Writers from the region share tips to make it big in film industry

  • Divya Sharma, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Feb 05, 2015 23:08 IST

Most writers will tell you that storytelling is something that comes naturally to them. Such is the case of Pathankot resident Amit Babbar, 31, an alumnus of the Department of Communication Studies of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

“I come from a family of storytellers. My father used to tell me stories when I was young,” recalls Amit, who started working as a copywriter with a Chandigarh-based advertising agency during college days. He knew then that the next stop for him would be Mumbai, where he has been working for over seven years now.

Amit has worked with directors like Anurag Kashyap and Abbas Tyrewala besides big production houses like Shemaroo and Shakuntalam Telefilms. He has also written the screenplay for animated films like ‘Return of Hanuman’ and ‘Jumbo’.
“Those who want to do screenplay writing must explore TV as it offers more freedom and opportunity,” says Amit. He is currently busy writing scripts for the TV channel Colors and another for Zee TV.

Amit has written Zee TV’s upcoming television show, ‘Hello Pratibha’, which is on air since January 27. He urges aspirants to take up writing seriously.

Mumbai calling

Manoj Sabharwal, who is currently working as a scriptwriter with ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, was destined to be a writer. “I used to direct plays for colleges in Jalandhar and it was only from comedian Rajiv Thakur that I learnt writing is a full-fledged profession,” he says.

His persistence paid off when in 2009, his meeting with Raaj Shaandilyaa, a Mumbai-based writer, led to his working as a scriptwriter on the TV show ‘Comedy Circus’. Manoj has since worked with various TV channels such as DD Punjabi and ETC.

The ‘Double Di Trouble’ writer feels there is a dire need to make people aware of behind-the-camera professions and to open institutes where such skills can be imparted.

“I learnt on the job, from screenplay to editing. Mumbai is the place to be if one is serious about writing,” says Manoj, who wants to portray the life of legendary Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi on screen.

Critics hardly bother the writer from Ludhiana, Dheeraj Rattan, who has written scripts for a number of Hindi films as well as hit Punjabi film ‘Jihne Mera Dil Luteya’.

“I love to bring in a human angle to my scripts; it is the most important thing as the entire movie is based on a script,” says the former MBA dropout, who left the world of finance to pursue his dream of becoming a writer.

Rattan has written ‘1920’, ‘Haal-e-dil’, ‘Shapit’, along with ‘Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar’, ‘Mel Karade Rabba’ and ‘Singh vs Kaur’.

He says, “Punjabi films are not comedy-centric, they are rom-coms.” The ‘Saadi Love Story’ director feels there is a lot of potential in the industry and a vision ahead only will change it.

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