Mumbai, Jan 27 (PTI) Alexander Dinelaris, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Birdman”, believes indie films and the big budget tentpoles are two pillars of Hollywood, but he says the onus lies on the “big ones” to sustain the industry.
The 50-year-old scribe, who came into limelight after co-penning the screenplay of Alejandro G. Inarritu’s 2014 black comedy, is here for the launch of actor Boman Irani’s production banner Irani MovieTone.
Citing the examples of “Roma”, director Alfonso Cuaron’s Spanish-language feature, and Warner Bros’ superhero film “Aquaman, which recently crossed the USD 1 billion mark at the global box office Dinelaris said in America there is a dedicated audience for both the kind of films and no one is less worth.
“It is about their taste, money and time. For the makers, if you are making independent film, it is a different paradigm. We have to spend two to five million dollars and if we make 20-30 million dollar that is a success and you can afford to make another one. However, the big ones have responsibility of making much more money,” Dinelaris told PTI.
“There are two Hollywoods. One with artwork, who does something visionary, small and interesting and they normally get lot of awards. And then there is commercial that keep theatres open and generate money that keep the industry open. Both are fine, he added.
He said he grew up following the works of American filmmaker Robert Benton, best known for Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep-starrer “Kramer vs Kramer”.
“We have to be able to appreciate different things. Similarly, I don’t think independent films in India are going to kill Bollywood, the tradition is going to last forever.” He believes Hollywood is witnessing a Mexican cinema renaissance with the trinity of filmmakers — Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu — making and winning awards for their compelling heart-warming stories.
Calling Inarritu a “brave and bold” filmmaker, Dinelaris said, “I joined him for Birdman’ with Nicolas Giacobone and Armando Bo to come together to try and make something impossible into a screenplay, something really bold.” “So either it is going to be big success or big failure and some people will tell you both. We are glad it worked well,” he added.
Dinelaris said filmmaking in Hollywood and Bollywood is mostly the same but it differ on the aspect of “packaging”.
“I think human stories are same, the moments that affect you is same. Just the packaging is different. I feel the colour crafting and production design is different but it is fabulous. Now we have to do more to get the young audience (to theatre). They demand change and it is a natural cycle.” He believes Indian mythological and folklore stories have great potential of working on the big screen.
“The wealth of mythology that exists in India seems to be the natural fit to what people are doing in the West with superhero films. I am looking forward to it. I do see the potential and I am waiting to learn something new,” he says in response to query about his plans for making Indian films.
With the advent of Netflix and streaming services, Dinelaris asserts that there may have been an overhaul in writing but writers are still not given their due in the industry.
“The demand is so high and that if you are good at your craft, you are going to work. You have to make sure your guild is covering you (in terms of remuneration). But writers are not respected as much as I think they should be as compared to director and producer.” Dinelaris and Boman Irani are currently working on a script. The duo met in New York five-six years ago, when Boman approached him with a script, which he had penned.
He said he is not familiar with Indian cinema but has watched Irani’s “3 Idiots”. He believes his character in the Rajkumar Hirani’s directorial was “too glamorous”.
After the launch of Irani’s production house on Thursday, Dinelaris also conducted a day-long screenwriting workshop for budding writers, directors and students of cinema.
“I felt the energy from audience. They gave me genuine inspiration. I am inspired to work and when I go on a vacation with him (Irani), we will work on our story,” he says.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.