We’ve all been there before — lured into the cinema by big stars, hit music and lavish advertising, only to walk away thinking: where an earth was the story? One of the key headliners from FICCI Frames this year was the dire situation of Hindi film scripts.
What’s FICCI Frames you ask? It’s a Mumbai based three-day international conference for the media & entertainment industry, attracting delegates from abroad, as well as the Indian film industry. This year saw Shah Rukh Khan and Hollywood star Hugh Jackman address delegates together.
With the Indian film industry reportedly losing around $66 million in 2010 to flop films, despite an actual real term growth in the entertainment market, this is definitely a cause for concern. Cast your mind back to some of the big budget, big star turkeys of last year: Tees Maar Khan, Action Replayy, Raavan, just to mention a few. And it’s not hard to see that the main culprit was indeed the poor scripts!
So what is everyone doing about it? According to Aseem Chhabra, a New Yorker in town attending the conference, the answer was: Not much! He reported that even Karan Johar’s panel on debutant filmmaking, although a worthwhile celebration of new indie directors, such as Kiran Rao, director of the recent Dhobi Ghaat, the panel still failed to produce any news worthy lessons. Chhabra’s conclusion: three days gone to waste!
Sholay director Ramesh Sippy, whose son Rohan Sippy is about to release his next directorial venture Dum Maro Dum next month, was quoted in the Times of India having said: “Stars have always been important. But they became stars because of good films. Sometimes because of their charisma and star power, they get in the crowds and make an average film a hit, but if a film is bad, then no star can save it”.
Raj Kumar Gupta, who scripted and directed the recently successful No One Killed Jessica, was quoted by IANS proclaiming: “The demand for a well-written, extensively explained, good script is the need of the hour”. However, he says “The biggest hindrance for any scriptwriter is to convince a director and an actor”.
So, all you budding writers out there this may just be your calling: grab your pens, your laptops, your iPads and get busy writing — Bollywood needs you!