Writer-actor Vijay Maurya to direct and produce his next

Writer-actor Vijay Maurya, who continues to win awards for his dialogue in Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy (including a recent one from Screenwriters’ Association a few weeks ago), will soon direct and co-produce two of his next projects. One of them is a show and the other is a movie that will roll next year in October. The film will have more collaborators on board as producers. Talking about it, Vijay said, “I have written its screenplay and dialogue while my wife has written the story. This time next year, my film should be on floors. My wife and I have a company of our own and we will also co-produce our content. I have partners in this but that announcement will be made in due course.”

It’s not new for a writer to co-produce the content he or she writes. Is that a way for them to gain more control and partner more actively on a project, since writers are often the last ones in the chain to get under the spotlight? Talking about it Vijay said, “If I was to start talking about this, we’ll be having this chat forever. I am not formally trained in writing. I am an actor and when I write something, I enact the parts for the actors and filmmakers, at times pitching myself in for a role. Today, I have the tag of a professional writer but I am aware of just how many writers we have in the business and how often they get fleeced by producers. It doesn’t happen much now but back in the day, it was common. People would make us write reams of content and scoot with it without paying up. I wrote something sitting in a hospital by my father’s bedside and never got paid. Even today, writers, as the architects of a film, are just so hesitant to ask for their fee. Kaise maangu is the question. When there is nothing in a film, it has a writer. However, no film is ever announced with just a writer, though I would urge for it to be done that way. Muhurat actually hamare desk pe hona chahiye. Writers are often pushed out of the ring and we have to get back inside and ask for what is due. Luckily, today, I work with the likes of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Farhan Akhtar, Rahul Dholakia, Salman Khan and Prabhu Dheva who respect a writer. We need more filmmakers like that.”