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    [2001 onwards]


'Writing films is something I wanted to do'

Bombay, August 6, 2002: Suparn Verma, scriptwriter and former staffer, spoke about his debut film, Chhal, and other films that he has written and are being produced.

Suparn Verma : Hi everyone, it feels quite strange to be sitting on the other side of the fence;-)

chalbe : u have come a long way..i remember logging into the chatroom and talking to you........great going
Suparn Verma : Hi mate, you'll have to tell me your original nick though, thanks and getting down to business, watch chhal hehe;-)

ChhalMereBhai : Mr Verma are you there as yet, or true to filmi tradition you will be in late?
Suparn Verma : Was planning to be late in the filmi tradition but decided against it, did I keep u waiting for long?

Suwarn : Hi Suparn, Congratulations on your first release. Tell me from where did u got the idea for the "Chhal"?
Suparn Verma : I was breaking my head after watching The Usual Suspects and L A Confidential at the awesome screenplay of the films and wanted to write something as fast paced and tell the story in a fashion where you could never predict the next scene. Started off as a different story but by the second draft the smaller characters in the story became bigger and bigger and soon overtook the whole story, so honestly it just happened. Plus I like violence and the mileu gave me the chance to write something with a lot of ruthless people in it.

Princess : so what are the films chhal will be pitted against this weekend? what kind of release/premiere are you guys having?
Suparn Verma : Chhal is pitted against Mujhse Dosti Karoge and Encounter -The Killing. Encounter has a very limited release, as for Mujhse Dosti Karoge well its a love triangle filled with mushy songs, and Chhal is a total contrast, anyone who doesn't get tickets for MDK will head towards Chhal plus after a long time you have a proper action film coming up, and once the first few days are over the word of mouth should help us.

Suparn Verma : I'm shitting bricks mate

Samsung : Hi Suparn, how do you compare movies in Hollywood and Bollywood. What, according to you, should Bollywood be learning from Hollywood and is not doing?
Suparn Verma : We are miles behind in just sheer techonlogy, we are using camera's which they will soon discard because of new ones, Avid is still a new thing as far as editing goes, we still don't have sync sound, India has only one professionally trained gaffer. The sheer number of theaters is piddle shit compared to the number of theaters in the West, which help work out the economics of a film. We have an herd mentality of what works and doesn't work. We are scared of being new or different and prefer to play it safe......I can go on and on... BUT luckily a lot of new talent is entering the industry in every department and maybe we will usher in the change

MaryLele : tell me mr varma, does the male version of a casting couch exist? what have your own experiences been?
Suparn Verma : Mary it may exist for the males, I'm sure it does, but who would want a writer? I mean we are supposed to be creatures with dirty lice filled beards, khadi kurtas and gutka in our mouth and drunk before the end of the evening;-)

shailesh : sir, I need ur help. may I have ur attention for a few minutes please?
Suparn Verma : Please! You have my full attention pal

Chaliya : if Chhal was a big-budget film, and you had the choice, who would you have prefered to cast?
Suparn Verma : I don;t think Chhal would have got made the w it was written if we had a bigger cast. The idea of having protagonists without giving each one of them a backstory doesn't exist if you have big name stars. Because they would all require justification for who they are and what they do and why they do that. It would needed to be shown rather than expressed by them. I wrote Chhal without any faces, and Kay Kay and Prashant have done a stupendous job, so they are the faces of Chhal for me

Chaliya : have you seen KK's other film Paanch? which do you think is better?
Suparn Verma : I haven't seen Paanch though I have told Anurag to show it to me twice:-( I hear its a very good film and am dying to see it

Princess : are there any big banners among your future projects suparn? what are your future projects, by the way?
Suparn Verma : Am writing Feroz Khan's Janasheen, Harry Baweja's Qayamat, N R Pashicia's Zameen directed by Rohit Shetty, and Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai by Hansal Mehta

asma : Hi Mr Verma, The promos of your movie look pretty tempting in the sense that one shouldnt miss it
Suparn Verma : Then please do see it:-)

JeLoMeinAagaya : Tell us about the women in your films, suparn. any romantic tangle with you, or is it just good friends? lol
Suparn Verma : I don't think one should look for friends within the actors circle. It's more important to have a good working relationship, whereby you can work with a variety of actors all your career instead of sticking wit one good friend. Frindship and work don't go very well in an industry filled with insecurity. However you do make some friends as you go along and thsoe you treasure. As far as the ladies in the industry go, I don't shit where I eat:-) So...

