Citation:Saxena R, Archana CN (2023) What Bollywood Writers Say: Parameters Needed in a Screenplay. Global Media Journal, 21:63.
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The screenplay is not a novel, nor is it a stage play; it is a blueprint for a motion picture (Field, 2005). The success of a Hindi film screenplay depends on a range of factors, including a strong narrative structure, engaging characters, and cultural authenticity (Chakravarty, 2016). While many authors and film scholars discuss the structure of a screenplay, deliberations on the parameters needs in a screenplay to make it a good watch are too few. This research paper explores the key parameters required to create a successful screenplay in Hindi cinema. The study was conducted through in-depth interviews with 10 experienced Hindi film writers, and a content analysis of the data collected. The findings suggest that certain key elements are crucial for a successful screenplay in Hindi cinema, including the intention of the story, making the audience ask- what happens next?, and also the inclusion of songs for marketing purposes.
Screenplay; Parameters; Hindi cinema; Bollywood; Hindi film writers
The history of cinema began in the late 19th century with the invention of motion picture cameras and the creation of the first films. The Lumière brothers are often credited with creating the first film screening in 1895, but cinema quickly spread around the world . In the early 20th century, Hollywood emerged as a dominant force in the film industry, producing many of the most popular and influential movies of all time  The advent of sound in the late 1920s and color in the 1930s further transformed the medium .
The history of cinema is also marked by different national and regional cinema movements that emerged in response to local cultural, political, and economic contexts . In the 1950s and 1960s, the French New Wave and Italian Neorealism challenged the dominance of Hollywood with their innovative styles and socially relevant themes. In the 1990s, the rise of East Asian cinema, particularly Japanese, South Korean, and Hong Kong cinema, captivated global audiences with their dynamic storytelling and stunning visuals. Today, digital technologies have enabled the emergence of new forms of filmmaking and distribution, and the rise of global cinema movements continues to diversify the medium, that are defined by their use of computer-based technologies and digital data [5,6].
Narrative in cinema
Narrative and the art of screenwriting are essential to the success of global cinema. According to Bordwell and Thompson (2010), narrative structures in film help to engage the viewer and provide a sense of closure, which is vital for effective storytelling. Additionally, Stam (2012) emphasizes the importance of screenplays as blueprints for the film, shaping the creative process from pre-production to post-production. The study of narrative and screenwriting in global cinema overall provides a deeper understanding of the artistic processes that underpin the world’s most successful films.
Indian cinema has come a long way since its inception in the early 1900s. It has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry with a global audience. The origins of Indian cinema can be traced back to the Lumière Brothers' arrival in India in 1896. The first Indian film, Raja Harish Chandra, was made in 1913 by Dadasaheb Phalke. According to Rajadhyaksha and Willemen (1999), this marked the beginning of the silent era of Indian cinema.
The 1930s saw the emergence of sound in Indian cinema, and with it came the golden age of Indian cinema. Films such as Achhut Kanya (1936) and Kismet (1943) were commercially successful and marked the beginning of the studio system in India . In the 1950s and 1960s, Indian cinema underwent a transformation with the emergence of a new genre, known as the "social film". These films dealt with social issues and were aimed at creating social awareness (Gokulsing and Dissanayake, 2004). Films such as Do Bigha Zamin (1953) and Pyaasa (1957) are examples of this genre.
The 1970s and 1980s saw the emergence of the "angry young man" in Indian cinema, with actors such as Amitabh Bachchan portraying characters that were disillusioned with society  The 1990s and 2000s saw the emergence of the Bollywood film, which is characterized by its use of song and dance sequences .
In recent years, Indian cinema has been recognized globally, with films such as Slum dog Millionaire (2008) and The Lunchbox (2013) receiving critical acclaim. Indian cinema has also undergone a digital revolution, with the emergence of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video .
Narrative in Indian cinema
Narrative and the art of screenwriting are integral components of Indian cinema. Screenwriters in India are responsible for crafting stories that appeal to diverse audiences and reflect the cultural values and beliefs of the society.
