The very filmy Name Dropping
WHY DROP NAMES WHEN YOU CAN TALK OF WHAT YOU FEEL FOR YOUR WORK INSTEAD?
Ask an assistant director what he does and he might say ‘I work with Raj Kumar Santoshi.’ or ’I work for YASHRAJ FILMS’, or ‘I work with Ashutosh Gowarikar.’ Or ask a writer what he does and he might say ‘I write for YRF’ or ‘I write for UTV’ and this kind of talk applies to actors also.
So why this obsessoion with name dropping?
One reason is probably that its an industry where each person himself/herself is powerless to make a film. When even the biggest director approaches a producer the poor director has to drop the name of a star he’s spoken to or has enough of a rapport with to be able to bring onto the project. So a director’s strength is measured in his rapport with actors more often than not.
Another reason of course, and this is the one I’d go with is an insecurity as yet for who you are. I remember Sanjay Gadhvi talking to me years ago when he was just starting out with ‘Tere Liye’ the teenybopper rock band film for which Abbas Tyrewala had written his first song ‘Dil Dhapaak’. Sanjay Gadhvi was the first person to make me aware that dropping names was uncool. He’d said it speaks of your lack of confidence in who you are. And with due respect to him even after Dhoom 1 and 2 he’s never allowed himself to be signed on by a producer based on his contacts with stars. And this, after working with Hrithik Roshan and Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai and John Abraham and Bipasha Basu etc etc.
The truth is that a person who drop names is basically insecure about who he/she is. A director will only drop names when he knows that this is his biggest strength. If his storytelling ability is his biggest strength he will never do that. So its more probable that a FIRST ASSISTANT will say ‘Im a first AD in such and such film’ because by that time, being the FIRST he’s confident of who he is and knows that without him there is no film. Its the more junior people who feel the need, mostly, to drop names. So all it says when you drop the name of a company or a big famous person is that you’re not really doing much with them. [pullquote_right]When even the biggest director approaches a producer the poor director has to drop the name of a star he’s spoken to or has enough of a rapport with to be able to bring onto the project. So a director’s strength is measured in his rapport with actors more often than not.[/pullquote_right]
A writer for UTV means a staff writer, part of a team who is on a salary and writes for UTV. Not the greatest thing for a writer to be doing and in all probability she/he’s not really kicked with this job herself/himself. Hence the projection of being larger than she/he is. Similarly for third and fourth a.d.’s and actors in bit roles.
[box_download]So do know for the future that the only thing that someone who is a thinker is going to catch when you drop names is your insecurity about what you do and who you are or that you’re very junior or very new to the film industry. So think twice before dropping names. Talk instead of what you feel for the work you do, talk of how you really want to be a writer, which films you absolutely love, why you want to be a director, which directors are favorites or the same as an actor and kick the habit of name dropping.[/box_download]