Whose Line Is It Anyway?


This time a big-budget thriller, titled Simran, to be shot in the US with Kangana Ranaut in the lead. And in the Indian film industry, where “friendship” is key to functioning, the producer and director will nudge the writer into signing such a contract. Suggestions can come from anywhere, but the person needs to have done some real work, written a whole draft at least.” Ranganath seconds Rajabali, adding that in case the contributor has done a good job, the original writer needs to be informed before the former is officially brought on board. Anjum Rajabali
The importance of a writer, says Asrani, needs to be understood and acknowledged by the industry. Rajabali does admit that writers are often more vulnerable because producers are at liberty to take on an additional writer. “And if the writer objects, the makers will remind them of the relationship and trust they share,” she says. In 2015, director Kunal Kohli had to pay a compensation to script writer Jyoti Kapoor as Kohli’s film Phir Se, and Kapoor’s project RSVP had similarities. However, the events that unfolded over the last few weeks have marked a rather bitter end to this collaboration. However, he adds, “While the contributor can be an actor, director or the producer’s relative, they cannot stake claim on the co-writing credit unless they have put pen on paper and done actual writing. Kapoor took Kohli to court, and the Supreme Court awarded Kapoor a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs and also asked Kohli to give her credit for the “story idea”. A member of the Film Writers Association (FWA) board and screenwriter on films such as Ghulam, Rajneeti and Chakravyuh, Anjum Rajabali says that clarity in contracts can help avoid disagreements such as these. So, what is the way out of conflicts such as these? “The writer has to very careful, and one can make the writer credit sacrosanct in the contract. Mehta, however, remained unavailable for comment. But such instances are far and few. Yet their contracts are the hardest, they are expected to sign off most of their rights,” she points out. But there is larger need for the industry to understand that the writer is a not a disposable commodity,” says Asrani. The two had worked together before, notably on Shahid, however, Aligarh marked Asrani’s debut as a screenwriter. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App now However, the remaining number are a mix of things, where credits or payments become an issue. But that doesn’t mean they will share credits on each of these. Chaudhari was dragged to court by Abhishek Kapoor, who was initially to direct the film, demanding co-writing credits. Pubali Chaudhuri, who wrote Rock On!! “Now, directors contribute hugely to all departments, they give feedback on script, art, lighting and so on. Even though they come on board first, they are often the last to be paid. A look at the box-office successes and critically acclaimed films — with or sans stars as part of the cast — in the past two years reiterates that with Indian cinema evolving, it’s the script not the star that is king. 2017-05-16T00:53:51+00:00″>
Published:May 16, 2017 12:53 am

Simran teaser 
When Manoj Bajpayi starrer Aligarh released in 2015, the film’s success cemented the collaboration between director Hansal Mehta and editor Apurva Asrani. Unless the contributor comes as co-writer, demanding such a credit in retrospect will naturally be perceived as unfair.”
Vinod Ranganath, Chairperson of the dispute settlement committee at FWA, says they receive over 300 disputes and complaints every year where 45 per cent are rooted in the lack of awareness, where writers may not understand what’s copyright infringement or may have signed off rights without understanding fine print. He has since also been booted out as the film’s editor. The duo has parted ways after Mehta announced that Ranaut will share co-writing credits as she has contributed significantly to the script, which Asrani has denied. Soon after the release, the duo embarked on yet another project together. But the writer still often finds herself in a vulnerable spot. While the film’s first look, unveiled on Sunday, credits Asrani with screenplay, dialogues and story, Ranaut’s name, as the additional story and dialogue writer, appears first, highlighting the conflict. Apurva Asrani
Writer and lyricist Varun Grover says that the entire “system” is skewed against the writer. But the original writer needs to be informed of the fact, even if he or she may not consent to it,” says Ranganath. 2, agrees, “There’s no film without a basic script and they stay with a film even if it’s delayed by two years sometimes. “It does happen sometimes that an additional writer is signed on if the producer and the director feel he can bring significant value to the project.