BHUBANESWAR: Writing is a process of suffering and unless a writer suffers, he will not do justice to the story that he wants to tell, said theatre director Feroz Abbas Khan here on Sunday.
Chairing the session ‘Writing for the Entertainment Media is not Just About Entertaining’ on the second day of Odisha Literary Festival, Khan said entertainment in both theatre and films is all about engaging the audience and keeping their interest alive. “Writing for the entertainment media is a craft which is bound by constraints of time,” said Khan, whose theatrical production ‘Mahatma vs Gandhi’ was appreciated both in national and international fora. He said a writer in the entertainment sector always has a deadline and a time-frame within which he has to deliver to the best of his ability. “Be it 90 minutes or two hours, a film writer or a theatre writer needs to tell his story within that time-frame and this constraint is both the beauty and the nightmare of the profession,” he added.
Film director and screenwriter Abhishek Chaubey said as far as writing for entertainment medium is concerned, it is essentially about a structure. For the two-hour-long film, Chaubey said, a writer has to search for a structure and a theme which are going to come across in a movie. He said there are two kinds of writers in the entertainment medium, one who writes films with just the motive of entertaining and the other who writes films which have a social message.
Elaborating on ‘Udta Punjab’ that Chaubey has directed and co-written with Sudip Sharma, he said the movie deals with the problem of drug abuse in Punjab. “Both Sudip and I did a lot of research for the movie before writing it. After visiting drug addicts, their families, doctors and police officers dealing with the problem in Amritsar and other places in Punjab, we felt the story needs to be told in a socially relevant manner. The structure of the story, which revolves around four characters, was created in a way that it arouses the thought process in viewers and also entertains them,” he said. The filmmaker said his films are character- driven and it is the character that gives birth to a structure and theme for the movie’s plot.
Asked about activism through films, Sharma said, “We are not attempting to bring about a change in the society with ‘Udta Punjab’. We just want to bring out the problem of drug abuse in Punjab through this film and it is up to the audience to decide what they want to do with the situation, change it or live with it.”