Note: This article was first written by a dear friend – Jsk. He’s a cerebral but actually quite brilliant when it comes to films and film making. However, I had to make my own additions/subtractions so that the average reader could quickly grasp what was being talked about. So please forgive us if this article is ‘weird’ or not understandable.
Vague definition of “BollyStick”: For the sake of being different, let us refer to an average Bollywood movie released every week as a BollyStick.
Definitions of ‘Flops and Hits’ in Bollywood:In Bollywood, a BollyStick is considered a ‘Flop’ when its total earnings are unable to cross the film’s budget, and a ‘Hit’ when it rakes in much more than it was made with.
Therefore, a low-budget BollyStick produced with 3 crores that rakes in 8 Crores would be considered a ‘Hit’. On the other hand, its unlucky big-budget competitor produced with 30 crores (but with a horrible script) earning 25 crores, is considered a flop.
Side note: A popular joke that he just made up, therefore not popular yet, but one that he hopes will be, is that if every BollyStick in Bollywood turns out to be a hit, then the Box Office might finally be able to earn as much as David Cameron’s blockbuster, ‘Avatar’ did single handedly. But of course, nothing such will happen till the directors, as he concludes, realize the importance of the script of a BollyStick.
The Formula of a Basic Bollywood BollyStick:
Bollywood is the world’s largest Film producer. Some surprises there. Yes, it’s not Hollywood.Hollywood is the world’s largest Film industry. Spot the difference? Oh yes you do.
Now, assuming that a 100 BollySticks come out of Bollywood each year:
- 88 of the movies can be clubbed in a category which we can refer to as flop BollySticks (basically flop Bollywood movies)
- 7% of the movies in the Horrible BollySticks category
- 5% in the Wonder BollySticks category
These 88, all flops, are clubbed under a category simply called, Basic BollySticks.
So, why, oh why does it happen? Sadly, that is a question that none of us can answer. What we can do is, analyze what we have and using our own enlightened minds, deduce the answer.
So here, presenting before you, I give you the formula of one, Basic, flop, Bollywood BollyStick.
Try and deduce why the fate of every BollyStick is what it is
To use the data available (definitions, motivations and statistics) to deduce the cause of the above problem
- A director who thinks Masala is all that makes a BollyStick
- A producer who’s either over-enthusiastic, or too new
- Bad script-writers
- Actors who hardly get opportunities, or maybe upcoming actors looking for a break
- Cinematographers and Editors there only for the money
- An average storyline, mostly a love story
- The director approaches the producer to produce his BollyStick. The producer wishes to see the script. The director says he is working on it.
- Use Bad Script-Writers to script an average storyline. The director makes sure the work is done as quickly as possible. The script-writers don’t realize that script-writing is everything that makes a BollyStick. They are under the impression, as maybe propagated by the director, that it’ll ‘look’ good, so it’ll ‘be’ good. And so, script is completed quickly.
- The director then approaches the producer. The producer sees a script physically present. His over-enthusiasm to produce a BollyStick, or maybe his freshness in the field, makes him agree. He gives the amount required.
- Actors who hardly get a chance are roped in. Often these actors reject the script, realizing its poorness. Under such circumstances, new, upcoming actors looking for a break are brought in. Massive auditions are held. These are just happy to have entered the industry.
- The shooting begins. And the shooting is completed. Tears are shared, hugs, etc etc. Emotions fly everywhere. They’ve worked very hard. And no doubt they have. But they still do not understand that their root, the script, is weak. And that no matter how strong a tree they have grown up to be, green leaves or flowers will NOT sprout, because the root is too weak to sustain the tree.
- Everything is done, and before you know it, the editors, sound mixers, sound editors, color correctors, etc, have done their job. They have all worked hard. And no doubt they have. But again, refer to the latter half of point 5.
- The producer is just too darn happy that his BollyStick is complete. They all fix a release date, create fancy trailers intending to pull the audience in, with good music, and a lot of show of sexy legs, or maybe dance moves, or intense action. The audience, oh my god, does get pulled in.
- The BollyStick is released. The opening audience spreads the word, “Don’t go for it! Don’t go for it!”
- The promotion goes in vain when the neighborhood prefers to believe their neighbor who found the BollyStick terrible, in contrast to the trailers that looked so promising.
- The BollyStick is a flop. The actor blames the director. The produces curses the director. The director flushes all his anger out on the script-writers. The script-writers fight back, blaming the director. The war goes on. Bollywood moves on.
- Finally, they’re all lost in a whirl of Basic BollySticks.
OBSERVATION: The BollyStick is a F.L.O.P…
CONCLUSION: To be left to the open interpretation of the reader.
Going through the available data, I have been able to observe that the director has handled the project with utmost care, but has failed to realize the importance of a script. All movies that have stuck to my mind, I notice, have had brilliant scripts. A film is the final product of a script. It contains everything, so one could say that a script is the textual form of a movie. If a script is bad, then it is automatically reflective of a bad film. Therefore, thinking and script-writing are perhaps, the most important steps of the entire process. An example is Inception, one of the best films ever. Its director, Christopher Nolan, planned and scripted the project for an amazing seven years, before filming it in two. Therefore, to conclude, I would say that if a script is given the importance it deserves in the industry, then it’ll be hard to produce a bad film. BollySticks, therefore, just have weak scripts. And that is what our average director needs to realize.