A script named ‘Open Panna…’ – Part 2

John mahendran Writeups

When you are busy playing with your screenplay for movies, life has a sarcastic way of writing your screenplay.

There is this Hero who swooned his audience with his chocolaty smile be it north or south. As the hero had flown down to do Chennai to take part in a movie promotion in which he had done a cameo role along with a multi talented star, my producer pulled all his strings to fix a narration date with the chocolate boy.

Park Sheraton Elevator opened up and as I walked towards his room accompanied by a lobby music perfect for my situation, just as my fingers reached to the doorbell, my producer called me.

“Sir the THE man who is bankrolling our project doesn’t want chocolate boy, he wants anyone other than this chocolate boy, he wants someone massy para local”

“Sir what do I do now? “

“Just narrate in such a way he will reject the script”

MAN… I will tell you, just how you need a great skill to give an impressive narration you need a far far greater skill to give a bad narration.

It was like coming up with a fantastic coffee and splashing it all over his face.

There is this Director with a charming smile who had done some decently good movies who is popular for his song visuals and taste for good music. I narrated a script which he instantly liked and lauded my narration skills and requested me to record my narration which he was planning to play to his producer.

That night he took me to a small studio where the mike was properly placed and my voice was checked. So when everything was set, he said that he will be back in an hour before I finish my narration and asked me to start my narration as soon as I see the red light.


Little confused I asked him, to whom I am supposed to narrate.

He coolly pointed to the mike. I said that I wanted a listener, a human being to whom I can narrate.

He was so brilliant and spontaneous; he got the studio watchman to sit in front of me.

Red Button. Open panna… the poor guy was dozing… effect of my script? NOPE. The cushion, the AC… God knows when was the last time this man had a good sleep in an Air conditioned room.

Honestly all what I said so far is nothing bad… its part of the game.

I am right there, narrating a script, good or bad, people know that its mine. One success will decide, in which line my name is to be aligned in a movie AD.

But no matter how many successes, no matter how audience went gaga over a punch dialogue, no matter how many times a movie was seen repeatedly for a particular episode, there are so many unsung heroes in our film industry, and we call them Ghost Writers.

Behind every successful directors and writers there are numerous ghost writers who contribute too many good scripts which later become Block Busters. And these Writers are not given credit and hence called Ghost Writers. They sit in the dark of theatres, watching people go crazy for the work they have done, yet not one in the crowd realize that the real creator is sitting next to them, who never opens his mouth to disclose, sometimes I wonder whether his own family will believe if he said the truth.

So many stories… So many writers… So very little known.

A script named ‘Open Panna…’ – Part 1 (Read)

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About the Author

John Mahendran
Film Director, Writer, Author, Currently teaching Film Making in BOFTA

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