Leher : Suparn what credentials are required to tak eup script writing as a fulltime profession?
Suparn Verma : I have no creditials, I used to be journalist in and my stories were grounded in reality not fiction;-) But writing films is something I wanted to do, had been writing on the quiet putting away ideas for a long time....and Chhal happened

Chaliya : How many film scripts before you turn director? be honest.
Suparn Verma : Dunno, enough to have enough money in the savings account so that when I take off as a director I have enough money to tide me for two years. Coz generally the perception is that once a writer turns a director he doesn't write for outside productions, though I wouldn't mind coz it's always interesting to see another filmmakers interpretation of what you write. In that regard I have been lucky because Chhal saw Hansal and me agreeing on every aspect of what the film should be all about.

tanmay : which is your favourite scene in CHAAL?
Suparn Verma : The pre finale confrontation between the two protagonists, then the scene on the boat between Prashant and Kay Kay and the opening scene of the film where we killed Apurva Asrani who is also the editor of the film in a public toilet, its sooooo cool!

khjua : Suparn .. Is it not correct that you people giving "Dhokha" to ordinary young people by Glamourising the Crime?
Suparn Verma : Chhal doesn't glamourise crime, neither does it give you a story of why they become gangsters, or glorify them, beisdes its from the point of view of a cop who infiltrates them, so it's quiet objective in it's approach, everytime you find yourself feeling too much for a gangster he does something henious, and when you are just about to hate him he does something human, so you never get too close to them just like Kay Kay's character until the end and when he does get to close he realises the danger

Indian_rediff : Hi Supps!! Congrats dude!! Remember me? Indian??
Suparn Verma : Saiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii hey mate:-) Chhal will release in the US in a straight DVD form on the 9th:-) watch it and mail me on

Friend : Hi!Pal..I had seen ur craze for playing computer games on u still get time to play?
Suparn Verma : I play a whole game before working every night, try out Age of Conquerors its an amazing strategy game

Chaliya : any Hindi film that you wish you had written?
Suparn Verma : Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron that is the god of all Hindi films. That is one film I had written

suparndavermie : hi suparn, what's it like to have your first film ready to hit the big screen?
Suparn Verma : Its an extremely nerve wracking experience coz now everything is out off your hand

srikanth : Suparn...whts ur inspiration behind ur script or story writings?
Suparn Verma : Chhal isnt inspired, it has nothing to do with Donnie Brasco, Serpico, Prince of the City or any other film:-) Howerever I have seen all these films. I watch a lot of films and they simply inspire me to slog my butt harder and try and achieve a quarter of what they have

Suparn Verma : Rediff mein bahut acchi naukri thi ussi mein kaam karta aur khush rehta

chetan_a : This Nitin Patil (the producer) is from Nashik?
Suparn Verma : Yup he is a builder from Nashik and a very gutsy guy

Chaliya : are you scared of the reviews Chhal might get? do you think bad reviews can spoil a good film? how does it feel now that you cannot write your own film's review?
Suparn Verma : I'm not scared about the reveiws Chhal will get, because reviews have never decided the fate of a film, if a film works the audiences make it work becaue it is worth running if they bring it down then it must be bad. I remember on the sets of Chachi 420 Kamal Hassan was giving an interview and he said 'you have to respect your audience becaus ethey are the same people who made Mother India and Mughal-E-Azam a hit' so I guess if they have the intelligence to make sure such films hit it big time they even better critics now in the age of satellite TV

khallas : how long did it tak u to complete the script? and how did u take to writing?
Suparn Verma : Chhal took 2 weeks to write, Yeh Kya Ho Raha hai took one week to write, Chhal was shot in 40 days and YKHRH in 50:-) As for the biggies they take time to write, though I would prefer to finish off subjects in 2 weeks, do two re-writes and polishing jobs in another two, that way the effort is more concentrated.

