lost in TITLES…

I have recommenced working on the screenplay that I began writing more than a year ago, or is it more? Never mind, I have either developed amnesia or have lost track. Hello! What’s this blog I am writing?

In a strange way, writing this above mentioned screenplay have been obstructed by unforeseen circumstances not excluding the thrill to write even though it’s supposed to be a suspense thriller. How ironical is that?

Regardless of what curse I have fallen in to, here’s a brief recap on how writing this screenplay began. Actor/ director, SEEZAN and his producer, HASSAN approached me first. Isn’t that how I always start writing, someone approaches me first? Oh my, I really am amnesiac. Anyhow, SEEZAN and HASSAN wanted me to write a screenplay which was to be based on a concept by the former.

I began structuring the screenplay with a working title called THINESKAN LOABI (LOVE TRIANGLE) which demanded more time to structure since I had to convolve the storyline from start to finish holding the suspense until the climax. Few weeks later, tragedy struck. SEEZAN and HASSAN split leaving me at a crossroad. I was uncertain of who would be claiming the ownership of the screenplay. I was waiting either one of them to call and clear the air. Somehow, I never bothered to call neither. Days passed in to weeks, weeks in to months and finally a year had passed. No one called. So, I decided to shelve the screenplay until SEEZAN or HASSAN clarified my issue. Bet they never thought I was having a serious issue.

Finally, several days later, I think it was more than 365 days, SEEZAN met me and confirmed HASSAN and his split. When asked, he explained that he would be claiming the rights to the screenplay since it was his concept in the first place. Well, he had a good point there. HASSAN failed to call me, so I concluded that SEEZAN as the proprietor. He even confirmed to finance the screenplay. That’s when I was forced to take out the screenplay back from the shelf and had to wipe up all the dust that had gathered on it… atchoo! God bless me!

I restarted writing with a changed working title called KEHI (TRICK) However, few scenes later; I shelved it again to work on couple of other interesting screenplays since (a) I never had a deadline for KEHI and (b) SEEZAN was on a busy schedule with several projects that would eat up several months from the calendar. Since then, KEHI has been lying in the shelf for dust to gather on it once again. Well, not really. Am I stupid or what? KEHI was saved in to my laptop from day one. Looks like, my condition is beyond amnesia.

Fast forward to today. I am living a recluse with amnesia and insomnia? No, a month ago, SEEZAN wanted to fast track the project. He even time lined the production for a May start.

I retitled the screenplay from KEHI to KEHIVERIYAA (TRICKSTER). Unfortunately, SEEZAN was not happy. Neither was I. We had a quick brainstorming session to decide upon a relevant title. We did come up with interesting names like FARUDHAA (CURTAIN) and so forth. But all of them failed to win us over.

Then one day, still brooding over a title, we came up with DHUNFINI (FOG). It rang out mysterious and I found the title very meaningful. However, SEEZAN was less enthusiastic. He wanted something that would easily entice the general audience. He was opting for a title that was long, probably with two words or a sentence even. His choice was VAFAATHERI KEHIVERIYAA (FAITHFUL TRICKSTER). Now, I was contradicting his title. When I write, my working title should always sound and feel comfortable for me.

I decided to go with DHUNFINI for the time being. But he wants to confirm a title since he wanted to officially announce the production. Guess he could go with any name as films tend to change their names many times before their releasing.

Okay, enough with titles. A week ago, I gave SEEZAN the first hour of the screenplay which consisted of 35 scenes. He was largely happy, but wanted few changes from here and there. But above all, he wanted massive changes in the second half including broadening of characters that were made minor in the already written part. The biggest challenge was to hustle character development of the role that he was cast to play. Working on these changes have given me a migraine attack. Yes, even now! I have been restructuring the second half from scratch including making deliberate changes to the first half in order to accommodate the changes that were brought to the second half. Am I making sense, here?

For days now I have been stuck structuring and making adjustments to the written part. I am still moving plot points around adding new ones here and there. In spite of this, I must confess that working on these changes have opened up for new surprises. They have given a good build up for the third act and the climax. And the screenplay, it has a more noirish feel too. I am keeping my fingers crossed that SEEZAN, who is set to direct as well would give his translation the same feel and atmosphere:  It’s late on a full moon night. A bat flies over the lifeless trees with a haunting cry. An imageless shadow starts to form through the  static fog that has engulfed the garden area. The shadow begins to appear more distinctive forming a shape of a human. Slowly, through the fog comes a woman in her mid thirties. Her face beaten to a pulp…

I will be done structuring within a day or two. I am pushed to speed up writing. I have to hand over a draft at the end of this month. Besides, I really need to wrap this up as I have set my eyes on a news article about a chilling true incident. I was so fascinated with this article that I have already gathered all the information related to this incident from all the online dailies. I think I can work on an awesome nonlinear screenplay.

But that’s not going to happen any time soon until I am done writing DHUNFINI? Or is it FARUDHAA? Or is it KEHIVERIYAA? Or is it KEHI? Only time will tell what name to call this screenplay which I have been writing oh so long time ago. It’s a personal record, even considering the titles…

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