|In our first-ever Film Companion adda with screenwriters, we ask them to share their favourite war stories with us. Here they tell us about the most outrageous incidents they’ve faced while pitching scripts to producers.|
In our first-ever Film Companion adda with screenwriters, we ask them to share their favourite war stories with us. Here they tell us about the most outrageous incidents they’ve faced while pitching scripts to producers.
Varun Grover (writer of Masaan)
For our first ever narration of Masaan, both Neeraj (Ghaywan) and I were really nervous kyunki ab tak doston ko sunayi thi aur accha tha feedback. But this was the first ever narration where someone would say yes or no and that would change our destiny. We went there. First half got over and you look at the face of the producer and try gauging (what he’s thinking). And they are like, ‘Ek smoke break lete hai’ because they want to avoid your eyes. There were two of them. Dono kuch kuch baat kar rahe hai. They came back and said, “Puraane gaane kitne daale hai isme?” There were 2-3 places where there were songs playing on the radio in the script. I thought, ‘yeh kya sawaal hua? Film ke baare mein puchho ya phir aage badho’. I said, “Maybe three songs.” He replied, “Aapko pata hai ek gaane ka 25 lakh maangte hai studio. Toh 75 lakh yahi ho gaye.” That was one crazy response. They were robots!
Juhi Chaturvedi (writer of Piku, Vicky Donor)
I’ve been asked by a producer, “Why do you take so long to write a script?” I said maybe I wasn’t a good enough writer. Then he told me, “Take away the 5 mins for each song, 25 min toh aise hi nikal jayenge, 15 mins is the fight sequence after the interval, so keep that aside. All you have to write is a 40 minute film.” I said, “You’re right. I never thought of it like that.”
Himanshu Sharma (Writer of Raanjhanaa, Tanu Weds Manu)
At the time of Tanu Weds Manu I gave so many narrations that if I had taken Rs 500 for each of them, I could have bought myself a Nano at the time! One producer finally agreed to make it. His wife was also at the narration. The next day Aanand (L Rai) told me,“Tere ko pata hai woh kitna de rahe hai? 9 lakh” This was in 2008. I picked up the phone and called HDFC and spoke to a lady about a loan. I thought this is the right chance. The next day Aanand said, ‘Accha suno. Producer ki saas aayi hai aur unhone kaha hai ki aapki kundli unke saath baithegi nahi.’ For the next one month the lady from HDFC would call me everyday and say, “Sir, loan?” I said, “Behen, khatam ho gaya woh. Saare sapne chakna choor ho gaye hai. Koi ghar nahi hai. Tum agar kuch madat kar sakti ho toh dekho personal level pe.”
Saiwyn Quadras (Writer of Mary Kom, Neerja)
For my first script I met two producers – very well known names in the industry. I’m reading so obviously I’m not looking up… One fellow fell asleep. The other person looks like he is looking at me so I continue. Then the other one wakes up and this fellow is asleep.Then I look up and both of them are asleep. I reached the end and they said, “Yeh thodi documentary type hai.”
Catch the full FC Adda with screenwriters here: