Firstly if a nonfiction is shot by an experienced and capable cinematographer, it results in very essential and perfect images which becomes an editor’s delight. And secondly, if a fiction scenario is devoid of dialogue, then the editor’s approach doesn’t really vary from a nonfiction format since one can freely work with images.

Sound Editing in Cinema

Besides images, Sumit Ghosh also talks at length about the aspect of sound in editing and cinema in general. He recalls the era of celluloid when track laying used to be among the chief tasks of the editing department and thus there was an obvious collaboration between the editing and the sound departments. He believes that despite everything, that practice involving the editors was effective in terms of the final output. The advent of digital resulted in very compartmentalized jobs and as a result there is often no communication between these two essential departments which ultimately affect the film only. He seems to have similar set of reservations when it comes to the use of music. He has a very definite idea of generating a musical aspect out of the rhythm within the edit pattern itself. But mostly in the mainstream practice, there is a demand to use an already composed or recorded music during the editing process. And going against the grain in such circumstances result in a middle ground which is even worse!

Usage of Music

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