Princess : similarities between chhal and company, suparn? or are they in one's mind only?
Suparn Verma : They don't exist except the mileu is the same--the underworld. Company is about two warring dons, Chhal is about a cop infiltrating the underworld.

ajaz2kool : how did u end up with writing for Janashen for Firoz Khan - seeing that his previous movie was a disaster
Suparn Verma : Every filmmakers has hits and flops, Feroz Khan had a flop too, big deal! Ram Gopal Varma reccomended me to Mr Khan and that's how Janasheen happened to me

StephenKing : DID U LIKE DEVDAS? :D
Suparn Verma : Yup I liked Devdas, hated the opened scene though. It had SRK's career best performance and Sanjay Leela Bhansali has done an awesome job

Chaliya : do you have any control over a story after you have submitted the script to a filmmaker? like example can you ensure Feroz Khan does not change Jaanasheen as per his choices?
Suparn Verma : In India no writer has any control over his script after he gives it. It only depends on how closely you are involved with the film and the intellegence of the filmmaker. I have been lucky in that regard and Feroz Khan never shoots anything unless he is sure its working on paper.

Suparn Verma : There is only one in the song where Kay makes luv to Jaya Sea, don't take much to think of that does it?;-) The scene where she washes his hair in the salon, thats something I always wanted my chsracters to do because I read this storyline of a film called The Barbers Wife where the barber got his kicks fondling his wife while she would cut a customers hair. The idea remained with me and came out connection to the original but now you know the geneisis

Suparn Verma : Nothing comes easy my friend

superkhan : did u do any research for your movie CHHAL? or did u write it purely out of your imagination...
Suparn Verma : No it didn't have any research, just reading newspapers every day gives you enough info, for the rest you can let your imagination wander. I guess what you soak in when you read lends itself to 'research' but I rather write a story for the fun of it and research only certain technicalities as and when needed. Anyway I'm too much of a nosy parker with an appetite to know EVERYTHING, being a pain in the butt helps

chhaliya : what is the story of don't you think there are too many movies made on weddings, and serials also, of course, but they're all hypocritic in nature? not one of them depicts reality
Suparn Verma : The story of examines a couple in the first 12 months of marriage, it has no saas bahu angle. It is a funny film where a couple re-examines their relationship from the transtition of being boyfriend girlfriend to be man and wife and falling in love once again

spooky : will you be able to write on a subject given to you a or develope a theme or idea
Suparn Verma : I do that too, either I devise the whole thing or I'm given an idea to develop

gouravaich : what is the significance of the film's title?
Suparn Verma : Chhal means deciet, the tagline is A World of Lies, the whole film starts with a cop deciving the underworld, the cop being decevieved by his own people and his own sense of whats right or wrong and walking the razors edge till he does what is right for him.

gouravaich : plz tell frankly, what r ur expectations with the film, keeping in mind the Indian viewers?
Suparn Verma : Chhal will work well

Chaliya : would the success or failure of Chhal make a difference to your other films? i mean, would other directors start making changes or demanding rewrites if this film fails?
Suparn Verma : *lol* Thats something I'm paranoid about, but no it won't happen because Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai is ready for release, Janasheen is 75% ready, Qayamat and Zameen has a screenplay in which every scene balances the next so you can't just change stuff randomly, I guess creating a watertight screenplay is not just a professional need for me but also my insurance policy

Chaliya : do you think you can write a family drama as well?
Suparn Verma : I guess so, but am very sad I missed the bus to write any of the Bhagat Singh movies, I mean they were maing five of them and I couldn't sell myself to even one

gouravaich : well, is writing scripts on underworld and crime is a sure path to success because that is what we are seeing,aankhen,satya..
Suparn Verma : Good for me then eh

