I Will Read Your Fucking Script!

Posted: September 24, 2011 by moifightclub in cinema, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Charlie Kaufman: There are no rules, Donald. And anyone who says there are is just, you know…

Donald Kaufman: Not rules, principles. McKee writes that a rule says you *must* do it this way. A principle says, this *works* and has through all remembered time.

The header is a homage to this brilliant post by screenwriter Josh Olson. If you haven’t read it yet, click here and do read.

So i was lucky to get the script of Mausam(don’t ask how), read it and wrote this post. (Should i have or shouldn’t, well, that’s a topic for another discussion. You can join the debate on John August’s blog) And what i wrote about Mausam, it seems the film turned out to be the same. I would have been happy to be proved wrong but then, i guess, i can at least read scripts. And this wasn’t the first time. I also managed to read the terrible scripts of Luck and Game much before the films released. Had put an open bet on Luck, and it turned out to be exactly the same. Did the same with Game but we had to remove the post on Game because the makers threatened us with legal notice and God knows what all! But heard that thing about shakti ka santoolan? Read Maqbool. Nothing could save the film. There you go! The point is I am not trying to boast about my great skills at reading scripts and predicting how shitty they are. Trust me, anyone with some serious interest in screenwriting can do so. The point is the complete disregard for the script and screenwriting. As if it just doesn’t matter. As if weekend is all we have, make something with stars and songs, package it well, sell it, and you are done. Shit can work at the box office and it will continue to do so but that’s no excuse to start making a film with just unadulterated shit.

Charlie Kaufman: I’ve written myself into my screenplay.

Donald Kaufman: That’s kind of weird, huh?

As i struggle with my script in this Bollylalaland, i have been trying to find out how scripts get selected and funded by producers and directors. And in this quest, i chanced upon these three film scripts. It left me wondering if anyone really reads the scripts here, and if so, who are these people? I haven’t been able to find the answer yet. If you have the answer, do let me know.

The easy route is to design “projects”. If you have access (say friends, relatives) to the stars (Salman, Shah Rukh, Akshay, Imran, Ranbir), make them agree to your “story idea”, and then quickly write a film and you get the funds easily. Strangely that’s the way most stars prefer to work here. That’s why you would rarely see a star coming out of his comfortable cocoon of friends/coterie and acting in a newcomer’s film. May be Aamir is the only exception. And it has worked wonders for him. SRK is the smartest guy in B-town but i don’t know why his choices are so bad. May be because he prefers to work only with friends.

Now, if this is the only way, then why do we shout out from roof top that we don’t have good scripts or screenwriters. Sometimes people like Akshat Varma get lucky after some nine years. Read here.

So coming back to Luck, Game and Mausam – who read those scripts? And if someone did, can they really, really read it? So how they got made? Let’s try.

Charlie Kaufman: You sound like your in a cult.

Donald Kaufman: No, it’s just good writing technique. Oh, I made you a copy of Mckee’s ten commandments, I posted it over both our work stations.

[Charlie tears the page from over his work area]

Donald Kaufman: [in threatening tone] You shouldn’t have done that.

[smiles]

Donald Kaufman: ‘Cause it’s extremely helpful.

Luck – directed by Soham Shah. Produced by Ashtavinayak and Studio18. Stars Imran Khan. That makes it a family affair. Easy to get funded.

Game – It seems one of the Excel guys were super impressed with the script written by air hostess-turned-screenwriter Althea Delmas Kaushan. Bingo! Farhan read it? Abhinay Deo read it too? Of course we all can go wrong in our judgement but to separate the shit from the rest, that doesn’t need much talent. I’m lost here.

Mausam – Pankaj Kapoor had a script. Pankaj Kapoor has a son called Shahid Kapoor. Pankaj Kapoor wants to direct a film. That’s simple.

Even with all the possible permutations and combinations it’s hard to believe that the producers are willing to spend Rs 30-50 crore on these scripts just on the basis of stars or “projects”. Let’s dissect Game.

Stars – Abhishek Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Shahana Goswami.

Director – Abhinay Deo. Debut film. But a well known name in advertising.

Banner – Excel Entertainment & Eros Entertainment. The producer and the financier. Excel : Well established banner known for making sleek and smart films catering to urban audience. Supposedly the coolest guys in B-town.

Budget – Rs 40 crore.

BO Collection – Rs 4.8 crore (1st week). Verdict – Disaster.

Not sure what kind of proposals Excel made to woo Eros with that script of Game. We got stars, we got hit music directors Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. Let’s roll it baby? Or was there some black magic involved? Enlighten me please! If the starting point for making the “project” was the same script that we read, am not sure why would anyone like to go ahead with it.

[to Charlie]

Robert McKee: I’ll tell you a secret. The last act makes a film. Wow them in the end, and you got a hit. You can have flaws, problems, but wow them in the end, and you’ve got a hit. Find an ending, but don’t cheat, and don’t you dare bring in a deus ex machina. Your characters must change, and the change must come from them. Do that, and you’ll be fine.

