A cross-section of Bollywood talks about a key change that needs to be brought about in their respective vocations
For Bollywood, the New Year has begun on an optimistic note.
One, the Centre announced the formation of a panel led by filmmaker Shyam Benegal that would be responsible for the overhaul of the Censor Board, which courted numerous controversies last year under the chairmanship of Pahlaj Nihalani. And two, a similar panel is likely to be constituted to look into the functioning of the Film and Television Institute of India and its chairman, Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment led to student unrest.
With positive change in the air, hitlist finds out what industry folk are keeping their fingers crossed for...
Anaita Shroff, fashion designer
The new lot of designers should have their individual style and presentation. They should have the courage to create what they believe in and not follow industry experts. Indian designers have done well so far and if new talent continues to explore its potential, it shall help the Indian fashion industry.
Ramesh Taurani, producer
Producers should focus more on the content. It will help the industry grow. Now, it has become crucial to make a film with good content and proper budget to achieve success. I hope this year sees a combination of these two factors in many films.
Manoj Bajpayee, actor
First, to help new and aspiring actors, the industry should have more casting directors like Mukesh Chabbra. There are very few professional and organised casting agencies like his. Actors should know the right person to go to. Another important change that is needed is proper payment structure for actors. In the current scenario, the remuneration depends on the producers' fancy, and not on the actor's credibility.
Kay Kay Menon, actor
Today, filmmakers invest more in marketing than content. If half of the marketing budget is used for creating better content, it will help everyone involved in a film and the audience will be entertained too. That's the way forward for Bollywood at this point.
Anu Malik, music composer
Before I suggest one important change, I want to say: to each his own. Presently, multiple composers work on one film. But I think all music composers want filmmakers to have only one composer on board for a particular film. That will improve the quality of work and also help the industry spot more talent.
Saroj Khan, choreographer
These days, choreographers simply copy steps from the West and use it as is. Some also have the guts to simply hand over videos to artistes and ask them to do something similar. So, there is a dearth of talented choreographers today. I wish to see more talented people getting opportunities in Bollywood.
Anjum Rajabali, writer
For a few years now, we have been urging producers to negotiate a fair, standard basic contract for writers affiliated to the Film Writers' Association so that the basic issues are ironed out to mutual satisfaction. A minimum fee production budget-wise, credit guarantee, no arbitrary termination, and protection of rights under the copyright law. It is imperative that this be done, since it will then make both parties focus on the primary objective of getting a good script out, so that the quality and success rate of cinema improves significantly. Since FWA has already begun negotiations with production houses, TV channels and studios for this, I am hopeful that in early 2016 we shall have a standard contract
Deepa Bhatia, editor
Two changes need to be brought about as far as editors are concerned. First, I think there is need of better payment, at least for the younger lot. With so many people moving towards digital, there is a huge content that needs to be edited and the younger ones/entrants are unfairly paid. Editing a project takes months on end and newbies are exploited and paid less. Second, I feel producers/directors need to spend more time on scripting because most of the problems we face while editing the film arise out of weak writing. Editing and writing are both contemplative processes and if we invest enough time in them, the result usually is a good film. If the script is weak, the edit process is almost like one of rewriting and may not create the perfect film. Basically, at heart, a good edit needs a good script and in 2016, I hope filmmakers invest in good writing, so that we editors can produce good smart edits!
Anees Bazmee, writer-director
I feel the industry should pay more respect to writers. As a director, I believe that one can make a good film only out of a good script. If people invest more in writers, give them proper credit and respect their talent, it will help filmmakers and everyone associated with films to create better cinema.
Richa Chadda, actress
One thing that I would really like to see changing is the sexist attitude that we actresses face everywhere we go. I think it is time we actresses stopped accepting wrong things. I know that this is a patriarchal society and we need to crack things up, but the way in which actresses are looked at is not really cool. There is scant respect for the profession. When I was out promoting Charles Aur Main, nobody asked Randeep (Hooda) what he felt about shooting for the lovemaking scenes, but everyone would ask me, 'Aap itne bold roles kyun karti hain?' I am an actress and it is my job. Why is it so difficult for people to get it? I am inching towards 30 and am tired of people reminding me of that and how I should get involved with someone or probably do more commercial films to make my future secure. I think it's time we women stopped believing this shelf life bullsh*t. At least, we can put up a good fight against this male-dominated world.