Posts Tagged ‘Bollywood producers’

Resuming from yesterday, I knew that the project would never get off the ground. After years of dealing with people like that you develop an instinct for such things.

But there sat Mr. Rajinder, across the desk from me, looking at me expectantly. All he wanted to know was how much I wanted for writing the film. I had lost my patience by then so I mentioned a figure I knew he would never pay. I obliged him by breaking it up, just in case he thought I was taking him for a ride. I said I wanted x for the story,  y for the screenplay and z for the dialogues.

He looked shocked. As did the sleeping partner, who woke up with a start.

Mr. Rajinder was thrown and blurted, “But our budget is (x+y+z)/5!”

I said, “Good luck with your venture,” and got up to go.

Mr. Rajinder was clearly not used to this attitude from writers. Let me clarify that I don’t throw this attitude either. Not with good/noted/serious film makers.

He opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish. After a few moments he recovered and said a trifle angrily this time, “You should not be thinking about money at such a time in your life. You should be thinking about your career. And do you know how popular and in demand you will be when people learn you’re writing (geriatric director’s name) film? Do you realise the kind of endorsement you’ll get when a director who’s himself a creative genius approaches you to write his film? Producers will line up outside your house. You will be able to name your price. In fact you will be so busy that you won’t have time for us!”

I didn’t have time for him then. So I politely told them that I didn’t have to think about my career and that it was going fine and that I wanted the figure I had quoted.

“But I already told you the story!” he all but shouted. “Why do you need money for the story?”

Let’s see, what he’d told me so far was girl meets boy, they fall in love and want to get married, there’s opposition from their families which they overcome and live happily after. Seriously, did he think that constituted a story?  

As this point, the sleeping partner decided that he needed to step in and they started a bad version of good cop, bad cop. He smiled at me genially and said, “Look Rajinder is right. You are young and have a fire-in-your-bally (what was it with the fire-in-the-belly? Did I resemble a dragon or what?). You should look at this as an opportunity.”

I looked on impassively.

He tried again. “Do you know how many writers come to meet us everyday? At least ten. We rejected them for you,” he ended expansively.

“I’m flattered,” I said but otherwise showed no signs of relenting.

“Look the story belongs to (geriatric director’s name), but let me put it this way, we’ll pay you Rs. 1,00,000 for story improvement.”

I considered his generous offer for precisely two seconds and said, “Well, you yourself said that you meet at least ten writers a day. Why don’t you approach someone else?”

Mr. Rajinder realised he was losing me and made an effort to control himself. He said, “Of course that is always there but you see when we saw your interview we thought you had that fire-in-the-bally and we want to work with you.”

“You see the fire-in-the-belly does need to be stoked. And that costs money. After all, I do have to live in Bombay.”

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the sleeping partner said hastily, “There’s no need to answer now. Think about it. Take your time.”

I did. Finally, they called me last evening. I didn’t answer.

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