The other argument (and possibly the strongest) that has emerged this year is we don’t need anything. Fck scripts, we have Salman Khan. Agree. But not everyone is Salman. And not every film can be saved by Salman either. Remember Veer, London Dreams, Main Aur Mrs Khanna, Yuvraj? The flop list is long too. Salman has to be that cinematic comfort food as Anupama Chopra points out in this esaay. Try anything else with him and you are not sure what will happen. And you are also not sure how long will people still enjoy that comfort food. That’s the reason why everyone is desperately looking down South to find the next movie in which Bhai can “act” and they can make money. It’s the Rajnikant-isation of Bhai.

And that’s a lazy ass logic. As Mark Kermode points out in this essay, blockbuster doesn’t have to be dumb. Why be Michael Bay when you could be Nolan? Or in desi context, why be Bazmee when you can be Hirani? Even in hindi mainstream films there are filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, RajKumar Hirani, Sriram Raghavan, Imtiaz Ali, Dibakar Bannerjee, Shimit Amin, Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Basu who always try to find that perfect balance. The result might not be satisfactory always, but you can’t blame them for not trying. We have turned the genre of “mainstream masala” as an excuse for making bad films. Slumdog Millionaire is bollywood mainstream masala and so is Main Hoona Na. And i enjoyed both (except that Indo-Pak bit in MHN). Masala done well is also cinema. We are not being purists when we dismiss the bad ones, the masala or the arty-farty. But let’s stop giggling every time someone farts onscreen and calls it “mainstream masala” that entertains.

Donald Kaufman: Hey, Charles. I pitched my script to mom.

Charlie Kaufman: Don’t say pitch.

I have realised that the biggest problem here is to make people read. 120 pages? Nobody has the patience. Narrate it to us. It’s a unique place where people don’t read but make films. Herzog surely would have committed suicide. And i used to think that this culture of narration is only for the stars. Because they are the “stars”. They don’t have the time and you can’t make films without them, so you don’t have a choice but to narrate. But now i have realised that even the producers and directors wants a narration. Nobody wants to read. Some big directors even glorify the way they narrate their films with all band-bajaa-baraat. I think that culture of “not reading” scripts led to the culture of “no readers” at any production house.

[first lines]

Charlie Kaufman: [voiceover] Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn’t be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There’s something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I’m way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn’t fat I would be happier. I wouldn’t have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time. Like that’s fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learned Russian or something? Or took up an instrument? I could speak Chinese. I’d be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn’t that what women are attracted to? Men don’t have to be attractive. But that’s not true. Especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it’s my brain chemistry. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I’ll still be ugly though. Nothing’s gonna change that.

I don’t know any production house which has some sensible and professional readers whose job is to read and understand scripts and  to say why the film should be made or shouldn’t be. Forget sensible and professional, there is no system in place anyway. Black List? That’s Utopia! Plus, there are few more issues –

a) Almost every director wants to write.

b) Almost everyone feels that just directing is not creative enough. They want credits even for giving feedback on scripts.

c) Everyone has ten great ideas but writing 120 pages is too much work.

I also find it very strange the way most directors and writers are so secretive about their scripts as if it’s the next big thing. If it’s a high-concept film, it’s easy to understand the madness to keep it under wraps. But when was the last time someone made a concept film in Bollywood? Look at the films we are making every year, I find it’s a funny situation the way we want to hide these scripts. Feels like it’s more of an insecurity. Imagine if someone reads the scripts and tells that it sucks, the film will not get made then? Nobody takes the feedback in positive way – someone says it’s shit. Ok, let’s work on it. Make it better. What do you tell the producer who has spent money on films like Rakht Charitra, Rann, Jhootha Hi Sahi and Mausam? Hire someone who can read scripts!

Charlie Kaufman: To begin… To begin… How to start? I’m hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That’s a good muffin.

Look at QT. He leaked the script of Inglourious Basterds almost a year before he started shooting. Same with his latest one Django Unchained. When you are confident that it’s a good script, am not sure what’s the reason to hide. Think, people will read it, spread the good word and will eagerly wait for it to arrive. And if you are interested to read the script reviews of Hollywood films, click here.

Trying to source the  scripts post-release seems to be a difficult game too. And i ask for it so that the script can be shared here on the blog, and anyone who is interested in screenwriting, can read it. Thanks to Vikramaditya Motwane, have managed to put only Udaan’s script so far. I guess the rest loves tom-toming about their scripts going to Oscar library.

I have also been told that since the script reviews appeared on this blog, many production houses have become more strict with their scripts. No soft copies, no working from home, come to office and write. Someone even described a funny scene at one of the production house whose script we had got. But as long as you have disgruntled ADs in your team, i think we don’t need to worry. And knowing the way most people behave with their ADs, disgruntled is not a very hard emotion to achieve. And if not us, then someone else. I just hope that they devote more time working on the scripts rather then trying to save it from getting leaked.

