Archive for March 1, 2010

Our mailbox gets flooded with all kind of mails. Raves, rants, goss from unexpected quarters and threats by star-fuckers. This one also came as a surprise. Screeny – a new member in the Fight Club.  His master The Creative Terrorist says it’s time  to have some new recruits, ideas and plans. So, here it is…read on. All first hand experience involving the names and faces that you know for sure.

One rainy night at run down Mukesh Mills, we had a new visitor called Screeny. He was visiting us for the first time. He wanted to join sort of club where Tyler Durden, John Nash, Karthik etc hung out, and I said you were at the right place. He was beaten, bruised and thin in appearance, but spoke aggressively of his reasons to be there.

Screeny was a frustrated screenwriter who wanted to vent his frustration at the fight club. He had made multiple rounds of Film Directors’ offices and realised in the process that sometimes their great films might have been accidents. As he spoke, I dragged and pushed him inside the arena, everybody was waiting to just pounce on him.

Screeny’s issues started with the creative process. The names of directors were something he wanted to keep confidential. Most directors did not know the importance of a one-liner and genre. Screeny’s approach was to develop a one liner; most directors looked for finished scripts, which Screeny refused to give since finished scripts reflect the writer’s vision and not the director’s. Screeny started with asking the directors what sort of film he saw. While most of them were clear of the genre, few of them knew why that particular genre worked.

When a commercial maverick director, finally decided he wanted to revisit one of his own genres, Screeny was hired, after months of messages. He showed great involvement in the plot level for the first two weeks much to Screeny’s delight. He made Screeny rewrite three versions of the same plot, till he was satisfied. Screeny was thrilled with the way the director was working, moulding the plot the way he wanted, while Screeny offered arguments and counter arguments, the eventual choices lead to somewhat a good plot. The Director did have some wild sense of imagination – the process was mutual – sometimes Screeny pushed the director in a thought, while other times, the director offered his argument.

Finally when the director made his choice, it was evident there would be issues in the screenplay which needs to be addressed separately. Screeny vociferously established that the screenplay needs to be worked in a similar style. The director laughed when Screeny said this because for him the screenplay did not matter.

Then the bang – “start the one line order”. A one line order for Screeny was only the index of scenes with no dialogues, just an outline of events; but the director was ready to shoot with it. In a conversation, he mentioned he never worked with a bound script, which scared Screeny. He had to argue strong in asking time for developing the entire screenplay, maybe a month. Reluctantly the director agreed, Screeny went to work, every time a doubt cropped up. “You figure it out, you are the writer”.  Screeny had to break his head, without any direction from the Director.

Eventually a month later a half baked screenplay evolved with issues which had to be fixed in the subsequent drafts. Meanwhile the director had lost interest in the plot and moved on to working on other plots with other writers. Screeny was asked to continue, but his screenplay was never picked up for reading after rewriting three drafts.

A year passed and the director started coming out with other films. Screeny started spotting the trends of half baked attempts at writing in the subsequent releases that followed. The screenplay never mattered for him, only his ideas needed to be fleshed right for him.  Screeny started worrying – if the director had made great films at some point of his time, were all of them accidents? When the director was questioned, he maintained his stand that all of his films were instinctive and took pride in the fact that his writers wrote on sets, including films which considered cult. Today those writers are famous.

Screeny’s school of thought was scripts were locked and then shot, while the director in question never bothered about the script. He plainly maintained everything as being his instinctive vision. Screeny fell into self-doubt – what was the point of banging out a screenplay when he does not plan to read it?  Eventually he will be told write the scenes on the sets. So why the talk about scripts in the first place, was Screeny even needed to write those three plots, or were the plots clear in the directors head, including the great films he had done ? If they are not accidents why is there no consistency in his films? What remains Screeny’s role with such directors?

Screeny went home that night confused, when a friend visited him that night with an invitation to the Fightclub.

Screeny wanted to talk more about other directors for whom visual play was important. The creative process was different there. I stopped him, because now inside Fightclub we had to deal with Screeny’s first issue. So throwing Screeny inside the Fightclub, make sure he returns two weeks later..

– The Creative Terrorist.