As you all know, we are on a mission to build the talent map of the world. So, steering on in our noble effort please welcome the immensely talented Uplaksh, a voiceover artist for the 17th edition of Friendly Fridays. Uplaksh is a graduate in commerce from the University of Delhi (Ramjas College). In his college days he has been into theatre and has also held the post of The Vice President of his college Dram-soc.
He’s lent his voice to Jamie Fox In ‘Django Unchained’ in Punjabi, Leonardo De Caprio in the Movie ‘Body of Lies’ for HBO, Prince Oberyn in ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 4 for HBO, Detective Papaniya in ‘True Detective’ Season 1 for HBO, Lead Character in ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ English Dub for Star India. Also the voice of Kunal Kapoor (Eng Dub) for ‘Luv Shuv Te Chicken Khurana’ for Zee, Shane in the ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Hindi Dub Pre- Release. Batman & Emmet in the ‘The Lego Movie’ DVD Release, Theatrical release for the film ‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’, lead character ‘Eggsy’ in the theatrical release ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, ‘Shinchan’ (56 episodes), ‘Doraemon’ (32 episodes), ‘Pokemon’ character Brock (Season 1,2,3,4) for Hungama TV and ‘Transformers Armada’ (52 episodes)for Discovery Kids.
Uplaksh is a movie buff! Apart from watching English classics and ‘Quality Off-Beat Hindi Films’, he also enjoys Punjabi films. If he is ever out of work to do, one would always find him glued to his laptop or television set watching The Big Bang Theory or playing video games on his PS3.
Hi Uplaksh, welcome to Friendly Fridays!
Team ED: If you are asked to explain voiceovers how would you do that?
Uplaksh Kochhar: Many people don’t know this but it has 3 to 5 sub-fields like Dubbing, Sync-Dubbing, Promos, Para-Dub, Radio etc. For me, it is all about conveying a feeling or a thought through voices and making it look or sound as real as the visual counterpart.
Team ED: That’s a wonderful take! Tell us how did you enter this field of dubbing? What attracted you to this particular field?
Uplaksh Kochhar: I had started working for AIR’s (All India Radio) serials and series at an early age. My father introduced me to the field. Dubbing came much later. I started out with small roles in animation series with the dubbing team of UTV Delhi. The interesting thing about dubbing is that you get to play a varying number of characters almost everyday, each of them requiring you to perform according to the actor’s traits. It actually helps you to grow as an actor. Then there are times where you see a below par actor and you get the opportunity to enhance his performance, just through your voice.
Team ED: Amazing! How was your experience when you first recorded professionally? What was it for?
Uplaksh Kochhar: As far as I remember I was perhaps 10 when my father first took me to play a child in an AIR serial. It was in a 10 episode series, I was there in the first and last episode. The start was terrific I couldn’t wait to get in the car and leave for home when I heard my name being called out. It was the director and he gave me my first paycheck of Rs.1000 in cash. It was an ecstatic feeling. The next day I went and bought an 8-bit video game console and saved some cash as well.
Team ED: Wow! You were 10, alright so who would you say has been your inspiration to enter this field?
Uplaksh Kochhar: Well there are a few people but my father tops the list undoubtedly. He is the one who pushed me beyond my limits. He taught me that the world is full of mediocrity, to stand out strive for perfection. If you’re reading this dad, I want you to know that I love you and I am really thankful to you for always having my back.
Team ED: Like we all know your father Babbla Kochhar is a very well established voice over artist and we know him from various ad campaigns like ‘jaago grahak jaago’ and many others; has that made life any easier for you on the career front?
Uplaksh Kochhar: To be honest, yes it used to. It did help me to work and grow in a more closed and protective environment. But people used to refer to me as ‘my father’s son’ rather than Uplaksh Kochhar. I never used to fetch work. It used to come to me because of my father’s reputation and standing in the industry. I was treated differently by people whom I was working with, from other fellow artists. There was no professional privacy. It was then, when I decided to move from Delhi to Mumbai. I knew the geographical limitation and the lack of vicinity would work in my favor. Now I keep my father posted about my work and new developments, if any.