We do get to read many scripts written by our friends who are writers and filmmakers. Believe it or not there are people who value our opinion. We don’t go to town tom-toming about it. Only when it is ridiculously bad and you get to know that someone is spending shitload of money on it, it’s difficult to control yourself and sit silent. You feel like shouting that it’s shit and you feel happy when you are proved right. Should we celebrate a Hattrick?! Just some cheap thrills. Nobody is paying us to do so. And you can do the same when you get our scripts. Dissect it the way you want. Till then it’s time to go back to a new draft of the script which nobody wants to read. Or to moifightclub@gmail.com let’s see if we have got some new scripts.

Charlie Kaufman: [voice-over] I am pathetic, I am a loser…

Robert McKee: So what is the substance of writing?

Charlie Kaufman: [voice-over] I have failed, I am panicked. I’ve sold out, I am worthless, I… What the fuck am I doing here? What the fuck am I doing here? Fuck. It is my weakness, my ultimate lack of conviction that brings me here. Easy answers used to shortcut yourself to success. And here I am because my jump into the abysmal well – isn’t that just a risk one takes when attempting something new? I should leave here right now. I’ll start over. I need to face this project head on and…

Robert McKee: …and God help you if you use voice-over in your work, my friends. God help you. That’s flaccid, sloppy writing. Any idiot can write a voice-over narration to explain the thoughts of a character.

Comments
  1. anandkj says:

    isnt luck soham’s film?but terrific post and a brilliant initiative……..

  2. anurag says:

    Superb post! Must read for screen writers ..

  3. assman says:

    awesome awesome post.. will re-read..

  4. Murphy says:

    Good post and goodluck mate….

  5. arunprakash says:

    Great read…..agree with everything you’ve written…..

  6. Rony dcosta says:

    The best on the blog in a long time. Loved reading every word of it.

  7. Rasik says:

    Honest, straight from the heart post. Loved it!

  8. Supertramp says:

    Great post and you couldn’t have put those “Adaptation” quotes in a better context…

  9. Wow ! that was a superb read ! love it

  10. sumit says:

    it’s all true. thanks for depressing me all over again.

    good post 🙂

  11. Anand Sindhu says:

    thanks for Udaan’s script. but i loved Mausam .

  12. Shaan says:

    Great post. Would also love if someone uncovered the enigma behind directors and writers literally writing lines directly on set with no regard for an approved script.

    So many project developers in Bollytown would make great product designers for a company which sells turd. Its only about the package which also is loved only by their friends.

  13. Piyush says:

    Superb post, I am an aspiring screenwriter, desperately waiting for feedback from a guy working in a big production house (really big), who found my story idea interesting- but wanted a screenplay to comment on viability- I wrote a 100 pager in 15 days (night and day)- pushing everything else in my life to the background (I am a busy person otherwise, if I may say so)- and it has been 2 months- I haven’t received even a single word from him-

    Tell me it sucks- tell me it is shit- but at least tell me something-

    But such is life I guess in the big world of bollywood-

  14. Manu Warrier says:

    @moifightclub

    The Mark Kemode article I happened to send it to a friend in US who does occasional script evaluations for corporates. here are the points he had to say regarding the Indian scenario, which are quiet interesting, yet insightful. I am just copying the matter here.

    “”” The author wants blockbusters which has some artistic substance rather than Michael Bay type films.

    a) FIlm companies are part of huge conglomerates and in many cases they don’t provide more than 20% of the whole companies bottom line. Since being part of a huge corporation means Quarterly results and stock prices, they have to show growing profits quarter to quarter. What is the safest way to get it?

    b) Since 2004, International BO is more than 50% of total BO. At the around the same time, the DVD sales also have collapsed. So International success has become keen to bottom line. So comic books, superheroes, etc would be the de rigueur.

    c) Regarding using Inception to prove his case is not statistically possible as he needs more of those films to prove his case rather than 1 film. Inception could have been a success for a variety of reasons and he can only conjecture why it was successful but not mathematically prove it. He can, if someone does many Inception like films and is shown to be mega blockbuster
    worldwide. Till that time, nothing is going to change in the industry nor his thesis on firm foundations. “”””

    This above reply makes me realize, most corporates are not worried about the film eventually cause they are continuing the tradition of mom and pop stores, they inherited the idea from the top producers before we became an industry. The problem also is with writers and directors whose only aim is money and not really concerned about film quality, the moment the funding is in “We are ready to roll” the script “arre ho gaya naa..kitna aur likhegha tu…” writers loose control, cause the director is not concerned, the producer has already decided his money making channels. You should read the outlook article to understand how that works, even if there is no script, the film has already made his money. http://business.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?278308

