Posts Tagged ‘VVC’

Blame it on CB-VVC controversy. We have never been to Vinod Chopra’s website so many times. And here is what we discovered.

The first look of his next film 50th Anniversary. We know for sure that he is working on the script of the film and as the name suggests, the story revolves around an old couple who are soon going to celebrate their 50th marriage anniversary. So whats the plan ? The old man wants to spend the anniversary night in a five star hotel, his long cherished dream. And ? Well, all you curious folks have to wait for more. VVC plans to shoot his amibitious hollywood film Boken Horses (starring Mickey Rourkey) first and then will go for 50th Anniversary.

PS – Seems all our fears are coming true. With the money that 3 Idiots is making, VVC will not make one Eklavya, but five more.

Because he did a great and grand job there and you had all the voyeuristic pleasure. Because dil pe hath rakhkar you cant do that! That would be a great fake job.

What We Thought

1. Chetan Bhagat is a shitty writer who is like Priyadarshan of desi english writing. His PR guys are always working over time and going for the over kill. There is no reason to like him or his writing.

2. Raj Kumar Hirani was the Rocket Singh of Bollywood. He would not commit any wrong. Jadu ki jhappi and Gandhigiri happened because the man seriously believes in those virtues. The man who can say no to Shah Rukh Khan and his 20 crores, he surely has some ethics.

3. Vidhu Vinod Chopra is insane and passionate about films. The only producer who doesnt mind sharing profits with his cast and crew. But he loves talking only about himself and his films and has even passed his genes to his one time AD Sanjay Leela Bhansali. But he is here for cinema and nothing else.

Now, forget what Chetan said, what RajKumar Hirani replied, how VVC reacted and what percentage of the book is the film debate. Because their story has more twists and turns than the film. If you are still interested, you can click here to know more. Lets see what we got to know.

The Problem

The problem is simple. As Vir Sanghvi has put out in his blog post here. Imagine a producer like Vidhu Vinod Chopra and a filmmaker like RajKumar Hirani wanting to buy the rights of your book. Ask any sane writer, anyone will happily go for it and will settle for whatever decent money is offered.

When a writer is starting his career, most of them dont care much about the contract or the money. Because contracts are difficult to read and they are never in favour of writers anyway. And money doesnt matter much because its your first one. You just want to step in. For Chetan, am guessing it most have been the opposite. With IIT-IIM degree, how much more do you want ? 

When signing a contract in bollywood, try asking for a fair deal and they will show you the door. And nobody wants to lose an opportunity in this cut-throat competition. Argue a bit and they will tell you that they have million other stories to tell, trillion other books in mind and drillion writers waiting to write for free. Go figure! And Chetan was ofcourse more than interested to make an entry into bollywood, as he sent the copy of the book to Hirani first, who found it interesting and thought about adapting it.

The way bollywood works, its mostly based on relationship. You take the spoken words for guarantee. The bigger the other party, the lesser power you have to talk. Writers are asked to start writing, money comes later on depending on the mood of the producer/director and then the contract is signed. And when any writer is desperately looking for work, he/she will go ahead and sign any contract. Dont look at this case, look at the contract.

Let me tell you the story of the lyricist who wrote one of the cult songs of this decade. It was in a cult film directed by a well respected director and produced by a well known production house. Since it was his first song, you would not believe what he was offered. Listen to this carefully, he was offered to take some costumes fom the film which was ordered for the lead character. He didn’t say anything, entry was important. No doubt he is doing good for himself now and can ask for a fat cheque.

Curious Case of Contracts

In bollywood, its just another way of full proof exploitation unless you belong to the league of Kashyap & Tyrewala . Its a document that state the writer agrees with all their terms and conditions. In an industry where there are millions waiting for a door to open, people go for whatever they get. In this scenario, it totally depends on the other party, the one who has all the powers, to decide the deal he/she is going for. And if a big producer like VVC goes for this kind of contract, you can imagine the rest.