According to Chakraborty and Mukherjee (2015), Indian cinema relies heavily on narrative structure to engage the audience. This is especially evident in the use of song and dance sequences, which serve as a narrative tool to advance the plot. Furthermore, Roy and Ray (2017) argue that screenwriting in Indian cinema is a collaborative process that involves multiple stakeholders, including directors, producers, and actors. This can lead to conflicts and compromises in the creative process. The narrative and art of screenwriting are crucial to the success of Indian Cinema. As Gupta (2019) notes, the ability to craft a compelling story that resonates with audiences is what sets Indian cinema apart from other film industries.
Parameters of screenplay
There has been much deliberation about the three act-structures of screenplay and how one format and structure the screenplay. The exemplary structure is to isolate a screenplay into three acts: the set-up, confrontation, and resolution (Field, 1979). Countless narratives are linked to this structure, and there is a reason why it has been the preferred format for films since the inception of cinematography. An alternative approach is to divide the screenplay into interconnected segments, where each sequence is considered as a standalone story that flows into the next one. Paul Joseph Gulino, in his book "Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach," suggests that sustaining audience engagement from the beginning till the end is the biggest challenge in writing a full-length screenplay , Gulino proposes the idea of breaking down the screenplay into sequences of fifteen pages each, and urges writers to concentrate on the dramatic aspects of each sequence. Then, they should examine the script as a whole after connecting the sequences together.
However there is very less discussion on which parameters make a good screenplay. In "The 7 Elements of a Viable Story for Screen, Stage or Fiction," Erik Bork outlines the key elements that a story must possess to be considered viable for the screen, stage, or fiction. The seven elements are: 1) A concept that can be stated in a single sentence, 2) A protagonist with a compelling objective, 3) Strong conflict that creates obstacles for the protagonist, 4) High stakes for the protagonist and/or the story's world, 5) A clear structure with a beginning, middle, and end, 6) Emotional resonance that connects with the audience, and 7) Something unique or fresh that sets the story apart.
Even though Bork argues that a story with all these seven elements has a better chance of being successful, the elements are not particularly the inclusions which can happen in the written piece, but the points one should keep in mind while structuring the screenplay. The present paper is a part of a doctoral study on the elements of screenplay in Hindi Films. This research paper aims to explore the essential parameters required to create a screenplay that captures the audience's attention and makes for an entertaining watch. The study takes a qualitative approach, seeking to gather insights from experienced Hindi film writers on what makes a screenplay successful. Through in-depth interviews, the research seeks to identify the key elements of a well-written screenplay.
David (2016) analyses the structure of screenplays, with a focus on the language used in the screenplay to create meaning. The author examines the use of dialogue, action, and description in the screenplay, and explores how these elements work together to create a cohesive narrative.
Sreejith (2016) compares the screenwriting techniques used in Indian and Western cinema and identifies the similarities and differences between the two approaches. The author argues that both Indian and Western cinema rely on strong narratives and well-developed characters, but Indian cinema places more emphasis on music and dance sequences, while Western cinema emphasizes visual storytelling and special effects.
Potter (2015) provides a review of best practices for screenwriting in film and television. It examines the role of structure, character, dialogue, and theme in creating compelling screenplays, and provides practical advice for writers on how to develop their craft.
Chawla (2015) analyzes the screenplays of selected Hindi films to identify the essential elements of successful storytelling. The author argues that an effective screenplay is one that balances narrative structure, character development, and dialogue.
Batty & Kerrigan (2015) provides an overview of the field of screenwriting research, including its history, theories, and methodologies. It examines the role of research in screenwriting and provides examples of how research can inform the creative process.
Field (2014) explores the fundamental principles of screenplay writing, including plot, character, dialogue, and structure. The author draws on his experience as a screenwriter and script consultant to provide practical advice and examples of successful screenplays.
Eckhart (2013) examines the structure of screenplays and how it affects the success of a film. It provides a framework for understanding the elements of a successful screenplay, including plot, character, dialogue, and theme.
Thompson (2011) examines the art and craft of screenplay writing in film, with a focus on storytelling techniques. The author analyzes the structural elements of a screenplay, including plot, character, dialogue, and theme, and explores how these elements contribute to the overall narrative.
