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In conversation Oscar winner screenplay writer Alexander Dinelaris and Boman Irani – who spoke to us about his new production house, upcoming directorial debut and art of writing. Excerpts :

What really inspired you to become a producer and launch your own production house?
Boman:- My production house just happened because when my script got ready, I wanted to be a little bit control of the vision of the script. So, I didn’t want to turn producer as much as I wanted to turn director and have control over it, and my production house will help me to do that; also it kind of also sets up a culture developing young script writers, season script writers, put together the scripts, develop them, , curate them, work on them and then put them out there, that  was the idea.

How was the experience giving workshop to the young students and what are the basic factors to be a good screenplay writer?  
Alexander:- The experience was incredible, the energy in the room, the passion, the curiosity, the generosity and affection, there was an energy I that room that was feeding me, though I was jet lag and didn’t sleep well yet I was with full of energy as I was there. The energy in the room was electric and the quality of questions coming from young writers was so specific and passionate even more so than I get back in states. So for me it was very rewarding and inspiring.  What I tried to talk about were the theories I learnt and helped me in my writing, the theories of structure, scene construction, just to give them a set of tools that perhaps they want to use on basis they can investigate these tools so that they can use it in future, so that was the focus mainly in the workshop.     

Isn’t it a best place to be in, in terms of satisfying your creative side and also experiment with subjects?
Boman:- I think I’m putting myself in a good place and if I do it with honesty, integrity, and enjoy the process, I don’t know how it’s going to turn up . The intention’s are great and if turns out great then it will be the best place to be in.

What is your film about?
Boman:- It’s a story about father – son relationship and the rest I can’t tell you before the film release.

How has the scenario changed for writers in coming time in terms of recognition and the equal credit given as the directors?
Alexander:- In the culture back in Western America, the writers are still under appreciated but at least compensated, at least credited; those things are standard because of the gilts of union so at least we have that, understand it was worst, now at least it’s getting better.  I think it’s the worst kept secret in cinema industry that the writers aren’t important, everybody knows it but they just don’t say it. I have a friend who is on a big budget film but it’s not made yet and they are on their 7th writer and the last 3 writers cost a fortune, all of them.  So three writers ago, they are on their 4th writer and the person is making 100-1000 dollars a week to rewrite the script which has been rewritten three times who then gave a draft which wasn’t good enough so they hired a writer even for more money before they have a script, now they have paid millions of dollars for the script that is still not ready to go. So, it’s this idea that anybody can write, but no you need one single viewpoint and tale a chance on that story being told. It’s a soup that they try to build to make everything perfect. And I can imagine the culture is no difference in mainstream here. If we get right actors, and the right kind of story, we are fine.
Boman:- But the difference here is, just to add to what he said is that, they are still not producing the film till they feel the script is in place. Here we go ahead, we got the right idea, we got the right actors as he said, and we will make it. At least they are saying we wasted all that money let’s put in more money and at least let’s get the script in place, that’s the difference.  William Goldman said – ‘Nobody knows anything’.
Alexander:- That’s his famous quote from his book ‘Nobody knows anything’, what’s going to make a hit, what’s not! If you would ask me about ‘Birdman’, we could have told you only 7 people going to see that movie, it was insane. We thought it would be a little independent film that people appreciated; we never thought it would become what it became. It was a miracle, and till date we are not quite sure why people, in speculate better than us but then you think other things, that it’s going to be fantastic, you just never know.
Boman:- Two films ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ and ‘Khosla ka Ghosla’, ‘Khosla ka Ghosla’ after it was made nobody  wanted to board it for  and then it was said that it had no production value. There were old people living in that old house ,how lush would you make to that house to look like a good production house. Good production about khosela ka ghosela was the fact that, they showed the peeled walls. So nobody buyed and no one is going to watch a film like this about poor people who don’t have a house and have lost a house they don’t own. but that helps because it’s a great story a well told story. And guess what it doesn’t take two big cooperates to loose, it takes two guys who think similarly, love each other and just care for cinema ,they just say and do it. It is difficult but it’s not impossible.

How much involvement is needed of a writer to be on sets while filming, how does the writer director collaboration work?
Alexander:- Since I have worked with some great directors, I have an incredible experience so you trust them entirely. But once you handle the script its the directors job so if he wants you on set and demand for you, then you have to be there. Because a business is a business. You demand that collaboration while you’re writing it. It all depends on the director, if he wants your input on the sets so that’s perfect with me.

You two begin a fresh association. So from here on, how do you see things coming, in terms of collaborating more with your sensibilities tuned in?
Boman:- Alexander  has come up with a superb idea to find 6 worthy students from india and take them to United states. And take 6 students from United states, put them all together in one room.Alex is friends with some  finest talent in writing,bring them in, let themspend a day and develope their ideas, creative space in a week or two, sponser that between my company and his company. It will be a great bridge, where people are talking about building walls but alex is talking about building bridges between two countries. And it will be so beautiful of them in the coming year or the same season, six if those very students coming to india and are expose to be wonderful treasure of stories , folk stories, history, mythology. I think its a start , a great idea and is not difficult to do, if we r honest enough we wont make much time.
Alexander:- The more I think the more happy it makes me no matter who says what there is no reverse globalization The internet changed that,  the younger folks understand that more than the older folks. Right now after the workshop I have 30 more Tweeter people, I am talking to and there’s no way to stop it  so getting six students from theses two contries and switch, who knows what can happen. Trade Magazine



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