‘Content is always the King’ in scriptwriting and who knows this better than the showman, Subhash Ghai, who is also the Dean and Founder of the Whistling Woods International. Being one of the most acclaimed members of the Indian Film Fraternity he has been a witness to the changing phases of this industry. Based on his experience, he shares his insights about careers in film scriptwriting.
“Presently in Mumbai, even a newly successful scriptwriter commands a fee upwards of Rs. 50 lakh, top writers charge more than Rs. 1 crore. If you are a new writer, with a competent script, you can easily quote for Rs. 10 lakhs and above,” says Ghai.
“Though script writing is a booming profession worldwide, we do not encourage this talent much in India,” observes Ghai. But there is a lot of potential, and this is gradually seen in films with an unusual theme, plot, and narrative. For example, movies like Queen, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Lunchbox and the latest Dum Laga Ke Haisha all had strong, well-written scripts.
Talking about the current situation Ghai says, “Today, I know every third person in India has some story to tell, but he is too shy to share. They want to be professional storywriters, but do not know how to pen them down. They fail to realise that stories have to be woven into an intelligent, but coherent and accessible script with intent for audience to understand. Else, it will remain an indulgent exercise in self-expression, which no one wants to see.”
Further, Ghai feels this is the best time to be a scriptwriter. “This is why,” he says, “I felt a need to set up a global film school, Whistling Woods International in Filmcity, Mumbai with a scriptwriting course.”
The screenwriting department is headed by veteran writer Anjum Rajabali. Here, students connect with producers from Mumbaistaan [Mumbai Movie world]. Rajabali too endorses that students must take full advantage of this opportunity. Formal training will help you learn in a systematic and efficient manner, thus giving you a competitive edge in the industry. So, grab this opportunity and learn scriptwriting from the very best.