First draft over…finally!

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Finally the first draft of my heist script has been completed. I know that the draft sucks but nothing can take away the exhilaration of typing ‘FADE OUT.’ It does a lot to your self confidence if you are able to stick to it till the end. Because a lot of uncertainties come up especially in the second act. It’s the make and break point of writing a script. If you are able to survive that, third act wont be much of a problem.

Completing a draft of a script does not prove anything. There are a lot of people out there who do that. But sustaining this passion for one long year while punching it out at the rate of one hour per day on average- I feel that at least I have proved to myself how serious I am regarding this ambition of being a scriptwriter.

There are certain things that I have learned from this experience.
1-What have I learned first and foremost is the importance of outlining in the completion of a script. But at the same time one needs to be aware how much outlining amount to how much script, page wise. Other wise a lot of your effort will disappear in rewriting. Continue reading

The great Indian political circus

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These are 5 lessons that I learned from elections 2009.

1- The less desperate a party is to get support from another party in the assembly, the more likely are they to get it.
2- Though no one is able to predict the exact outcome of the elections, once the results are declared every one has a waterproof theory about why it happened this particular way.
3- Though a party rules for 5 years, voters can only remember what happened in the last one week.
4- When a leader talks about the need for young leaders, what he means is that his son had atlast kept down his icecream cone and stood up to contest.
5- If some one says that all parties are the same, it just means that he was too lazy to vote.

Revelations- Biography of a sacred cow

This maiden venture by reaction shots really intrigued me.

What hits me about this short is the power of the ideas that propels it. At the surface it is about a futuristic dystopia where every aspect of human life revolves around ‘scientific relegion.’ But when you scratch the surface you realise that its not about future or scientific relegion but is about ‘now.’ The revulsion inducing rituals, preposterous ideologies, meaningless chantings…everything is a subterfuge to a greater end.

The clever writing demonstrates that you can criticise anything without raising a hullabaloo. If you criticise lack of originality and imagination and then hide it in shrewd fancy dress, no one without imagination can be really sure what its really all about.

To study the steam engines of human instituitions, it doesnt matter whether you reconstruct the outer metal casing. Whats relevant is the intricate inner machinery. The aim is to recreate the dynamics of the human instituitionalised relegious thinking.

Inherent tendency of all short films is to put technique above the depth of content. Rare is the single mindedness regarding what one is trying to achieve. And here the achievement is in conveying what one has to convey.

Choosing a concept

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When one needs ideas, there is no scarcity of ideas. The question is, which one to choose? A screenplay demands a lot of effort and time. Often you cannot predict from your diary of ideas how one particular idea will turn out in the end. So which idea should you commit to?

One really effective way to choose is to sit on them. Don’t jump into writing a particular idea. Some idea crash lands into your mind and is about to explode into lines on a paper? Wait. Wait atleast for one month. If still you feel that you have a story worth telling, may be you have. And the waiting period also helps in developing some new perspectives.
Continue reading

Religious experience and mental illness

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After returning from the ashram, he would always appear very silent. He would go to the terrace, and would be seen sitting there for long periods often with minimal body movements staring ahead. Some times he would be seen smiling without any apparent reason. And he refused to take food. Mother would spent hours coaxing him to eat.
He had come back after one year in the ashram. So mother naturally contacted ashram authorities regarding what to do. They advised her that currently he is a little ‘ill’ and can come back when he improves.

But if they had known what was really going on in his head, they would not have called him ill. He had started to hear the voice of God. Continue reading

My ‘zero fatigue’ movies

These are 15 of those movies that I watch repeatedly ie more than 5 times. And I can watch them again if I want to. I wont call all of them artistically meaningful. Most of them are guilty pleasures. But what the hell- why should we feel guilty when we are feeling pleasure?

1. One Fine Day
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This movie about two single parents whose lives gets accidently intertwined during the course of a single day leading to sweet consequences. In my opinion its the closest that I have come across a perfect romantic comedy screenplay. May be Michelle Pfeiffer is causing a cognitive distortion.

2. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
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Love birds and dissenting parents were once the bread and butter of Bollywood. Here the only twist is the boy who is not ready to marry the girl without the consent of her father. Well- you can show disgust for the Bollywood formula, you can laugh at the silliness of it, you can yawn at the predictability of it, you can write essays about the sugariness of it. But… you cannot resist it.

3. Good Will Hunting
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Its a well crafted movie revolving around a 18 year old delinquent mathematical genius and the psychiatrist who reluctantly tries to straighten him up. Its contains many of my favourite movie monologues beautifully rendered by Robin Williams on screen. And yes I think Ben Affleck is a better actor than Matt Damon. Shoot me.

4. Sandhesham
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This malayalam satire is about two brothers who belong to opposing political factions but living under the same roof. They take politics to the next level… that is into the family. Imagine every family dinner revolving around heated arguments about Chekoslovakia and Poland. Hope you get the picture. Continue reading