The challenges involved with emoting through voice alone are enticing actors to try out the audio series format : The Tribune India

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The challenges involved with emoting through voice alone are enticing actors to try out the audio series format

The challenges involved with emoting through voice alone are enticing actors to try out the audio series format


Sheetal

The audio scene is booming! Audible, an audio streaming app, released its fourth season of Marvel’s Wastelanders. This Audible Original podcast is one ambitious collaboration between Marvel Entertainment and Audible and is released in French, German, Hindi, Italian and Japanese.

Shooting for the climax was fascinating. When I first read the script, I never anticipated how the climax would completely flip the story on its head. Recording it, especially in the audio format, where you have to convey expressions, feelings, and emotions solely through your voice, was an intriguing experience. — Aadil Khan


To identify a character just by the voice is intriguing. To be part of this audio world, where people listen to a story based on sound design and voices, where you imagination becomes the deciding factor, is pretty interesting. And to be able to deliver through voice and keep the listeners hooked is where the challenge lies. — chandan roy sanyal

The Hindi version of Marvel’s Wastelanders: Wolverine features Sharad Kelkar as the voice of Wolverine, Mithila Palkar as Sofia and Neelam Kothari as Jean Grey. The English language version of Wastelanders: Wolverine is written and directed by Jenny Turner Hall. The Hindi adaptation is done by actor-director and presenter Mantra Mugdh.

My vision was to align with the grand vision shared by Marvel and Audible. It was essential to execute the adaptation faithfully. Directing the actors was a joy, as it gave me an opportunity to collaborate with some of the finest talents across theater, TV, OTT and film. — Mantra Mudgh

Wolverine is not the only superhero who has caught the Indian’s audiences’ attention. This extensive audio series also features other popular superhero characters such as Captain America, Crossbones, Professor X/Charles Xavier, Red Skull, Cyclops and more.

We talk to voice-actors Sharad Kelkar (Wolverine), Aadil Khan (Captain America), Chandan Roy Sanyal (Crossbones) and director Mantra to know the challenges and rewards that come with working on this medium.

For Sharad, voicing for the titular character of Wolverine and bringing it to life in Hindi language was a unique experience. He says, “Wolverine is my favourite superhero. Channeling his emotions from guilt to failure to resilience and courage through the voice alone was demanding yet satisfying for me as an artiste. I hope listeners feel the intensity and depth of Wolverine’s story and can take away something meaningful from his journey.”

Director’s hat

Director Mantra has been associated with Audible since its inception and believes that the coming decade will witness a surge in fiction podcasts, audio dramas, and audio films.

Talking about his experience of directing Wastelanders, Mantra says, “Adapting such a renowned series came with a responsibility, considering the massive fan base Marvel enjoys in India. It was crucial to give a local flavour to the content while preserving its original essence. Our primary aim was to maintain authenticity and remain faithful to the original source material.”

Mantra’s favourite podcast is Kaali Awaazein featuring Amitabh Bachchan as the narrator. For him working with first-time audio performers, guiding and leading them towards the goal was fulfilling. “Saif Ali Khan brought immense enthusiasm, making it a pleasure to collaborate. Witnessing these actors transform through the power of voice was truly amazing,” Mantra says.

Eyes vs ears

Aadil, who is the voice of Captain America, couldn’t believe when he was offered to the part in the audio series. He calls it a truly surreal feeling. “Exploring the world of Hindi-dubbed superheroes was truly captivating. Working alongside a team of immensely talented individuals, including voice-over artistes and actors, made the process all the more thrilling.”

According to him, audio stories have always been an integral part of our lives and considering our hectic lifestyle, audio series give us an opportunity to consume engaging content. Having worked as a radio jockey, Khan understands the impact that audio can have. “Many believe that what you hear can often create a stronger connection than what you see.”

Flight of imagination

This is first-time for actor Chandan Roy Sanyal to be associated with Marvel Entertainment. He says, “To identify a character just by the voice is intriguing. To be part of this audio world, where people listen to a story based on sound design and voices, where you imagination becomes the deciding factor, is pretty interesting. And to be able to deliver through voice and keep the listeners hooked is where the challenge lies. I just hope that we ignited people’s curiosity and brought more listeners into the audio world.”

Sanyal recalls the old times when he used to listen to radio while growing up and believes that such audio podcasts are only helping in bringing back that golden era. “When we used to play cassettes in the 90s, it sharpened our imagination. While giving voice to my character, I could visualise the scenes.”


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