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Redrafting scripts

Film fraternity debates on whether scripts require several drafts once it’s finalised.

bollywood Updated: Oct 26, 2010 16:29 IST
Pooja Thakkar

Author Chetan Bhagat, writer and actor Piyush Mishra, director at the NCPA, Deepa Gahlot, and director of If I Want to Whistle I Whistle, Florine Serban, were part of an open forum moderated by Atul Tiwari. They debated on whether redrafting of a script is essential or should it be avoided.

Bhagat referred to the 3 Idiots controversy and said that the changes in filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s adaptation of his book, Five Point Someone, didn’t bother him because he understands that a story needs to be treated differentl. He said, “I’s difficult being a film writer because a novelist can always preserve his original copy, but the essence of the story often gets lost in the process of screenwriting.” He drew funny analogies, calling the story in a novel doodh (milk), the film script dahi (curd) and the final product lassi (buttermilk).

Mishra cited examples of directors like Anurag Kashyap, who writes a script in 10 days and then goes a3 idiotsbout making 30-40 drafts for the same script. He also mentioned director Vishal Bhardwaj, who on the other hand, wouldn’t make so many drafts once the script is finalised. Mishra said, "Don’t involve too many writers, as that often leads to the loss of the script’s authenticity."

Gahlot recalled her own experiences, about how she had to change a lot in her own script only to please several people.Disillusioned, she took an oath never to write a film script.

Seban shared his experiences while working on his movie. “Scripting is an organic process I am in favour of redrafting. My own film required 36 drafts before it evolved into a script,” he said.The debate highlighted many unexplored ideas for budding scriptwriters, which made it a fulfilling experience.

The writer is part of the Mumbai Film Festival's (MAMI) Young Critics’ Programme, an initiative of HT Cafe