    Also besides you, how many more qualified readers are out there, who have the patience to read through 120 pages, visualize the lines, feel the characters, and objectively analyse what the story is trying to convey ? Even if you gave an objective analysis, which says you need a rework or a rewrite” would they take your word? After all the biggest star has already approved their script, 50% of their audience is already in? Most producers are not even part of the script sessions with the directors, all they want to see is pages, most of them have standard reference of films for business and story ideas, they pointlessly say things from Forrest GUMP, Terminator or to that extent even Citizen Kane, most of them are looking for formulas from a syd field book and quote words like “character arc, story arc, graph, every 10 minutes story should turn” without a proper story analysis or sharing the directors visions. Some are looking for the next big idea without remotely working on any idea, they don’t get it – ideas become big when its is worked on. In all fundamentals of film making have gone for a toss in our industry.

    IMHO the only solution to the problem is like Anurag Kashyap commented on politicians — > Put our corporates and money bags through a film appreciation course.

    Some good might come out of it.

    Till then Struggle Zindabaad.

  15. DA says:

    You have summed it up very well, but in our industry nothing succeeds like success. When film cans can be taken to Tirupathi before release for blessings, narration still sounds not so bad. I have worked with a film maker who actually took writing credits for a classic story he remade after watching a hollywood adaptation of the same story!!! I have also heard of an actor/star who agreed to do a film because the budding director brought a “stamp” with his face on it – that was all required to impress him. But I believe things are changing and eventually it will be money that will be the reason one way or the other change has to happen.

  16. tylercorleone says:

    Good post but did not the get the point of interrupting it with scenes and dialogues from Adaptation..are you trying to show off that you are familiar with Charlie Kaufman? or are you trying to suggest your are India’s answer to Charlie Kaufman?

  17. Scripts have to be the first step to any film. It is not here in Mumbai and so we have crap all around. The films that had a ready script that was followed to the T were far and between. So, more crap.

  18. hardik mehta says:

    awesome post!! it is for this that one comes to this blog….
    more andar ki khabrein – once we meet again at the 7 bungalow icici atm…:)

  19. Siddharth a kumar says:

    Brilliant article. Many of us feel the same way about the creative defect when it comes to green lighting projects. Keep fighting and writing and hoping someday the system will change.

  20. Vivek says:

    Great post, thanks. Agree on most of what you wrote.
    Most of the times a good reader will not reject a good screenplay – discrepancies might arise when the writer plans on making the film himself – Maqbool and the first 60 mins of Mausam in your case.
    Understand the frustration with narration. What happens if your script found its way to directors or people in production houses who are writers themselves? Say Farhan Akhtar in Excel, Aditya Chopra / Jaideep Sahni in YSR etc. People who do produce or make other’s scripts as well. They might read. Am just shooting in the dark here.
    And vis-a-vis the discussion on the Udaan page – it is high time for a PFC type website for Indian screenwriters. Accumulating Bollywood scripts – (you might already have 7-8 if you include the ones at PFC and jab we met) might be a chicken and egg thing – you may get many more once writers / producers start seeing the appreciation these scripts are getting. And hosting produced scripts would only be one of the functions of this website. Heck, it might even grow to a point where the site could serve as an intermediary for reading / grading fresh scripts and getting them to producers.
    Best of luck with your own work!

  21. MSP says:

    Would be awesome if we get to read the No Smoking script!Heard AK doesn’t mind sharing scripts. How about putting it on MFC?

  22. Kuldip says:

    Would you read an outsider’s script? 🙂

  23. MSP says:

    ‘Outsider’ as in?

  24. anurag says:

    Please upload some more Hindi scripts .Thanks a ton for Udaan!!!

  25. Anurag Kashyap says:

    yahan comment karne wale kitne break ka wait kar rahe hain ki chance milega toh likhenge aur kitnon ne jaan laga ke ek script likhi hai.. pehla draft nahin.. second or third or maybe 15th..

    @fightclub how many complete scripts have you written yourself, how many have you attempted writing, (Not thinking)

    all these posts matter after you have put your neck online, and get off twitter and other spaces and sit down and write. I have only seen ideas and sometime fleshed out ideas from you and others..

    believe me, all of us sitting, dreaming of being writers and filmmakers are just lazy, opinionated people who would not step out of their comfort zones and actually write.. kyonki haath dard karta hai.. bahar baith ke analyse karna alag cheez hai, woh unke upar chhodo jo writing nahi karna chahte hai..

    vikramaditya motwane ek saal se sirf likh raha hai.. roz..
    rajkumar gupta sara din likhta hai roz..kaam karta hai taki film banein
    shlok sharma sirf likhta hai..
    tum sara din net pe rehte ho aur main bhi..
    bakchodi karna chodte hain hum dono aur likhte hain..

