A one-stop story shop for Sandalwood

A one-stop story shop for Sandalwood

Innovative idea

A one-stop story shop for Sandalwood

Some like-minded people committed to Sandalwood have come together to start this innovative venture.

The idea was mooted by senior artiste and president of Artistes’ and Workers’ Association, Ashok, and music director V Manohar.

 Others like Naveen Krishna, Srikanth Heblikar, Jayanth and Dilip Raj have joined hands to take the plan forward. The shop will be registered soon. “It will cater to the needs of the Kannada film industry. We will select stories suitable for movies and prepare screenplays and dialogues,” Manohar said.

The shop will have brief outlines of the stories in both audio and print formats. Those who wish to glance over the stories have to register themselves paying Rs 5,000.

“We will also keep a video document of the customers’ visits to the shop as a proof. That may be of help in case the visitor copies the story and produces a movie,” Ashok said.

Why the shop

Ashok says the Kannada film industry is in a poor shape. A series of flops this year have worsened the situation. Several directors and producers have blamed the lack of good stories and screenplays for this sorry state of affairs.
 Producer K C N Chandrashe-khar endorsed Ashok’s take.

“We thought of having a shop, which can serve as a centre for selling quality stories and screenplays,” Ashok said.

As many as 112 Kannada films were released this year. But very few have brought in the moolah. The situation was no different last year.

Nearly 200 films were made in two years with a total investment of around Rs 300 crore. Industry insiders reckon that most of the films failed to even recover the production cost.

To begin with, the proposed shop has about five scripts ready. The average royalty for a story in Sandalwood is around Rs 25,000. This is a reasonable amount compared to the going rates in Bollywood. “Forget royalty, sometimes writers don’t get even a royal tea,” says Manohar.

However, there are some exceptions. The team behind the story shop plan expects that if the experiment succeeds, the royalty for Kannada stories too will go up.
The shop will also accept stories from those outside its  team. It will retain 15 per cent of the total royalty as its share and pay 85 per cent to the author. “In future we have plans to get into production, too. All that we need are good stories and encouragement from the industry,” Ashok said.