As producers we should pay writers much more, says Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan had spoken about the importance of writers during an event at the Screen Writers’ Association (SWA) earlier this year.

At the conclusion of the first edition of the Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Contest on Monday, the actor-producer again spoke about the importance of writers and said they need to be respected and paid well. 

“There has to be this endeavour to encourage people to write,” Khan said. “And we should not stop here. In the industry as producers, we should be paying them much more and sufficiently enough so that a person can lead a comfortable life just on writing.”

Highlighting the importance of writers, Aamir Khan said, “Why do I sign a film? It’s only on the basis of the story and script. So, the writer is most important, I feel. It all starts from there. The origin is the writer. If a writer writes a good story, only then we all get involved in it.” 

Asked whether he has always accorded primacy to the script, Khan answered in the affirmative. “From the very beginning of my career after QSQT [Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)] was released, I was looking only at the script,” he said.

After some time, however, he began looking at the combination of script, director and producer. “If the other two are not in place, even a good script can go haywire,” he explained. A good script needs a good director and a good director needs a good producer. He provides the team the resources a film needs. And to give it a good release.”

The actor was one of the members of the jury for the inaugural contest along with filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani and writers Anjum Rajabali and Juhi Chaturvedi. Rajabali chaired the jury.

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Asked how he goes about judging a script, Khan explained, “The first time I look at a script as an audience. At that time I am the audience watching the film. Does it excite, engage, suck me in? So, I purely go by my emotional response. Then I start looking at the technical side of it. But that comes later.” 

Continuing, he said, “I just want to make sure if it has a clear premise. Is there a clear goal? Is the goal set early enough? Are the characters developed well? Are the subplots interesting? Are any of the subplots not being closed and wound up before the main plot is over? These are the few technical things I look at, but that comes much later. First is my gut reaction for the script.”

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