  26. Vinky says:

    Dear AK i agree with u ..only 20 percent though..80 prateeshat sach kuch aur hain.. All the people you took names for are your assistants or friends..in vikram sir’s case a renowned filmmaker..jinka aapne naam liya un sabko maloom hain ki apna bande ke paas aaj power hain.. picture banvahidenga..(aap aaj ke waqt me viacom ke blue eyed boy aur Vikas Bahl ke partner hain..itni power mere paas hoti toh jo log saalon se likh rahe hain abhi tak unki saari likhi hui scripts actually mein banchuki hoti )
    unka kya jinke paas gaand phaad script hain par aapke jaisa margdarshak/producer nahi hain..woh log aapke paas aayenge toh aap kabhi unhe seriously nahi loge kyunki woh kahaaniyon mein na koi drug addict honga..naa koi prostitute..basically dark film ki script nahi hongi..aur im judging you by the films people around you have made(green lighted by you).

    aaj hi mera ek dost bola ki yaar anuraag hi bas mujhe samajh sakta hain main uski tarah dark films banana chahta hun..maine usey bola tu chootiyaan..teri koi apni individuality nahi hain bas sapne bunte rahenga tu ki anurag tujhe phone karke bulayenga..isse pehle ki aap soche ki mujhe kya haq banta hain itni bakchodi karne ka toh main aapko batana chahunga ki
    maine khudne 4 bound script likhi hui hain jinpe mujhe garv “the honor” hain ..uske alava kareeban 25 story treatments jinko banvane ke liye pichle teen saal se mehnat kar raha hun..aap soch rahe honge ki maine kya aapko kabhi contact kiya..nahi bilkul nahi..haan vikram aur bejoy ko zaroor kiya par waha baat jami nahi..vikram is to talented to work on my scripts aur bejoy ko mera moohphat andaaz na bhaaya..aapko kabhi contact nahi kiya kyonki mujhe yakeen hain ki aap ko woh kabhi pasand nahi aayengi kyonki aap mujhe pasand nahi karonge..na main world cinema dekhta hun..na main daaru peeta hun..nor i can i lick ass for years to get a film mad aur meri kahiyaan sab slice of life hain with ample dose of humor. main bhi bharsak koshish kar raha hun aur kasam apni maa aur cinema ki jaan lagaake kuch acchi film banake dikhaunga..

    P.S- Meri baat ka saar ye hain ki agar aap ke aaspaas ke log lazy hain iska matlab ye nahi ki aap poori duniyaan ko waisa samjhe..main aapka ek prashansak hoon aur un gine chune logon mein se jinhe no smoking pasand aayi thi par peele joote wali film se aap par kuch vishwaas sa uthgaya hain..aasha karta hun ki wasseypur ko dekhne ke baad meri rai badal jayein..

    • Anurag Kashyap says:

      yeh sab baatein bol ke apna man mat behlao.. vikram ke paas jab power nahin thi tab bhi likhta tha.. dus saal se likh raha hai.. itmni scripts hai likhin ki tumhari chaar bachpana lagengi..
      aur baat aaj ki nahin hai, main unnees saal se kar raha hoon, chaar script jisko tum khud bolte ho kamal hai..
      shlok ki script jise sab bolte hain kamal hai usne utha ke phenk di bol ke ki chutiya hai..
      vikram ki film jo utv, karan johar aur hum kar rahe the, usne side mein rakh di bol ke ki bachkani hai.. comparison akele mein nahin hota.. akele mein sab shehenshah hain.. agar do logon , bejoy aur vikram ko tumhari script nahin pasand aayi to woh bewakoof nahin hai..
      ya unko galat sabit karo, bina kisis ke sahare ya apni galti maan lo..
      script ek baar likhne mein aadmi kamal nahin ho jaata, usi ek script ko tumne kitni baar phaad ke phenka hai aur nai sire se likha hai..

      • Vinky says:

        arey main sach kehraha hun..i was not being sarci when i praised vikram”sir” ..he genuinely made a film that made me cry..he touched every chord of my heart..he is a genius.but bejoy im not sure off..personal opinion hain..
        main jaanta hun ki aap logon ne sau ki ginti mein scripts likhi hain…main ye nahi kehraha ki main chaar likh ke ruk jaaunga..unnees saal hote hote mere paas bhi na na karte hue pachaas toh hon hi jayengi..aur jin chaar script ki main baat kar raha hun maine unke pandrah toh nahi par 4 draft zaroor likhe hain..
        woh kitni acchi hain ye toh mujhe nahi maloom par padne ke baad lagta hain ki banne layak hain..waqt ke saath aur behtar bhi kar raha hun..aur mera point ye tha ki agar kuch log jinko aap personally jaante hain koshish nahi kar rahein iska matlab ye nahi ki baaki duniyaan bhi koshish nahi kar rahi..kya maine galat baat boli?

        P.S – jo main kehna chaahu barbaad karein alfaaz mere..#storyofmylife

        • Anurag Kashyap says:

          main laut ke aata hoon phir padhta hoon tune kya likha hai..

