Think you could pen a filmi story? Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani may just make it come alive on 70mm. The duo, through their production house Excel Entertainment, have come up with a new initiative to encourage new writers. Here, writers can send in their scripts, which will be scrutinised on three levels, before the written word becomes a full-fledged Bollywood film.
To start with, Excel has set up a team of four people on the first level, who go through scripts minutely. “They are all professionals and are paid for the job. Their task is to do the script coverage (analysis) and decide whether it should be forwarded to the next level,” explains Ritesh.
At the next level, another set of screenwriters (three) go through the scripts. “Javedsaab (Akhtar) will also go through certain scripts. And once they all approve, they will come to Farhan and me for the final call,” he says.
The initiative began over seven months ago, and now Excel Entertainment plans to make a yearly investment of Rs1 crore for this division. “It’s priceless for us. The script, after all, is the backbone of any film. And even if we get one script a year — though we hope to get more — it will be worth everything we do,” says Ritesh, adding they have already gone through over 100 scripts.
The new initiative will also provide budding writers some “constructive feedback.” “Experts at the first level will get back to the writer regarding what works in the script and what doesn’t,” says Ritesh.
“It’s only after a good story that you can rope in a director, actors, music director and others. Plus, we have also felt that they (scriptwriters) are underpaid and largely unrecognised in the industry,” he says.
5 steps to big screen:
Step 1: Register script with Writer’s Association
Step 2: Send synopsis and complete script to email@example.com
Step 3: Experts go through script.
Step 4: Select few to be scrutinised by another panel
Step 5: Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani take final call