Hauge (2004) explores the principles of successful screenwriting, with a focus on developing a strong premise, creating engaging characters, and constructing a compelling plot. The author provides practical advice on how to write screenplays that will appeal to producers and audiences alike.
The studies suggest that the gap prevails in how there is less discourse on what elements or parameters are needed in a screenplay to make it a good watch when the pages are brought alive on screen.
Research Design and Methodology
Objectives of the study
• To identify the key parameters that should be considered when developing a screenplay for Hindi films Methods used
The research design serves as a crucial link between the intended scope of a study and the process through which that scope is achieved. Essentially, it acts as a roadmap for planning, data collection, and analysis in order to draw conclusions. By outlining the methods and procedures to be used, it helps to ensure that these steps are organized and carried out effectively. Furthermore, the research design includes information about the type and structure of the methods to be employed, as well as other pertinent details [12-14].
Research methodology is a structured approach that is employed to tackle research issues. It encompasses the reasoning underlying the research methods or techniques applied in a research study, addressing the reasons for selecting a particular method to conduct the research, and thus are broader in scope than research methods. Research methodology aims to explain several key aspects, including the motivation for undertaking a research study, how the research issue is defined, the rationale and basis for formulating a hypothesis, the data that has been collected, and why a specific method of data analysis has been used. Thus, when discussing research methodology, it typically addresses various related questions and issues that arise regarding a research problem or study . Methodology provides a roadmap that guides a researcher in conducting their research. It assists in defining the problem and objectives, as well as presenting the outcomes of the research in the form of data that has been collected and analyzed during the study period .
The research methodology approach employed for this study is Qualitative in nature, involving interviews of Hindi film writers to identify the parameters that are required in a screenplay. Ten Hindi film writers have been interviewed for the study. This method was chosen as it provides a rich and detailed insight into the perspectives of professional writers with first-hand experience in creating successful screenplays.
The interviews were conducted either on a video call or over a telephone, based on the convenience of the writers. The collected data was analyzed using content analysis, where the responses were categorized and examined to identify patterns and themes. The findings were then presented in the form of a comprehensive report, detailing the key parameters identified by the writers that are essential to a successful screenplay.
Overall, this methodology provides valuable insights into the perspective of experienced film writers and allows for a more nuanced understanding of the key elements that contribute to the success of a screenplay in the Hindi film industry. Limitations
1. Only one research approach has been used for the study.
2. The researcher has applied only one method for the study due to time constraint.
3. Had more writers been interviewed, it would have given more comprehensive results
4. In person interviews weren’t possible as the researcher was not given permission for the same.
The research study aims to identify the key parameters that should be considered when developing a screenplay for Hindi films. The outcomes of this study can help screenwriters and filmmakers to develop more effective and engaging screenplays that have a higher chance of success. Additionally, the study can contribute to the existing body of knowledge on screenplay development and provide insights for future research in this area. Data Analysis and Interpretation
The researcher interviewed ten Hindi film writers with the question: What according to you are the parameters needed in a Hindi film screenplay to make it a good watch?
The following are the detailed responses from the writers 1. Sriram Raghavan
Writer of: Ek Hasina Thi, Johnny Gaddar, Agent Vinod, Badlapur, Andhadhun
The only parameter I believe is that you have to grab the audience by the throat and not let go. That is the only thing. How do you arrest audience's attention in whatever manner you can? People do say that in a mainstream Hindi film, it has to have certain norms but those are the things which many people use and there have been times when people break those rules. You can have a movie without songs, no problem. You can have a movie without a female character, no problem- as long as the story demands that kind of thing. The fact remains that if you know that audience is making their own script while as they go long. So if I am making a thriller and audience says things like- I know what will happen next, yes... This is how it will go... So now if the same things happen, audience will be disappointed. But if something else happens which is fantastic, the audience gets doubly impressed.