          • Vinky says:

            zaroor..opinion aur feedback ke liye main hamesha taiyaar hoon…par mera mudda woh nahi tha..bas itna kehna chahunga ki agli baar ke aapke aaspaas ke log agar ek ghatiya script ko greenlight kar rahe hon toh ek baar rokne ki koshish zaroor karna..main toh karta hoon..yaha pe comment karne walein har vyakti ko aisa karna chahiyein..#forcinema

      • Dear AK sir, mere khayal se moiclub isi mudde ki baat kar raha hai jo aapne khud bhi kahi…. ki motwane sir ki script khud unko hee bachkani lagi aur unhone usko side mein rakh diya… utv, kjo aur aapke interest show karne ke baad… agar script ‘in the first place’ bachkani thi to utv ne interest kaise show kiya? Yahi mudda moifightclub ka hai that there is no connection between a script getting greenlighted and it being good to be greenlighted…. which might not kill good scripts but definitely will give life to bad ones (which is worse, i guess). Aur agar script bachkani thi then why was it pitched in the first place?

        • Anurag Kashyap says:

          baat yeh hai hi nahi ki script kyon approve hui.. AGAR SCRIPT PADHNE WALON KO SCRIPT SENSE HOTA to hamara standard itna upar hota ki yahan koi argument hi nahi hota.
          Studios ka script sense bura hai.. Accept kar lo
          Kya tumhari script ka standard woh hai joh tumhara ideal cinema hai..
          Agar hai to yeh zimmedari tumhari hai ki tum uspe film banao..

          Yahan pe har aadmi ka intention cinema banana nahi hai.. yahan 99% businessmen hain.. tumhara intention cinema banana hai to satyagrah tumhara, gandhi ji complain nahi karte the “saaaley angrez samajhtey kyon nahi, saaley jaatey kyon nahin hain”.. unhone ne unko dikhaya ki bhai tumhare paas jaane ke siva koi chara nahi hai..

          he forced them to quit.. by example, by personal sacrifices, by putting his neck on line.. you want the way things are done to change.. you have to be the change..

          i had a problems with the kind of scripts being approved, i became a producer.. you think i dont want to make films only for myself.. i would rather be sitting and working only on my edit and my next script than doing the running around that i have to do to get things done..

          I just say all this here because all who come here on this blog , get off your high horses and do it because if anyone can , you guys can and by doing it..

          i am off now..

      • Kuldip says:

        AK sir,

        Sometime back I head that Motwane is working on a remake. If he has so many scripts of his own then why not make one of them?

        Just curious.

  27. Vinky says:

    also the larger point made by the writer was about the fact how BAD scripts like Game are greenlighted..we need Producers to forget their ego and hire professionals to read scripts..not their family but someone who actually knows his job..case in point mausam..im sure if the script was given even to some third assistant of a RGV film even he would have pointed out the stupidities in it and made it better..

  28. Anurag Kashyap says:

    bad scripts will always be greenlighted, as long as bad films are watched by people, as long as opening three days and marketing is the name of the game, that should not deter you from doing your thing..

    • Manu Warrier says:

      …and this is exactly the reason there will never be any objective discussion here, just stray away the conversation from the core topic, matter closed. I believe ,this post was born out a writers frustration, as far as I know @moifightclub is a writer, also have read his script, quantifying a writers productivity is not the same as quality —> just because the Motawanes Hiranis are constantly writing it does not mean all of them will be masterpieces. I totally agree with Vinky, just because one has yellow eyes, doesn’t mean the whole world has jaundice. Anurag Kashyap has rarely stepped out of his comfort zone, all his stories have been in the same zone. So that also is a form of lazy and opinionated writing, so what if he has been writing for many years ? Does it make him a great writer? Having talent to write and pushing the same talent everytime to give something new makes someone great. With time AK has just become rigid about his opinions, only shows his ignorance to the rest of the world, read the frog in the well syndrome. One of the alternative powerful voices of new age bollywood has really nothing to say on this topic ” Why am I not surprised ?

      Then there are other writers who have been consistently doing work and also taking part in healthy discussions on blogs, not because all of them are opinionated , but it’s about sharing experiences, so that your next pitch can be better,learning from this blog in terms of cinema or a film analysis could make you a better writer. I guess sharing knowledge is also part of a writer’s journey, I am sure everyone does it, and thats what shapes fundamentals. With that said, I am going back to do my own thing called Writing and the AK’s of the world can keep their meaningless opinions to themselves till they have something to contribute in a healthy discussion or maybe he should focus on his own advice and go back to writing instead of commenting on blogs.

