Posted by: Ranjith Sankar | August 30, 2010

Wannabe Filmmakers

Yesterday also listened to couple of scripts from wannabe film makers.Both happened to be engineers infact.They had completed studies,decided not to work,try movies instead.As usual both started by criticizing existing movies,.As usual when they started narrating their stories they turned out to be worser.As usual I tried my best to convince them of the same.As usual they got offended. 

It has almost become a routine exercise for me.Probably would have heard more than 1000 scripts in the past one year.One came close to be a good movie from those.When I say one came close to being good,others not etc they are completely my personal opinions.That I believe is the only way someone can judge or make movies.

Most people who call me are professionals,people in good jobs who wants to quit and enter movies.Ofcourse that’s how new movies has to happen,but the point is whether you have the right script with you?Have you done enough homework for the same?I try to tell people leaving a job is not a must to enter movies.I am someone who still work.You can use it to your advantage if used properly.

 I get calls from people who wants to be assistant directors.When I ask WHY they think its such a silly question.Obviously they want to direct after being assistants.The bigger question one should ask onleself is WHAT do you want to direct?When a new person comes a new movie should happen.Do I have that new movie with me?Is it worth spending years assisting?

 What is assising a director actually?For me it’s a clerical job.A director has a vision and has a movie to make.You assist him by giving clap,writing reports,looking after makeup,art,costume,action continuities..Doing just that for years makes you a director?I don’t think so.That will make you a good Assistant or Associate.If you become a director from there most chances are that you become a good technician,not a director.For me a director is someone with an outlook,who has his own perspective to whats happening around him.He tries to bring that outlook through his movie.When people like his approach he becomes a successful director.Not necesary that he should write his scripts himself,but he should be able to conceive his movies for sure!

 How can you create an outlook?It can be nurtured by good reading,watching good movies,good television,observing life,try and be a good social human being,opening yourself to new windows life gives you…Probably doing all these for 10 years could make someone a better director than being an assistant for 10 years.

 How does a new movie happen?I mean probably there are 10 or 15 orginal stories in this world.They have been told n number of times. Then how does a new movie happen?My answer is that each one of us are unique human beings.There is noone like you,who thinks like you in this whole world.The way you look at an incident is entirely yours if you have an outlook of your own.That fresh thinking gives birth to new treatment and new movies.

Discover it!

The most recent movie in which I saw an interesting idea converted into really interesting commercial screenplay was 3 Idiots.Loved Chathurs sanskrit speech scene which wanted to convey that u shud learn understanding the subject.It could have been written so intellectually and preachy which wud have left the common audience sleeping in cinema halls.Instead u found urself laughing loud and louder.

Thats the magic of a good screenplay!



  1. Quite interesting, a same topic post from another promising director

    • Same story!No wonder.

  2. […] Wannabe Filmmakers « Ranjith Sankar’s Blog […]

  3. Good one, Ranjith. This one should be an eye-opener for all wannable filmmakers.

  4. Happy to land on this blog & read it .
    Thanks for the sharing !!!
    today i happened to read Vineeth Srinivasan’s blog , that too had narrated a similar experience of urs.. (the pseudo intellectual wannabe filmmakers )
    loved this blog

    • Thanks nobin

  5. Thanks Guys.
    Actually wanted to write on this for a while but then withdrew thinking it mite offend more.
    But one of these 2 guys reinforced in me that I shud.

  6. Good article Ranjith. Thanks.

    Your experience proves that wannabe filmmakers can work and carry out their movie passion in parallel. But how about those who are not in Cochin / Kerala and want to be a part of Malayalam Film Industry?

    I’m trying for a workaround – hope the workaround will work 🙂

    salil | drishyan

    • Good luck salil.

  7. hiii boss….Being an assistant director gives him some kind of experience no…how can somebody without any contacts in film field can direct a film jus lyk dat…????….film making is a kind of difficult job no…????

    • It ofcoz helps assisting and understanding practical cinema ashraf.But doing only that need not help i meant.

  8. I think this not just an one sided issue. I am not from a place/college where people/pupil don’t care to look deep into a film’s theory or aesthetics while watching it. Here (common people) need to see a film for pure entertainment. They used to compare films with the past successfuls and look for good(great/celebrated) actors.That is why this(a director’s) post got 11 responses and the post of vineeth sreenivasan (an actor) got a ten times more responses.

    And about new scripts, I read some where that the first person you met in the street had a script ready(at least in his mind). This is because of the popularity of the medium and that is good for the film world(as an art). May be the main factor drive these people to write is the valueless/scrappy films which some times make me to think ‘ if this is a film, then why can’t I do one ‘ .

