Screenplay writer Aakash Kaushik, who is known for his movies such as ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’, ‘Housefull 4’, ‘A Flying Jatt’, ‘F.A.L.T.U’, ‘Thank God’ among others, got candid about the amount of recognition given to a writer in the industry, why many of the films didn’t work well at the box office and recalled his initial years of struggle in the industry.
Talking about whether writers get due recognition in the industry, he said: “No, unfortunately, they don’t. They are one of the most important factors in the process of making a film, if not the most important. People become directors because there is no money or due recognition in being a writer, which may not be the right reason to become a director.”
However, he asserted that writers are quite important and that whatever content one watches in the movie is all because of them.
He said: “Writers have always been very important. We all believe that content is king but what about the content makers, the writers? Whatever you see in a film has come out of the mind of a writer. Every film is a good-looking film, since there is a lot of investment in the visuals. The script separates a good film from a bad film. If you have a great script, it will be a good film and if it is a bad script it will be a bad film. Unfortunately, writers are not given much importance. However, writers are and will always be one of the most important factors in films to bring in the entertainment quotient.”
When asked as a writer what he thinks is lacking in movies today that they are not working so well at the box office, he said: “There are multiple reasons films are not working these days. You can easily point out three of them. Firstly, most of the films were written pre-pandemic. During this time a lot has evolved, including the audience’s tastes.”
“People were at home watching content on OTT and had access to a wide range of content. Their expectations of content are different now. Secondly, people are not going to theatres unless it is a huge event film like ‘Brahmastra’, ‘RRR’. They prefer watching content on OTT. Lastly, somewhere the filmmakers are also to be blamed. The producers have gotten into making projects where they get dates of an actor, they estimate the price they can sell the film and the reason to make the film is profit, and not creativity.”
Recalling his initial years of struggle in the industry, he added: “I have been in the industry for 15 years now. Many people take you for a ride in the initial days and betray you. They make you work and don’t pay money. It has happened to me too. Once an actor told me, ‘we will write the film later but now it’s my sister’s wedding, can you write the script we can narrate before the dance performances?’ I have done that too.”
“Initially, you feel bad, but later it makes you laugh. There have been many such instances where people have taken advantage. I am blessed that I have supportive parents. They encouraged me to keep going and whenever I needed money they helped.”
“Once I was at home for the holidays and my father was accounting for home expenses, when I noticed our domestic workers’ per year salary was more than what I made in a year. That really stayed with me and I quietly went to my room and I wept and wept. But come what may, I never felt like leaving the industry. But then when you taste success, you enjoy it more because you were resilient. It has been both a tough yet fun and exciting ride,” he concluded.