  29. Anurag Kashyap says:

    Manu,
    How many times have you rewritten that one script you are proud off or you think it needs no rewriting or you will do it only once its greenlit?

    in your answer will lie my argument.

    the discussion is not about writing a masterpiece, its about writing and rewriting and rewriting..

    and yes our writers are lazy, no one i have seen writes like there is nothing else that exists..no one i know except the one’s i mentioned have that urge to write and they write regardless.

    and yes i have not seen all but i have seen plenty.. everyone just dreams of writing , they write lazily.. and yes there does and has to exist someone who is a writer like the one i call a writer, when i find him, i will add him too to my list..

    and all the writers i mention are not great writers, you are assuming them.. i say they are great at persistence , perseverance and the need to write better..

    and yes i wrote better before i discovered the net..

    and i come from a time when there was no nets or blogs to vent out, we still wrote and got things done, even if it was shit..
    i was in agreement with @fightclub 5 years ago on PFC and i have and many have changed our lives since then,and have gotten more productive, even the most vitriolic of the lot and are actually working at it.. Fight club is doing the same thing and not writing..

    • Manu Warrier says:

      @Anurag

      I have the answers but it vastly differs in school of thought and approach to writing or film making itself. When I speak of writing in this blog, I primarily refer to screewriting, which for me is a department of movie making, I don’t see myself as an indulgent artist taking pains over his creations for years and creating a masterpiece. For me, the director’s vision is of prime importance without stepping out of his boundaries of film making, thoughts or ideas. Within the set parameters he/she has given me, am I able to deliver, push myself and do justice to his vision ? I don’t see myself has being an indulgent writer framing my own vision in the excuse of screenwriting. So when I am working with other directors my focus is to apply the craft and knowledge of screenwriting and marry their story idea, choices and thoughts and eventually come up with a complete script.

      With that said, I understand movie business is a money driven industry where timeline, targets and figures are of utmost importance. I cannot disrespect the person investing in the film, when It boils down to writing entertainment, yet somehow trying to retain the integrity that you are watching cinema. I understand any amount of rewriting only makes your script better, but if you are tuned screenwriter, over a period of time you are able to estimate if the script has reached proper development over time. Is the story well told? Of course it can always be told better, but within the timeline is the way the the story being told doing justice to the medium of cinema, if yes I think at some level a project can be greenlit, or else it could be sent back to development. Also for me my process of screenwriting may be different compared to another writer. what matters is the draft the writer submits, do you relate to it, or are you able to participate with the writer to make it better, so you can greenlight it or is it really shit ? So yes even I agree the post is about rewriting, except we differed in the context and approach and what I may call it as a screenwriting. I don’t think I am writing a novel or I have reached a position in the industry that they’ll wait for 10 years for me to come up with my next project, I need to approach my life practically. Yes I have been persistent, and continue to do so with writing.

      If you are thinking in some level a writer compromises art when he thinks commercial, I wouldn’t agree, it depends on the standards the writer sets for himself. Pixar films are released, never complete, so you see how they have beautifully married timeline with art and craft.

      Your answer to this specific question

      ” How many times have you rewritten that one script you are proud off or you think it needs no rewriting or you will do it only once its greenlit? ”

      I have various ideas in various stages of development, I know which one are ready to go and If there is a producer who wants development on the script I am willing to do it. I have set a logical timeline behind each idea, the scale and the requirement it will need. the higher the budget, the script be really good else you are answerable to hell lot of people, I am being practical. What matters is the script that is presented to you as a producer,Does it meets your requirement, logic and standards of cinema in comparison to budget the film maker is asking ? When you have those answers clearly you might be able to answer how many times a film should be rewritten or if it needs one before it is greenlit.

      So your reply clearly tells me as to who you would call a writer, and seriously it vastly differs from who I call a Screen Writer, Isn’t what this post was all about “I will read your Fucking Script and the disregard for the script and screenwriting. “

      • Anurag Kashyap says:

        apologies before i say that but then you don’t come across as a writer but a computer programme..a writer is someone who has got a story to tell, and some times finds a story good enough to tell and knows how to tell it. until and unless you have that one original your own script.. noone will take you seriously..
        ..in filmmakers language, we would call you a hack, with no disrespect to you, but filmmakers never listen to a hack.. he just does the job for them and then they take it away and redo it themselves..
        its a serious advice..
        i am just concerned that instead of finding fault with the others we should do that to ourselves..
        the day we stop questioning ourselves and the day we stop asking questions to ourselves, there will be the real problem

        • Oops - a computer Programmer says:

          Computer programming is also an art. It takes time, contemplation to come up with a good piece of code.
          There are grades of computer programming assignments like there are grades of writing assignments (reality tv, indian soaps) etc.

          Both script and programs undergo versioning, require planning, rewrites, require sparks of brilliance at random times etc though they both deal with different parts of the brain. Deadlines might or might not work for both of them.

          This is just FYI. It is always painful to see people of one field not understanding the art, challenges and pleasures of another field.

          P.S – I have been both (and I know both sides underestimate the other – a writer is underestimated more so bcoz people don’t see any knowledge asymmetry between writers and themselves – (also a budding writer never earns)) . I can tell from first hand experience.

