Bollywood’s Kallu Mama wasn’t expecting much from a random annual workshop at an IIT institute. But as the event proceeded, he thought of testing the creative waters of our country’s top-notch engineers in-the-making. To his surprise, something entirely different came out. Director-screenwriter-actor Saurabh Shukla walked out with a movie script.
“I was talking about screenwriting at the annual workshop at an IIT. As I was explaining to the 250 students the basics of screenwriting, I happened to mention that a film has about a 100 scenes. That’s when a thought struck my mind,” says Shukla.
“This was a class of 250. So I asked each student to come up with two scenes; any random scenes with as many characters as they want. At the end of it, I had 500 scenes each running into a half or full page. There was a film in them somewhere.”
Also present at the workshop were R Balki, Dibakar Banerjee who spoke about digital cinema, Shimit Ameen talked about film direction, and Santosh Sivan about cinematography. This experimental form of film writing has currently left the famous Satya actor with the task of compiling and streamlining the 500 scenes.
“Surprisingly, it’s not abstract, but a bit absurd. They have done their bit. Now it is my task to understand, collect, re-arrange and bridge the stories. I have just started work on it; it should take some time. But it seems to have all elements that a film requires— sorrow, happiness, falling in love, anger and so on,” he says.
Shukla’s films, I am 24 will star Ranvir Shorey and Rajat Kapoor and Pappu Can’t Dance Sala will see Neha Dhupia and Vinay Pathak in it. Turner has taken both these medium-budget comedy films under its wing.
“They have acquired I am 24, which is a Planman’s production, and the other film is produced by Turner Film Company,” says Shukla, who doesn’t necessarily like to put himself under the independent filmmaker category, but believes that people should make films because they want to, not because the market calls for them.
He says,“The reason why this wave is called the independent wave is because they are driven by market demands. Everyone works for their own ideas at the end of the day, I don’t know whether I am in that category, but I am making films because I like them.”
Random short film wins award
At another workshop, Saurabh Shukla had worked on a similar experimental script for a short film. That short film recently won the award for best screenplay at a short film festival in Los Angeles.
Shukla has been picked as the director of the month by UTV World Movies. As a part of that deal, he will recommend four films that will be screened on the channel as a part of their program called 50 Movies To Watch Before You Die. The four films he picked include — Kikujiro, Name Of The Rose, Lucky Miles, Paradise Now