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Monday, January 25, 2010

Story, Screenplay, Direction....

When I played a Tamizh movie for an Italian American friend in the mid nineties, he looked at the titles and went "this guy did the story, screenplay, dialogue and direction for this movie ?!" and my response was "he is also the hero!"

It was a K. Bhagyaraj movie and it was actually a good movie (at least by my standards).

My friend wanted to know why the same guy had to do the story and screenplay, to which I had no answer. Hadn't given much thought to it you see, especially since in most Indian movies the director does the screenplay almost by default to the point where you won't see screenplay mentioned as a separate line item in the credits.

Recently reviews for a big budget Pongal release Tamizh movie mention screenplay not being on par with the rest of the movie. (examples here, here)

If you have been bloghopping the Desi blogs recently you would have caught this highly publicized plagiarism issue as well (and this is by no means the first or last cry against plagiarism in the blog circles!)

Why don't we have folks who do screenplay full time for Indian movies? Why don't we have a bunch of people who write dialogues and stop there?

My guess is that there is no protection of Intellectual property. Someone writes a story, tells it to a director and the director takes the story and runs with it anyways.. so why give the writer any credit? What incentive does any writer have at that point to write dialogues or screenplay for a living if one can be cheated out of that livelyhood every easily?

If a writer can have some protection for their creativity, then chances are movie screenplays will improve and the director can go back do directing their very best, no?


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:35 AM, Anonymous WA wrote...

aaaawww I like chutney


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