          Here is a computer programmer’s comic link to diffuse tension and also illustrate my point. A writer would identify too :

          http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1439 🙂 . Best Regards.

  30. Manu Warrier says:

    This is freaking awesome ,

    I have the rare distinction of being called a hack by Anurag Kashyap.

    Dear AK, time will prove if I am an hack, now that you have termed me one, I should also inform the directors I am working with, their projects are being developed by a hack.

    Thanks you, Very much

    Sincerely

    Manu Warrier.

  31. Rohit Pandey says:

    Tark karna ek baat hai, kutark karna doosri. Aur kyun na hum itni behas chodkar.. apni apni kahaaniyon ke paas wapas jayen. Unhe hamari zaroorat hai aur hamein unki. Im sure writing gives us more pleasure than arguing about it.

  32. Anurag kashyap says:

    Manu,
    Didn’t mean to offend you. The way you describe yourself is how I would describe a hack. Maybe I am wrong but then you tell me how would you describe a hack.
    And really I don’t mean to call you a bad writer.
    Anurag

  33. Manu Warrier says:

    Dear AK

    Fine thank you, I cannot change your perception.

    If that is what you feel.you will know the moment you see a film in which my participation has only limited to being screenwriter. I may not fulfill your expectations or maybe reinforce that perception in you. I am not worried, since I know I have retained my integrity as a screenwriter constructing their story, thoughts and ideas. Film primarily is a directors medium and not a writers medium, I suggest you write plays, novels or articles if you want to be a writer and not a screenwriter Again difference in school of thought and approach. I want the directors voice heard and his/her vision seen. It’s not a film that I am directing, or it’s not a film based on any novel that I have written. I am fulfilling my expectation only as a screenwriter applying craft and knowledge of construction of a film on paper. THE DIRECTORS WORD IS FINAL FOR ME. I push myself as a writer within that limitation, which forces me to think out of box, this has helped develop my own craft and sometimes I am able to surprise myself as a writer trying to think what exactly is the director trying to see in this story. The collaboration/ experience is what I look forward too, when I am working for other directors. You do collaborate with your DOP, ACTOR, EDITOR and also treat them as artists, to flesh out your vision, then why doesn’t that logic hold for screenwriting. Maybe hacks do screenwriting.

    As for what you have mentioned no one would take me seriously since I don’t have a story to tell, I apply the logic for the scripts I want to direct. I have my own stories, which I have never parted with any director so far, I have held on to them and continue working on them . You will have to read those scripts to judge me or If I have a original thought. But that is me as a director wanting to tell a story, so if a screenwriter decides to direct, is he a hack?

    If selling out an issue, then I don’t have any qualms. When you have a not so perfect childhood, lots of movies help you keep engaged away from current reality doesn’t matter what story is told, the director found a way to engage the audience. As I grew up, I was tuned to think, that’s how it should be and I believe it is. Hacks are those who stop growing and are now content with their own art because no matter what the audience will buy his art because his name is attached to it.

    Manu

  34. just a fan of hardworking people says:

    Pankaj Kapur had a script, had a son called shahid kapur and wanted to direct.. Do you know how many years he’s been working in this industry? he made a mark first. And yes now he has everything he can direct whatever he wants to even if the script is bad or whatever.. He thought the script was fine so he made it.. Can you guarantee that your film is going to do well? No because many times you don’t see that on screen how you visualized it. Some of you talking about bejoy nambiar .. Have you seen his Short films? Reflection? Do you think you can make a better short film? If yes then go first make it.. prove yourself.. And jo bol raha hai main jab AK ki position mein pohonchunga tab scripts padh ke banaunga jine banni chahiye.. Pehle khud us position pe aa… fir bataio kitne movies banai tune.. AK ke papa yash chopra nahi the.. khud hi struggle ki.. ab successful hai.. Yes I’m an AK fan..not just because I liked black friday or gulaal but because he has maintained his position.. Udaan banne se pehle uski script padhte.. aur khud sochte mujhe ispe paise lagaane chahiye ya nahi? Ab year ki best movie ho gyi sbko uski script achhi lag rhi hai.. My point is movies like game , mausam are made and will be made that you can be sure of but their producers are successful enough to afford a flop..Farhan akhtar hasnt stopped producing movies.. First make your mark and then talk about people who are already successful.. Yeh apni frustration blog pe nhi apni screen writing pe dikhau.. itni achhi likho k koi producer ya director mana hi nhi kr sake.. and yes tumhe agar bollywood mein ghusna hai toh itna achha toh krna hi padega.. bohot competition hai aur humaara sir name chopra ,johar toh hai nhi..

    • Vinky says:

      mr just another fan all it will take is two posts and close to five hundred words for you to get my point..but quite clearly you don’t like the types who will get the drift of my words. If you could you won’t have bothered to say what you did..
      Cheers…

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