Writer of: Tere Mere Sapne, Dil Se, Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai, Haasil, Charas, Family, Saahib Biwi Aur Gangster, Shagird, Paan Singh Tomar, Bullet Raja, Saahib Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, Raag Desh, Saahib Biwi Aur Gangster 3, Milan Talkies
I think the most important is characterisation. If you don't introduce or set your character in a way that audience roots for them, when your character is caught up in a situation within the plot, it won't work. What I am saying is characterisation is more important than the plot. Many a times, the films are not about the plot, for instance biopics which don't carry a definite plot. Plots mostly are seen in thrillers. Thrillers are the easiest genre because the plot is so engaging that you are drawn to listen, even if it's a little weak. People want to know what the mystery is irrespective of how weak or strong the plot is, in case of thrillers. Most difficult hence is drama since it is not plot heavy and one needs to play up on emotions. I say this because I am also a director and not just a writer.
Writer of: Panga Naa Lo, Taare Zameen Par, Stanley Ka Dabba, Hawa Hawai, Sniff, Saina
I particularly don't believe in that. I would imagine that the only thing that should be most intended in making or writing a film is the intention of the film. If you are moved towards a calling, you can't rest until you write or make that film. Right now or even before, for the Hindi film industry, the net profit for the year or gross was much lesser than coconut oil manufacturer's quarter profit. So if you're coming with the wrong intention, there's no money. Whether it is Hollywood or European, Japanese or Korean cinema- wherever cinema and its masters exist, it's always been a product of passion and not governance of market forces as such.
Writer of: Dil Chahta Hai, Don, Rock On, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Don 2, Talaash, Dil Dhadakne Do, Rock On 2, Toofaan
Two things for sure. One is there has to be some degree of human reliability. It should not seem that I am watching a story or scenario that doesn't relate to me or my life or my emotions in any manner. There has to be universality in the motion, if nothing else. If you don't relate to that language, culture, status or the specific problem one faces- for instance a person wants to buy a scooter but he doesn't have money. May be that's not a problem for you and me. May be somebody wants to travel abroad for education but doesn't have funds. That's a problem for the character but not for me or you. But his frustration is what we can relate with. His helplessness is what we can relate with. So you have to find something that people can relate to. Any kind of film- drama, action, comedy, romance- human reliability factor is very important which cent percent should be reflected in your communication about the film- right from trailers to sharing the story. That's what people relate to. Secondly, I feel at all points in a competent screenplay, forget a great one, at every given point the audience should be thinking- what next? If you stop thinking what next, then you are only watching with no engagement. Assimilate the information that you have been given- give the audience time to understand a complex situation, the pieces, the family members, one wanting to rob a bank so how will he go about- basically the technicalities thrown to the audience. If the audience understands that, but at all points you have to keep wondering- how will they two meet, how will he kill the villain, will he be able to rob the bank?, When will he get to know the secret only I know from reel no.1? The audience has to look forward to. If I am not looking forward to anything, then the screenplay is not engaging.
Writer of: Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Kapoor & Sons, Gehraiyaan
Anybody who is into writing understands that you need a character that you are interested to follow. Your curiosity has to be engaged. You need conflict. There can't ever be a story without a conflict. Conflicts are different - internal as well as external conflict and you also need stakes, not just for action or movies with violence. It can be emotional stakes. Engagement with character, conflict, stakes, goal. They may sound cliche but in different movies they can be done differently. Some are subtle. Some are high stakes. But I don't think you can have an interesting or engaging story if you lack these elements.
