Writers and lyricists have long persisted in their fight for due credit and more respect from the decision makers in the film industry. In our writers’ roundtable last year, these issues that were discussed at length.
Speaking on how writers are not properly credited in trailers, Saiwyn Quadras, screenwriter of films like Neerja and the recent Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, said, “Sometimes the directors put ‘From the directors of X, Y, Z’ when two films out of the three were horrible films. Why don’t you put the writer’s name on the theatrical trailer where people will see the name or remember the name! At the end of the day, that’s the sort of validation you want. People will know who the writer of the film is.”
Varun Grover, screenwriter and lyricist, spoke about how lyricists’ names are often left out, even in videos of the songs they’ve written. He said, “If you go to YouTube and official channels of music companies putting out songs, they will give the names of the music director and singer in the video. Sometimes they put the name of the actor who is in that ‘song video’. The video description will have the actor’s name, the composer’s and then the singer’s. There is no lyrics writer’s name! Sometimes dhundna padta hai neeche.”
This Sunday, the trailer for Helicopter Eela starring Kajol was released. Grover was quick to point out how the lyricists including Swanand Kirkire weren’t credited in it even though the trailer had extensively used his songs they wrote.
This new film’s trailer is cut mostly on songs. They have credited everybody in the title-plate at the end EXCEPT the lyrics writer(s) (including Swanand Kirkire). All you need to know how dispensable they think we are. Shameful. pic.twitter.com/2USiQP1Iix
— वरुण (@varungrover) August 5, 2018
Grover’s tweet seems to have been taken notice of. Ajay Devgn, producer of the film, promptly issued and apology on Twitter and said they would rectify it.
We accidentally missed out @swanandkirkire‘s name as lyricist from Helicopter Eela trailer. Apologies, rectifying it.
— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) August 5, 2018
Today, announcing his next film Takht, director and producer Karan Johar tweeted the names of writers Sumit Roy and Hussain Haidry, referring to writers as the “heartbeat and soul of a film”. The focus was as much on them as the film’s A-list cast featuring Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar. After Johar’s gesture, the outpouring of appreciation from the writing community shows how rarely this happens.
The Screenplay is by SUMIT ROY! Dialogues by HUSSAIN HAIDRY,SUMIT ROY! And thanks to @NotSoSnob for bringing these talents to us at @DharmaMovies ! An exciting journey ahead….WRITERS are the heartbeat and soul of a film! These gentlemen lead all the way…. pic.twitter.com/hyTucBmKaG
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) August 9, 2018
Fellow industry members applauded the move from Johar.
That’s so classy, to put forward the names of the writers in the very first announcement.
— वरुण (@varungrover) August 9, 2018
Bravo!!! Huge credit to ull for giving writers credit 👏👏👏👏👏
— Milap (@zmilap) August 9, 2018
Now where have you seen this before? Writer getting credits on the announcement poster. Such grace. Lots to learn others. https://t.co/FsBgLOwFfs
— Sumit Aroraa (@Sumitaroraa) August 9, 2018
— Neeraj Ghaywan (@ghaywan) August 9, 2018
Here’s hoping this sets a precedent for the industry to follow.