Team ED: Being independent is surely the way to go! So tell us do you think the voice range and the ability to modulate one’s voice comes naturally to an artist or is it something that can be worked upon?
Uplaksh Kochhar: I believe if you can speak, you can be a voiceover artist. True, to some it does come naturally. But even if it does, after a point to still be in race, one needs to work upon enhancing the skills day in and day out. People with different vocal ranges can find scope in different fields of voicing.
Team ED: Recently the Dhanush and Amitabh starrer ‘Shamitabh’ portrayed how a voice artist can make as well as break an actor. Do you think a good number of avenues in mainstream bollywood industry are available for voice over artists like you and in general?
Uplaksh Kochhar: Yes of course. The voices of many supporting actors in Bollywood films are not their original voices. Today, if there is a debutant actor in the film or some incidental characters, artists are called for auditions for the same. There are Hollywood Films as well which are dubbed in Hindi and other languages.
Team ED: We have heard you are a movie buff, if you were to personally pick one actor and one actress (Bollywood or Hollywood) whose voices would be wonderful for voice overs, who would those be?
Uplaksh Kochhar: Umm…its kinda difficult. In Bollywood it’s of course Mr. Amitabh Bachhan – the ‘baap of baritone’. For Hollywood I would pick my all time favorite actor Daniel Day Lewis. With every role he has done, his voice was distinct for every character. Right from ‘Gangs of New York’ to ‘Lincoln’, he works tremendously on each and every detail. The actress would be the immensely talented Meryl Streep. The range of characters she has portrayed on screen is commendable to say the least.
Team ED: Great pick! What would you say would be the biggest advantage and the biggest disadvantage of working in this field?
Uplaksh Kochhar: Since I work as a freelancer, I like the fact that I dont have fixed working hours and that I am not confined to a cubicle. The disadvantage is that there is no job security. You’re earning only till the time you have projects in your hands. But this is certainly not a deal breaker. If you constantly prove yourself on a daily basis, you tend to fetch more work. If you create a good market standing, people will give preference to you. They might even refer you to other production houses.
Team ED: If not a voice over artist, what other profession would you choose and why?
Uplaksh Kochhar: A chef perhaps! The truth is I’ve not really thought about this. But yes, if not a VO artist, I would love to be a chef. Cooking is more of an art to me. I am a big time foodie. Experimentation is the key. I do cook well. Indian, Chinese, Continental. But making round rotis is an impossible task for me! (laughs)
Team ED: A chef, that’s interesting! Okay, if someone wants to enter this field, where would you ask them to start from? Basically where can they get a required platform?
Uplaksh Kochhar: There is no set pattern of how you get into voicing like other professions. I recently discovered that some institutions are providing diploma courses in voicing. I can’t comment on the credibility of such institutions as this is something of a new development. According to me, one way is to approach the work. Start working as an intern at a production house or train under the guidance of some voicing expert. Gradually you can start freelancing in the field.
Team ED: So what would be your core belief in life, your motto?
Uplaksh Kochhar: Well I have a simple motto…There are only two most important things in life- food and sleep. Everything else will come and go! If you actually think about it, everything revolves around these two fundamental things. If you have these in order, you’ll be healthy enough to do and achieve anything in life.
On a more inspirational level, I feel there is no place for mediocrity in this world if you wish to succeed. As my father says, “Apni field ke Sachin Tendulkar bano. To hi duniya tumhe yaad rakhegi.”
Team ED: What do you think about Friendly Fridays?
Uplaksh Kochhar: Oh this is a great initiative. Teenagers today aren’t really aware of the scope and the potential that any field possesses. This platform enables them to actually know people who are talented and have created a niche for themselves. I am going to go through all your posts. It might just inspire me to improve upon myself because yes…there’s always a scope.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.