Writer of: Vicky Donor, Madras Café, Piku, October, Gulabo Sitabo
I think the reminder is constant for me that nobody has forced me to write this. I am doing this because I like doing this. When you are attending to that need of yours, when you are seeking that satisfaction from work and not just money, then the approach is slightly different. I do because I genuinely believe that cinema is a powerful tool. I believe that arch is needed to find some territory. The way you approach your writing is constantly your evaluating it against that. Is it making sense? Is there a purpose? Is it going to value add first my own life and is it going to enrich somebody else? If somebody else is going to sit and watch for 2hrs, is it worth their time and money at all? Why do I want people to see what I have in mind? Obvious there's something that must come out there. There must be some thoughts or idea that I feel that this cannot remain inside me which must be a shared idea. So for me, I am not seeing the tropes of a typical film. For me, is it satisfying my own thinking process? Is it evolving me? Secondly, I am going to put this out for everyone else to see hoping people to watch it. Is it going to value add anything in their lives? Is it leaving any poignant thought? Is it making them a little uncomfortable? Art can either give you some answers that you're seeking or it can calm you down temporarily. Whatever be my reason to write that particular story idea or thought, I am constantly evaluating on that basis and not on whether it will be a hit or flop. All those things are at the back of your mind as to how honest I am being with the story or how honest is the character. People say loosely what's the character graph? In life, do we come across people with a character graph? Just because it's a 2hrs film, I don't need to have a beginning, middle, and end. For instance, rags to riches story. I don't need that. May be that person continues to be the way he was in the beginning. In life it does happen that way. So you know, my another constant approach is to not fall into clichés that I'm asked to follow. I believe films are expressions of life. We are not to be jargonised. The whole thing of following a narrative by the line is something I don't abide by. It may work for people who have a structured understanding but I work better if I am clear on thoughts which get reflected in a meaningful and purposeful manner .
Writer of: Delhi Belly, Kaalakaandi
It's not just Hindi cinema; for all writing of any kind that involves reader or viewer, the most propulsive element is what happens next and what makes you turn the page or what makes you stick with what's going on screen, or if you are changing the channel or leaving the theatre to may be grab a popcorn or going to make a drink. What happens? If a story holds you, that's the most difficult element. If you drill down further, what happens next comes from the desire of character you see on screen. The characters that are there, what are they driven by, what do they want? Film writing is very active storytelling medium. Film moves at 24fps and something has to keep moving forward. Wantingwhether that want is fulfilled or not. The answer to that is the moment that want is fulfilled, either the scene is over or the film is over. Non-fulfilment of desire is what propuls the story. Putting that together and keeping that going for 2hrs or even more, is what it is. Keeping that engagement for the viewer is a difficult element .
Writer of: Loveyatri, Made in China, Bala, Serious Men, Bhediya I believe in one parameter which depends on genre to genre in what you're trying to make. I just evaluate it in terms of what this is trying to say. What does it mean? It has to mean something. Otherwise just plain vanilla entertaining films- they are finebut if it doesn't mean anything it somewhere becomes hollow. That's the prime characteristic that I want in my scripts. I always aspire to put some meaning be it Bala, or any other film that I've written. That's the biggest thing for me .
Writer of: Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, Dev D, Udaan, Lootera, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, AK vs AK
There is a saying that it's not a film that fails, it's the budgets that fail. There's an audience to every kind of film. Because you've grown up watching the similar kinds of films in Hindi cinema over the years, we are tended to have a broad audience. You make the film knowing that everybody wants to see the film and therefore you put songs, certain kind of drama which has unfortunately stayed. But it's now opening up, with the OTT world and the movies are seeing more fragmentation approach where it's not necessary that every film must be made for every audience which go to single screen theatres in balcony and upper class. Now it's changing, with multiplexes coming then making of adult films segregating the audience. So firstly it's about who's your audience and within that audience, what are the parameters. The general parameters for any film whether it's English, Hindi, big budget or low, beginning, middle and end is necessary. You need a proper story. Three acts are important. Besides, from a marketing perspective, whether it's true or not, it's always been that theatrical and OTT movies have a tendency to be seen as slightly different films. Films in OTT may not need a soundtrack. But for theatrical films, it goes like you need songs because otherwise how will you market the film? The visibility of the film depends on songs, which has stayed with us for a while. Then how do you work within songs? Are they background songs or lip sync? I have had to work with that. In Trapped, I didn't need to put songs in it because it was a thriller but even then it has two songs for the album purposes. Bhavesh Joshi Superhero had songs. Udaan and Lootera of course had that album feature. That's because we've grown up with the fact that you need an album to be able to market the film and be able to tell a story and people remember a film from the songs. Whether it's right or not, I don't know. It's a very Bollywood formula that audience associates movie from the songs. May be it works, may be it doesn't. In my case, it has worked to some extent because the films had songs and people remembered and the association goes for long. It's true for major Hindi mainstream film or even a film like Gangs of Wasseypur also works for that reason. In Hindi, an album definitely was required. Today, in OTT it may not be seen as a requirement because a lot of marketing is done by the networks themselves. But a good soundtrack is something we've gotten used to. That's part of our filmmaking and film watching culture. Twenty years ago, you had to make a film palatable to everybody. How do you make that? Do you make aspirational cinema? Do you make films based in small towns? That has changed. But not in terms of rules of cinema. Unless you know it's a film that needs to go pan India and reach 2500 screens, in that case the rules would apply as to your film should be palatable to all- rich and poor and all age groups. So you can't over simplify but you can't make it too complex, too dark, too light, or too boring. But then these rules apply to any movie anywhere. Other than songs, I don't think there are any specific rules that apply.
