DOES TITLE MATTER?

Posted: January 10, 2011 in Movies

Imagine this. You are taking your four year old daughter to a public gathering. There your favorite political candidate is campaigning. He’s going to give a memorable speech on how he envisions the future for you and everyone else. Like you, several others are amassing with high hopes and they are taking their cuddly children too. There’s a feeling of promise and excitement in the air.

Your candidate walks up to the podium. He starts giving an arousing speech. As he lists down his pledges, the applause he receives is almost deafening. Unaware of a word he’s saying, the children are cheering as well. Suddenly out of nowhere, someone mysterious leaps towards him. Before you know it, there is a huge explosion. You only see a flash of light before everything goes completely dark.

A minute later, you start hearing hummed voices of people screaming. You are lying face down. Your head feels heavy. Your whole body is trembling. You are covered in pieces of human flesh and blood. The heavy smoke clouds your vision. You lift your head with all your might. You see people screaming in pain but their voices you hear are still drawn out. Arms of children and adults torn out and their legs ripped off from their bodies. It’s a bloodbath and it’s real messy. But when you come to your senses, you realize that you are still holding on to your daughter. You look at her immediately. All you have is her arm. How would you feel?

A day has passed. You are mourning. As you sit in a corner of your room, you see flashbacks of your daughter playing around. Her laughter echoes and then subsides. On news you hear that the people responsible of the massacre are justifying that they did it for a noble cause. They wanted to destroy your candidate in the name of freedom or whatever. And they are very deeply sorry for the collateral damage. Would you approve their justification? How would you feel?

Here’s a similar story which is true. And yes, it has an explosion too. I have already written a prologue of this story in my last post. However here’s a quick recap. I started writing a screenplay called INDHIRAAS for DV PRODUCTION on May 2010. I submitted them a draft on 9th June 2010. The studio acquired the rights of the screenplay on 6th January 2011.

On the night of 8th January 2011, MUA who is the chief editor of DV PRODUCTION and for whom the screenplay was tailor-made called me to inform that the title of INDHIRAAS has been taken by a producer and a director, their names I decline to mention. I don’t know much about the producer but the director, he was a good friend both personally and professionally. I was confident that he wouldn’t be so irrational or unprofessional. He was the kind of person who would come forward and stop anyone else from doing such an unethical thing. That’s why I told MUA it couldn’t be true. Besides, I had another very good reason.

Sadly, the very next day I was in total shock when I was confirmed officially that the title was actually taken by them. DV PRODUCTION is slightly responsible for taking everything for granted by not registering the title at first. It was a rude awakening for me. Not in my wildest dream have I thought that our local film industry is plagued by such cutthroats.

One might wonder, what’s this big deal about a title? It’s only a title. True, a title is a title. But the title is everything to a screenplay and thereafter for a film.

A title gives out a lot of information. A title amazingly summarizes the whole film. It gives a clue about what the film is about, neatly encapsulating the underlying idea or moral of the story. It simply captures the dramatic or thematic essence of the story.

A title takes the audience anywhere geographically, visually, emotionally or wherever you want to take them. It puts the audience in the proper frame of mind to sink in to the film easily. It inspires and sparks the imagination of actors, directors and the entire production team. Moreover, a title grabs the imagination of the audience.

From a marketing angle, a title makes it easier to fire up the promotion of the film. It’s the title which simply causes people to say the name of the film spontaneously. The title is what gives an identity to a film.

A title also creates a certain buzz. You don’t get too many chances at making a good first impression, do you? That’s what a title is all about. From everything, what disappointed me most was the fact that the director in question also happened to be a very promising screenwriter. How did he miss the importance of a title?

To choose INDHIRAAS as the title for my screenplay, I did a lot of brainstorming. I think I have spent a day or two brooding over internet researching for the right name. Once I chose INDHIRAAS, it stirred my creativity. I structured my screenplay around it. But unfortunately all my effort has gone up in smoke because of a senseless act. They wanted to infuriate MUA because they thought it was him who criticizes them in the media anonymously. But MUA is infamous for his straightforwardness. Besides, an individual is innocent until proven guilty.

Here’s the funny part. In a conversation this director had with MUA today, he also accused me as the one hiding under a pseudonym attacking them in the facebook. I thought he realized of his own undoing and made an attempt to play down the guilt of his amateurish accomplishment by accusing me. Why would I want to express my thoughts somewhere else when I have been blogging here while they were still in diapers and suckling pacifiers?

Anyway, after all is said and done, does it sound any ironic that INDHIRAAS actually means decadence?

On a very pathetic note, I still say cheers!

Comments
  1. salhi liyumeh. Ekam mihaaru haadha nuliye ey dhow. Looking forward for more writings

  2. amira says:

    wow. i never imagined the Dhivehi Film industry was this happening 🙂
    I envy people who can write so well.

    • mahdiahmed says:

      To envy is only being human. Most from the public really undermine the creative people of Dhivehi film industry. In general, to make a film in any standard is no easy task.

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