Films and Festival

Films featured high on my Sunday yesterday. I attended the Filmcamp‘s workshop on ScriptWriting in the morning at BrewHaHa. Sanjay Nambiar (hopefully I put in the right link here) walked us through the script for The Shawshank Redemption. I don’t think I can start capturing all the details here — but for me the biggest take-away was that you need to be quite detail oriented and be succinct at the same time while writing a script, because the rest of the cast and crew is going to rely on you to give them an idea about what they need to do. It should capture details about location, props, even lighting sometimes. However, it should not be too instructive lest it might limit the creativity of the rest of the rest of the team. The right balance between detail and leaving things open is something one can only get if one has participated in a full project perhaps. I have seen scripts of plays, and they are usually quite similar. For instance, along with all the dialogs that have to be prepared upfront (before you even sign the actors at least in the West!), you might also describe camera angles, voice-overs and so on. Unless you do that, you would not be very kind to producers :-)

What I was left wondering is that if the film is an adaptation of a book, how much changes, what they keep and what they leave out. It was a far more technical discussion than I had expected — and as such they didn’t discuss what differentiates good scripts from bad in terms of content and storyline.

Then, in the evening, I went and watched Om Shanti Om, and unlearned everything. Kudos to SRK and Farah’s guts actually, since they admit all over the movie that the storyline doesn’t make sense. And SRK’s usual overacting (even Kirron Kher — what happened to her?) and Deepika Padukone’s almost non-existent role (they could just have used a portrait! She was so over-hyped; she didn’t even have a role!!) didn’t help things either. The one single joke that I liked best was Soorat Barjatya noting down the ‘No Sorry. No Thank You.’ dialog he later went on to use in Maine Pyaar Kiya. The whole movie felt more like a show-off exercise by King Kong Khan (not to be confused with the other KKK). In fact, SRK has himself admitted this in the past, and I am at my wit’s end trying to understand what women find attractive about monkeys:

Shah Rukh Khan recently quipped that he felt ‘like a monkey’ out to entertain movie buffs!

“I am like a monkey who dances to the tunes of the director, producer and script writer, to entertain cinegoers,” Khan says.

“I even dance in my bathroom in front of the mirror!” Khan exclaims.

In other news, Bangalore is abuzz with Bengalooru Habba and there are some great performances. I am especially excited about the English Theater being held at Chowdiah, right beside my home. If you haven’t seen Kanyadaan yet, then you must most definitely go (see the earlier review I had written of the play). The best part about the Habba is that the passes are free and available at Cafe Coffee Day outlets around Bangalore. Don’t miss this!

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