Pooja Ladha Surti
Writer of: Ek Hasina Thi, Andhadhun
• I think some of these parameters/elements are universal- Hindi cinema, regional cinema, Hollywood, and everywhere else movies are made.
• One aspect I feel is essential is having an original voicethis doesn’t have to be an individual voice, I have collaborated on many scripts, and together we arrive at a certain tone, a voice for the film. The word is an old place and practically any plot you pick up has been told in some form or another – what you have to figure out is how to rethink the tropes, make the characters real and vital within the setting you have chosen.
• Clarity of genre-Some of the best written movies of Hindi cinema have multiple tonalities, with action, comedy, tragedy, music- a mix of genres. But if your story is of a woman seeking to avenge a betrayal, or a man seeking revenge for his family, that aspect is underlined and explored more specifically.
• Economy – whether it’s in dialogue or scenes, it’s important to have a certain distilled quality-what you can say in ten words, try not to say in twenty. This is really hard, in my experience, and often I overwrite. But I have been fortunate to work with collaborators who will say, this is too much, let’s pare it down to essentials.
• Plot and/or character have to be advanced with each scene.
• Why are we telling this story? Why now?
|Audience engagement||Grabbing audience’s attention|
|What happens next?|
|The plot should keep moving|
|Clarity of genre|
|Saying things to the optimum|
|Intention of the story||What is the purpose of the story?|
|What is the story trying to say?|
|Why is the story being told now?|
|Three Acts||Beginning, Middle, End|
|Music||Songs for marketing purpose|
|Characterization||Audience rooting for characters|
|Stakes for characters|
Table 1. Content analysis.
For the theme audience engagement
Grodal (2009) argues that the audience's attention is crucial to the success of a film. He discusses how films can engage the audience through various means such as visual and auditory stimuli, narrative devices, and character development [20-22].
Plantinga (2010) argues that the audience's engagement with a film is a crucial aspect of its success. He emphasizes the importance of grabbing the audience's attention and keeping them engaged throughout the film. Plantinga discusses how films can achieve this by using a variety of techniques such as narrative structure, visual and auditory cues, and character development. Plantinga stresses the need for filmmakers to constantly engage their audience in order to create effective and memorable cinematic experiences.
Bardwell (2006) discusses how filmmakers can grab the audience's attention by using various techniques such as suspense, surprise,For the theme narrative Bordwell (2008) discusses the importance of conflict in creating an engaging film narrative. He argues that conflict is essential to creating tension, suspense, and emotional investment for the audience. Bordwell examines how filmmakers use a range of techniques, such as plot structure, character development, and visual style, to create and sustain conflict throughout the film. He also considers the role of genre and cultural context in shaping the nature and function of conflict in film. Bordwell's analysis provides a broad perspective on the significance of conflict in cinematic storytelling, and offers insights into the various ways it can be employed to create more compelling narratives.
Truby (2008) emphasizes the importance of a character's goal in driving the narrative of a film. He argues that a character's goal provides a sense of purpose and direction to the story, and creates a sense of urgency that keeps the audience engaged. Truby discusses how a well-defined goal can shape the protagonist's actions and decisions, as well as create opportunities for conflict and tension. He also examines the role of subplots and secondary characters in supporting and complicating the protagonist's pursuit of their goal .