Its true that Chetan signed the contract and accepted a rolling credit. But the contract itself is UNFAIR! He accepted it for whatever reasons. But to even offer a credit in the end is like trying to sabotage the credit. VVC could have atleast consulted his in-house film reviewer Anupama Chopra, who contributes for many international newspapers and magazines.

Everywhere in the world, everywhere, when a book is adapted on screen, its always credited in the opening credit roll. It doesnt matter if its a 5 percent, 50 or cent percent. Whats surprising is that Vidhu Vinod Chopra gets a credit for Associate Screenplay in the opening titles. Also, since there is lot of similarity between the book and the film as pointed by those who have read the book, Chetan deserves a story credit as well.

Rahman Cant, Chetan Can ?

Many believe that its Chetan’s mistake because he signed the contract. Well, he signed it but was there any other choice ? I doubt. Those of you who have any bit of info about how the industry works, will understand.

Do you know that all big and small musicians and singers who are currently working in the industry have to pay a fee to the music company every time they perform their own songs ? Because none of them own copyright over their own creations. How weird is that! It happens only in thie country and nowhere else. Blame it on contracts again. Because you have no choice but to sign it or you will be out of work soon. They will tel you  forget intelluctual property, count what you are getting now! And we are talking about big names here. When A R Rahman asked for rights of music of Om Shanti Om, which he has suppose to compose, he was shown the door. He didnt even ask for complete rights but just wanted to share. The makers replaced Rahma with Vishal-Shekhar. Imagine if this can happen to A R Rahman, what can a new writer or even Chetan Bhagat do ? Even if he had asked for it, doubt it would have any kind of difference. You can read more about it here (Rahman episode) and here (artists & contracts).

In many countries including France, where the copyright issue was sorted out first, the contract is not counted for even if the artist has sold his intelluctual rights on the basis of contract. Because the creation of any artist always remains his/her, those are non-transferable rights, by any kind of contracts.

So, fuck the contracts. And its great that VVC and his gang put out the contract in the public domain. Now everyone can read and see for themselves, the way bollywood goes for bonded labour.

Forget Filmmaking, Learn Creditmaking

Learn it from Danny Boyle. He didnt bother even sharing the direction credits. It was not mentioned anywhere that Loveleen Tandon would get the co-director’s credit but Boyle felt that she deserves more. He even called his Chief AD Raj Acharya onstage at the Director’s Guild Award. It doesnt make him any less talented but  just better human being.

Closer home, look at the credits of Kaminey. Cajetan Boy, whose short story was the trigger point for the film gets the first credit in the opening title and a font so big that can be spotted from a distance. Whats more, even a character in the film is names Cajetan.  

What We Think Now

Chetan was never holier-than-thou, no doubt about that, and he still isn’t but all this is happening with those who taught us jadu ki jhappi and gandhigiri! Why fool us any more, Sir ? Wasnt there an easy solution ? When your cinema is all about commerce and credits, spare us the great gyaan of life. This real life story taught us more and hopefully our bollywoodwallahs are watching and learning too!

25th December (Friday) – This is how it started (see the pic). Chetan Bhagat and his book is not mentioned in the opening credits of the film 3 Idiots. In the closing credit, it comes quite late. 

27th December (Sunday) – In an interview to Hindustan Times, Chetan says that it feels strange. Click here to read the full interview.

29th December (Tuesday) –  Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Aamir Khan accused Chetan Bhagat of being publicity hungry at a press conference in Bangalore. And then this is what happened. Check out the video.

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December 31st (Thursday) – Chetan Bhagat wrote a post on his blog titled A book, a film and the truth and explained his stand on the credit controversy. Click here to read the post.

1st January (Friday) – Vidhu Vinod Chopra started the year with a bang. Shut Up! Today at a presser in Delhi, Vidhu Vinod Chopra lost his cool and went insane when asked about Chetan Bhagat’s claims. Check out the video.

And here is more….

September 9, 2009Here is the link to an interview where RajKumar Hirani said that the film is only 5 percent similar to the book.

