Making enemies

February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

    By writing this post I am making loads of enemies! I did contemplate for a long time whether to write this or not, and now I have made up my mind to put this out, so that I can move on and find a solution!

At least 5 times a day, I have someone asking me – What happened to Lucia? When is it starting? Who is it starring? I feel like I am being stabbed whenever someone asks this question. The update is that Lucia is a completed script. Its come out beautifully and I don’t even want to take the credit for writing it. I would say I am plain lucky and blessed to have been gifted with the idea of Lucia from some unknown energy (also known as god) and I was just instrumental in writing it. I have never been this impressed and confident about any of my scripts so far. My gut feeling is that Lucia can become a cult film for kannada industry. But the reality is that Lucia is just lying in my house as a completed script.

Its going to be 6 months since Lifeu Ishtene released, and I haven’t found a single ‘adjective’ star to give me 3 hours of his time to hear the script out! And all of them are now announcing their new remake films. I would have not reacted this way if they had heard the story and then rejected it. It feels bad because no one even wants to hear it out, they simply want to pick up remakes! And this sort of a treatment after making a hit film and proving that I do have the ability to make a film. I really don’t understand the logic here.

An original film writer in kannada hardly gets paid! Sometimes if he is lucky, he can make up to a Lakh or a little above that. That’s how much a kannada producer thinks a script writer deserves. However, the same producer pays up to 10-15 lakh (sometimes a lot more) to buy the remake rights of a film from another language. I haven’t got paid anything to write Lucia. I just wrote it because I enjoyed writing it. In other language industries a writer is funded even before he starts writing. Here our producers think that writing doesn’t require any money, remember its the same producers who pay through their nose to buy content written in another language.

Why is a remake preferred over an original? An original can only be narrated by the writer, the producer and the star will have to spend some brain time to understand and imagine what the writer is saying. Where as in case of a remake, one has to just watch the film and then see how much business it has done. Simple! no brains required at all. This is how you are fed. This is the simple process that happens before a movie reaches you. I have to thank my producers of Lifeu Ishtene, though its a very difficult script to narrate, they had the patience to sit with me for 10 hours and hear it out scene by scene. Though they did take this brave step last year, the industry’s business statistics doesn’t let them do this again. If you were in their position, you too would have thought – why put in so much time and effort in making an original and earn less while a remake with a big star could earn 10 times more!

Your question would be, why are we behind the big stars? Because YOU – the audience are so brand conscious. If the movie doesn’t have a BIG star, you don’t even come to the theatres. And if the movie has big star, whether its a remake movie or a stolen movie or a crap movie, you will watch it in the theatre and support it. How come a big star’s movie irrespective of the quality earns in BIG numbers while a good movie with a good actor barely manages to survive. You are setting the rules of the game. And this game between the stars and you is taking a toll on zillions of creative minds.

This whole remake affair is killing our own kannada writers and directors. I am finding it a lot easier to pitch Lucia in Hindi and Tamil. Though I am no where connected to tamil, I don’t understand or speak Tamil, but still a big star there is willing to hear out Lucia by the end of the month. But from the heart I want to make it in kannada, I would be very hurt if I have to go to a different language and do it. But with the current mind set of our stars, I don’t think it will happen. However, they might after a year buy the remake rights of Lucia! I wish I had the power to start a NO REMAKE revolution, but you as audience already have that power. Simply boycott watching remake films, go watch another language film, but don’t watch remakes. Don’t worship your star if he is making a remake. You will be instrumental in making careers for thousands of talented people who are currently rotting here. Personally I am going to make sure no remake films come on Home Talkies.

As young people in an industry, we can’t complain, we have to have solutions. The old will be scared and insecure and they will die soon, we will have to clean up the shit they would have left. Please take charge. When they said there is no educated audience for Kannada films and that’s why we have to make MASS films! Home Talkies was my solution, yes the educated are not coming to the theatres, so my idea is to get into their homes. Good kannada films had to reach out to the audience, and that’s the only way we could earn them back. Sidlingu’s producer was not going to release the film abroad, but from Home Talkies we have given him 440 audience from all over the world in just 2 days. That’s just an example of taking charge and bringing in a change. Film producers are now calling us to release their films on our site.

I might just make Lucia in kannada with a shoe string budget with no star, but just good actors. I might not be able to release it in the theatres, I will do a direct release on Home Talkies. My appeal to all the others who are in my position is to do the same. Make films, don’t let the stars control your career. With Home Talkies I have learnt that there thousands of good people who will support us. So just be brave, join us in bringing in the change. Remember, the night sky has more darkness than the shinning stars! (if you know what I mean :-) )

I don’t know how many gossips and false news will be published to kill my intentions. For those who have read my blog, you know that I am very honest with everything. The truth is that from my end I have called every <adjective> star to give me some time to hear my script, and not a single one has given me a hearing. They all are making remakes, importing directors from other states. This is the truth. If at all this post creates any noise, in the coming days you will hear a lot of stuff about me and Lucia, news that its a terrible script etc. You can choose to take which ever side you want to take. And that’s the reason why this post is called – Making Enemies!

(And for the records, After Lifeu Ishtene, I was offered to direct the remake of  ‘engeyum eppothum’ a tamil film. It’s a great film and I had seen it 4 times in the theatre though I don’t understand a word of tamil. I refused to do a remake. The producer has paid BIG money to get the rights, but he wont pay me 1/10th of that to write something new.)