Suparn Verma : I liked Devdas, it couldn't have looked the way it did minus the money that went into it, its just 5% of what a Hollywood film costs

vicky1 : suparn can u tell about ur next movie"YEH KYA HO RAHA HAI".....ITS PROMOS R REALLY INTERESTING......WILL U TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT IT
Suparn Verma : Its about four guys who want to get laid and discover that love and sex are completely different, it's about the process of growing up, the end of innocence, of fun things we did when we were in college. It's also a film after which my friends will disown me because I stole liberally from the experiences as well as mine

chandpuri : Hi Supan I am also a writer wanting to make it in Bollywood. How the life of a script writer in Bollywood. Is Story writing a decent job in the film line and how did you pursue it as a career
Suparn Verma : Its a great career my friend, just need to learn patience

gouravaich : what is ur area of interest when u think of writing a other words, what attracts u the most?
Suparn Verma : The idea of making money;-) Seriously though it is such a kick writing a big lie, people spendinmg crores to put the lie on film and people coming to watch the lie and pay you to lie:-) And the one who is most successful is the one who lies best. I want to be the world's greatest liar!

Princess : will there be a sequel to, called lol
Suparn Verma : ideally it would be na?:-)

Ipsit1 : HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY R U SEEING THIS MATTER I AM REQUESTING PLease PLease PLease answer, How a story writer deffrent from script writer?
Suparn Verma : Ispit1, Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill to fetch a pail of water Jack Fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after is the STORY! Describing how they went up and also avoided the snake on the way, and how wonderful the weather was and then it started to snow and they were caught in a blizzard and how they somehow reached up the hill and describing how they fetched the water and what happened the Jack Fell down and describing how Jill went to save him and tumbled after is the SCREENPLAY

Princess : seriously suparn, tell me, isn't a scriptwriter like a woman who has rented her womb? i mean, both conceive, and hand over the outcome to others to develop... how it turns out then, depends not so much on their brilliance but on others' genius or lack of it?
Suparn Verma : You stole this quote:-)

chandpuri : Suparn how many films do you have on Hand? Do you think writing a lot of scripts together you can do justice to all. I will be more patient for an answer this time
Suparn Verma : I guess I am able to handle them so I dont know about advising the same to anyone else. Its what you can take. For example I dont drink more than 4 pegs your capacity might be 14.....for you to find out

StephenKing : Were u always into writing and dramatics? Considering ur so good looking did u ever think of becoming an actor?
Suparn Verma : I saw my face in the mirror when I was 12 and gave up ALL PLANS OF EVER BECOMING AN ACTOR, plus I speak too fast! Though I do enjoy making cameo appearances in my movies and telling all the girls I know to watch out for me;-)

chandpuri : Considering the state of the films today don't you think the producers and directors have to be more creative in thinking rather than dance and fight a minute sequence stuff? Do the producers in Bollywood realise the value of a good script?
Suparn Verma : We are an actor dominated industry, after that comes the music, then the script, so by the time you are through writing roles around an actor and fitting in six songs you also make way for an story. LUCKILY with the industry going through a bad phase a lot of soul searching has been taking place and the script is gaining its weight once again and it HELPS being in the industry NOW at this point when you can help make the change

gouravaich : suparn, r u married?'lol'
Suparn Verma : Nope

Princess : seriously suparn, tell me, isn't a scriptwriter like a woman who has rented her womb? i mean, both conceive, and hand over the outcome to others to develop... how it turns out then, depends not so much on their brilliance but on others' genius or lack of it?
Suparn Verma : Yeah but atleast you can choose in whose hands the outcome depends, you can always say NO to peopl who are gonna screw around with your baby. Everyone can give birth, its being a good parent that makes sure how your baby turns out

Chaliya : what you gave up at the age of 12 was ALL PLANS OF EVER BECOMING A HERO. one can be an actor with whatever face one has. right naseer, om puri, manoj bajpai??
Suparn Verma : yeah at 12 I wanted to be the guy who would bash up Amrish Puri. It was only at 21 that I realised I was a fool, I should have been the guy who raped the heroine thrice before the sucker hero realised he wasn't getting any and beat me up in the 19th reel;-) but I guess I was too late for that

chandpuri : Suparn how good are our copywrite laws? Like if you narrate a story to a producer or director how much chances are there of it being copied inspite of story being registered?
Suparn Verma : Registering your story does help, registering helps more in terms of non-payment that reminds me I have yet to sign up:-)

Suparn Verma : Bye guys, thank you so much, I hope you guys see Chhal and enjoy yourself. I'm sure it will give you value for your time and money, Ciao

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