 How true are you keeping 3 Idiots to the book by Chetan Bhagat Five Point Someone?

3 Idiots is inspired from the book but it is completely different. I would say just five per cent of it is the same. Books and films are different. So the moment you decide to pick up a book and make a film as it is, it will be a disaster. It’s a nice book, but it’s anecdotal and films can’t be anecdotal. It has to have a story. The reason I mention this is because people should not go to the theatre thinking, we are going to watch Five Point Someone and later find out that it’s a completely different film.

Chetan Bhagat is also not exactly holier-than-thou. He said that he never read the script or may be, just the first draft. But check out this video (thnx for the tip Mohammad Moizuddin), at 5:30, Chetan saying that Raju narrated the full script to him, 2-3 times.

We havent read the book. But those who have, said its easily more than 5-10 percent. And if thats the case, then Chetan surely deserves better place in the credit. Watch any film which is based on any book, its always mentioned in the opening credits. And if the similarity is beyond the set up and the one liner pitch, Chetan also deserves a story credit.

Whats surprising is that in the centre of it is Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The man who doesnt leave any small credit. Remember the song bande me tha dum in Munnabhai MBBS. If we are not wrong, Vidhu Vinod Chopra suggested one or two lines of the song, to be exact, just the phrase bande me that dum! Rest was all written by Swanand Kirkire. But check out anywhere, Vidhu Vinod Chopra is credited everywhere for those few words. He made sure that he is credited.

At the Apsara Awards that year, when the song was nominated and only Swanand’s name was mentioned in the nomination list, VVC was shouting from rooftop for getting his name in the credit list. Yeh to poori kahani hai Sirji!

We love the filmmaker because he is insanely passionate about films and has discovered some great talent. He is the only producer who shares profit with his cast and crew. Abhijaat Joshi was paid Rs 1 crore after the sucess of Lage Raho Munnabhai. A writer getting a crore in this country ?? Thats Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. But thats VVC!

But the man is equally pompous and loud and loves talking about only his films. Its difficult to say why he did this to Chetan Bhagat, whose PR guys are always on overdrive to the point of irritation. But sadly this time, the man seems to be on the right side. And to read the contract between Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Chetan Bhagat, click www.vinodchopra.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

And isnt it a great irony! The film which told us that ranks, grades and marks are not everything, their makers are fighting over the credit! Wow! Strange are the ways of bollywood. And you, Mr RajKumar Hirani, where do you stand ?

Quentin Tarantino’s script of Inglorious Basterds was out on the net much before the film released. Nobody was bothered about the twists and the turns. Call it confidence, great promotional tool or the maverick’s way in movieland. But for us, it was a great treat.

Its easy to locate the script of many hollywood/world cinema titles on the net. But when it comes to desi films, we are miserable at documenting our cinema. Forget the script, we dont know how to take care of the print also. For fans of Lage Raho Munnabhai, there is some great news. And if you are writer, look no further. According to Sunday Mid-day, the screenplay of Lage Raho Munnabhai will be out soon. To quote….

Om Books International is releasing the 350-page screenplay (priced at Rs 395) on December 7, at a function that is expected to have Lage Raho Munna Bhai’s producer-writer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, director Rajkumar Hirani, actor Sanjay Dutt and 3 Idiots star Aamir Khan in attendance.

The book will be in Roman script, with the Hindi dialogues as they appeared in the film. Says Om Books International head, Ajay Mago, “When I met Vinod (Chopra), we thought it would be a great idea to publish all his films in screenplay form, starting with Lage Raho Munna Bhai. In August 2009, we began it all.

You can read the full report here. And excited by the idea, Vidhu Vinod Chopra is now planning to release the script of all his feature films, starting from Parinda to Eklavya. And even the ones that he produced (Parineeta, 3 Idiots). To read Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s interview on the same issue click here. (BTW, do notice the way in which he is still dropping names…David Lean, Pual Schrader. Aur bolo ?)