    Those who need to be an assistant director is mainly because of high fees and tight competition / corruption in our film schools.(a simple way to judge the apttitude of these wannabes are just ask for a work/ a short film, 1/2/5 mins.-‘i was once asked’ 🙂 )

    And about 3 Idiots, its Rajakumar Hirani from FTII with great marketing skills. I read that he sells a good number of Typewriters in a single day.

    nb: All these are my personnel thoughts.

    • Dint get u completely,thanks anyway frames.

  9. I am also interested in taking movies as profession,but not direction.I want to take
    marketing and distribution section of movie industry as my career. The problem is that i have no contact in the film industry. But i will give it a try.

    • Gud luck vincitore!

  10. Hi Boss,

    If you don’t mind, can you give me your phone number or your gtalk id.


  11. Thanks Mr.Ranjith 4 ur guidelines 4 wannabe filmmakers. Luckily, I got an exceptional opportunity to catch ur advice about the same topic by telephone. Furthermore, I discussed with my parallel mined friends about ur observations. But after a detailed thought, I have some genuine suggestions.

    Ofcoz, potential to create an outlook can be obtained by observing life thru different media. As u said, being a good human being with right political thought also give him a good vision. These types of individuals can only get the urge to present a genuine subject towards the world. I have a humble question 2wards u sir. Is this only making a better director? It will help him only 2 make a new subject or a good screenplay.

    As everyone knows…cinema is a medium of different arts and techniques… A Filmmaker can only narrate and visualize a good plot with the support of these aspects. As u mentioned in ur recent blog post about ur new film that converting a good script from paper to screen is not just a mechanical process. Ofcoz, its need to grow again on a editing table and each staged such as dubbing, mixing, publicity etc to get a final print.
    Main thing a director should practically know about the equipments, camera lens…type of shot…If he is the captian of that cinema..he should aware about all these things. Moreover he should get a practical experience to handle the actors especially the so called superstars in industry.

    Without getting a chance 2 work as an assistant director 4 atleast 2 or 3 cinema,its very difficult 2 understand the real process of filmmaking….it is not film thinking. So kindly give chances and encouragement 4 the newcomers who r passionate 2 make film by evaluating their outlook and visual attitude by asking their previous works such as short films etc. Do u think 2 access the current Malayalam film industry is as much simple as getting an admission in kindergarten? Kindly don’t compare or measure up with ur auspicious chance that everyone should obtain.

    Mammen K Rajan

    • Ofcoz Rajan.Anyone with a genuine new script is most welcome to learn practical filmmaking.

    • Hi Mammen,

      Liked your comment – it sounded very personal.

      It is true that cinema is a medium of different arts and techniques – but it also requires a different outlook. As we know, there are very few stories in the world, but the point is how you want to tell it – means it is all about narration!

      Theoretical film making can be learned through different medium, but Practical film making – we need some real help. Let us find our ways to get it.

      For the theory side of lens, camera, shots etc, I would suggest to go though the video – ‘Hollywood camera work – The master course in high-end blocking and staging’. It is one of the best you can get.

      salil | drishyan

  12. I think the people you mentioned criticisizing the existing movies is because they do not know how to appreciate the efforts taken into making one.Well, in one sense, can’t blame them either, all they do is sit at home watching movies all day long.I believe once they properly WORK in even an honest short film attempt, they would know of the efforts taken and would start appreciating the efforts.

    DOING is different from TALKING like they say…

    Great post and great work..
    Keep going !

  13. Nice write up Ranjith,

    Informative indeed.

    Wannabe film-makers are either over confident or totally lack any confidence… its rare to find a person who is able to clearly evaluate his own ideas… being totally unbiased in assessing a work is THE MOST tough job and when u assess your own creation you are always at extremes…

    Anyway very informative write up…

  14. Thanks for the advice.


  16. While advising the wannabe film makers, why don’t you hire a tutor to improve your English?

  17. I live abroad and hence don’t get to watch Malayalam movies as they get released. However, I did make a point to get a DVD (genuine) of your movie for the hype it created.I found it to be a good script, but tackily executed. When I say good script, I mean intelligent script – it shows how much you care for cinema. Different situations tied into a neat architecture. Quite neat – I would say, Aha, this guy is smart. However, casting was pathetic – Dileep and Mamta. What a combination. They don’t seem to belong to the same milieu. He is too incomptabible for a girl with her looks and airs. Costumes and sets were tacky too. I hope you improve in your next movie. The funny thing in Kerala is that even the “bright” and “orignal” directors need a “star” to carry their film. What a pity!



    • Thanks unni.Will try.

  19. hi…


    this is for my best friend…he would like to kick start his career in film industry,
    he has some scripts..will you please hear ?

    thank u
    chella kutty

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