Harrison (2012) explores the importance of human relatability in cinematic storytelling, and how it can promote empathy and human connection among audiences. Harrison argues that relatable characters and situations allow the audience to emotionally engage with the story, and that this emotional investment is essential for creating a lasting impact. She discusses how filmmakers can create relatable characters by focusing on their motivations, values, and vulnerabilities, as well as their interactions with other characters and the world around them. Harrison also examines the role of genre and cultural context in shaping the relatability of a film's characters and themes.
Neale (2000) discusses the importance of clarity of genre in creating effective film narratives. He argues that a clear understanding of genre conventions and expectations allows filmmakers to effectively communicate with audiences and create more engaging and satisfying stories. He also considers the ways in which genre can be adapted, subverted, or hybridized to create new and innovative forms of storytelling .
For the theme intention of the story
Srinivas (2016) discusses how the purpose, intention, and voice of a film can be used as a tool for social change. He argues that filmmakers have a responsibility to create stories that address important social issues and promote positive change in society. Srinivas examines the role of purpose and intention in creating films that have a meaningful impact on audiences, and how a filmmaker's personal voice and perspective can influence the film's message.
For the theme three act structure
Panda (2014) discusses the importance of the three-act structure in screenplay writing. He argues that the three-act structure is essential for creating a coherent and engaging film narrative. Panda examines the role of each act in the story's overall structure, and how they contribute to the development of the plot, characters, and themes. He also considers the ways in which the three-act structure can help filmmakers to create a strong emotional connection with their audiences .
For the theme songs for marketing
Kothari & Joshi (2012) examine the effectiveness of film songs as a marketing tool. They argue that songs play an important role in promoting a film and creating a buzz around its release. The researchers analyze the use of songs in marketing campaigns for several successful Bollywood films, and consider the ways in which songs can help to build brand awareness, increase audience engagement, and create a sense of anticipation for the film's release.
For the theme characterisation
Busselle and Bilandzic (2009) discuss how audience members become emotionally invested in a story, and at what point they start to root for the characters. The researchers argue that narrative engagement is a key component of this process, and they identify several factors that contribute to audience engagement, including characters that are relatable, a clear narrative structure, and moments of tension or conflict. They also explore the role of empathy in audience engagement, and consider how different types of emotional responses can influence audience members' rooting for the characters.
King (2011) explores the principles of storytelling and their application to various forms of media, including film. The author emphasizes the importance of stakes in a story, arguing that the audience's emotional investment in a character is directly related to the stakes that character faces. King discusses how the stakes can be heightened through a variety of techniques, such as making the character's goals more urgent or raising the level of danger or risk involved in achieving those goals. He also emphasizes the importance of showing the consequences of failure, both for the character and for the world around them.
Based on the interviews and content analysis, the following conclusions can be drawn:
Sriram Raghavan, Farhan Akhtar, Akshat Verma and Pooja Ladha Surti emphasise on the importance of engagement with the plot and characters wherein the audience’s attention should be grabbed making them ask- what will happen next?
Juhi Chaturvedi, Niren Bhatt, Pooja Ladha Surti and Amole Gupte talk about the intention of the story stressing on focusing on the purpose and looking for the original voice of the story. They draw upon the fact that the story should convey a meaning without which it would remain a plain affair without anything poignant.
Shakun Batra mentions four parameters for a good screenplayconflict in the narrative, audience’s engagement with the characters, stakes in the narrative, and the goal of the character within the narrative.
Farhan Akhtar, along with the importance of grabbing audience’s attention, mentions the role of human reliability in the story.
Pooja Ladha Surti has also said about clarity of genre and saying things economically, meaning to use dialogues or plot points only to the essential level.
Vikramaditya Motwane says about two parameters- the first being that the film should adhere to three acts of screenplay structure and that the songs have been necessary in Hindi film particularly for marketing purposes.
Suggestions for Future research
• More writers can be interviewed to come up with comprehensive results
• In-person interviews should be taken to get more engaging responses.
• The study can include more aspects of screenwriting, like challenges faced by writers and so on
• More questions can be framed in a structured manner to give the study wider scope.