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Traithep Wongpaiboon<br />

A<br />

s the clos<strong>in</strong>g<br />

credits rolled,<br />

the realisation<br />

occurred that<br />

this film experience<br />

feels different. Scenes <strong>of</strong><br />

walk<strong>in</strong>g, movement, fall<strong>in</strong>g<br />

leaves or even breath<strong>in</strong>g<br />

became more dist<strong>in</strong>ct and<br />

the precise tim<strong>in</strong>g <strong>of</strong> the<br />

musical score enhanced<br />

my enjoyment. Yes, there’s<br />

narrative, act<strong>in</strong>g and visuals<br />

– but this time, sound<br />

effects really registered,<br />

unlike before when I paid<br />

less attention. Because Fah<br />

Thai had a chance to talk<br />

with a renowned sound<br />

master recently, every<br />

auditory facet <strong>in</strong> the movie<br />

became important.<br />

Top<br />

A recent sound<br />

design work<br />

<strong>in</strong>cluded See You<br />

Tomorrow, a<br />

romantic comedy.<br />

Bottom<br />

‘The Grandmaster’<br />

featured rapid kung<br />

fu movements that<br />

required sound<br />

syncronicity.<br />

Traithep “U” Wongpaiboon,<br />

a sound and music lover, avid<br />

v<strong>in</strong>yl collector and the manag<strong>in</strong>g<br />

director at Kantana Sound<br />

Studio, po<strong>in</strong>ts out that except for<br />

dialogue, the rest <strong>of</strong> the sounds <strong>in</strong><br />

a movie have to be created <strong>in</strong> the<br />

studio. With more than 20 years<br />

<strong>of</strong> sound and music experience<br />

and as a band member <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Kidnappers, a Thai 90’s <strong>in</strong>die<br />

electronic pop band – he is no<br />

rookie <strong>in</strong> the sound <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

His job as a re-record<strong>in</strong>g mixer<br />

deals with post audio production.<br />

Once the movie is shot, sound<br />

effects, foley sounds and music<br />

get <strong>in</strong>tegrated accord<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

a director’s specifications.<br />

Consequently, Traithep is<br />

responsible for the whole soundmix<strong>in</strong>g<br />

process. It’s a technical<br />

process but results <strong>in</strong> a film with<br />

an artistic soundscape and the<br />

viewer absorbs the narrative<br />

without notic<strong>in</strong>g the sounds as a<br />

storytell<strong>in</strong>g companion.<br />

While his client roster<br />

<strong>in</strong>cludes mostly Asian film<br />

studios, his portfolio <strong>in</strong>cludes<br />

Thai and foreign films rang<strong>in</strong>g<br />

from ma<strong>in</strong>stream to <strong>in</strong>dependent<br />

ones. One <strong>of</strong> his masterpieces is<br />

“The Grandmaster,” the action<br />

drama directed by filmmaker<br />

Wong Kar Wai, which won<br />

Traithep a Hong Kong Film Award<br />

for best sound design and a<br />

Golden Reel Award for best sound<br />

edit<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> 2014. It took him six<br />

months to f<strong>in</strong>ish Wong’s project<br />

and while the work was not easy,<br />

it paid <strong>of</strong>f.<br />

His work<strong>in</strong>g relationship with<br />

the Hong Kong director spans 10<br />

years. “Work<strong>in</strong>g with him was<br />

tough and exhaust<strong>in</strong>g because he<br />

is quite a perfectionist. Everyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

has to be perfect. And he loves<br />

experiment<strong>in</strong>g,” Traithep expla<strong>in</strong>s.<br />

“For The Grandmaster, I did several<br />

versions and it was so tir<strong>in</strong>g then,”<br />

Traithep rem<strong>in</strong>isced with a laugh.<br />

Recently, he worked with Wong Kar<br />

Wai aga<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> “See You Tomorrow,”<br />

a romantic comedy film produced<br />

by Wong and released <strong>in</strong> Hong Kong<br />

last December.<br />

Traithep recognised his<br />

audiophile lean<strong>in</strong>gs early <strong>in</strong> life and<br />

chose to study sound eng<strong>in</strong>eer<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

42

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