Saturday, January 8, 2011

All these years of my writing I’ve been asking myself a question, hundreds of times – what do I have to write as screenplay, so many people like it. At the same time I wanted them to know that I wrote it. OMG! It’s a tough nut to crack.

And this question came up again at the Academy Studio - ScreenWrite.In when a few of my student-writers gathered to work on their screenplays which are getting produced soon.

You can't make films about something the audience knows nothing about. The trick is getting the audience to tell their own stories in the story so that they know what will happen. And then, just before they get bored, you surprise them and move the story in a new direction.

You may call it a theory or a system or whatever but the basic idea is that you’re very much part of an audience with a life, regularly pulsating, emotionally binding, trying to make meanings about many things we are all ignorant and wary about than you’re a writer. At the same time, a writer also wonders about the ignorance and unpredictability of life, which he relives to make meanings.

As many writers had long interpreted, a writer lives, at best, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world, lies a deeper feeling of wonder at it. Writing stories is an exercise of dreaming of course, but paradoxically, conscious dreaming, and so, necessarily not apart from living. It’s of course, a double living. 

For the same reason, I believe, a writer needn’t be known personally, but by his reliving in his products – his stories. And only those who need him would know where to find him. That would be sometimes filmmakers, sometimes audiences or sometimes characters themselves long lost in the maze of those wakeful imaginings.

If this is the kind of story that screenwriters select to write for films to communicate, screenplays literally provide the ingredients to make it happen. For the same reason, it becomes a blue print for just emotions and not literary depth and display. It works as an effective catalyst for the story to be told well, audio visually and the emotions carved and guided to the optimal peaks.

And if the screenwriter has to show this great art of structuralizing emotions, he has to wear the attire of a composer of music as he writes. It involves a lot of technique, a lot of rules, a lot systematic specifics and a lot of knowledge of how people respond to emotional packages. A good screenwriter must be aware of all that. If you don’t know the rules you can’t challenge them or break them.

I believe that film is built up with completely banal stories, which everyone knows. But what makes it plausible, attentive and remembered is channeling a unique emotional approach and definitions. And I believe, that is incomparably personal of the screenwriter; and depends on the life experiences and awareness of the many pockets of life conditions the writer has gone through or can identify as emotional springs to mark in his structuralizing labor. That’s what really matters. Only that matters.


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