Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Baatein Barry Dhillon Se

Babaji madad karona…”

Oye Raam Lal, Oye Shaamlal, Hari Prasad, Oye Kaake..  tum yahan ke saare watchmen ke naam jaanti ho?   nahi toh .. main toh avai thukke maar rahi thi .

If you are already smiling at the mention of these lines, my interview or the interviewee today need no further introduction. His lines preceed him. His expressions have become a household name today. Barry Dhillon the Dialogue writer of GEET-Hui Sabse Parayi chats up with TellyTadka and talks to us about what drives him as a writer and what is it about Geet thats made him stick onto the show from day one.

To Barry the Writer:

TeeTee: Tell us about your stint in this industry?

Barry: I have been around for some 10-12 years...

Tee Tee: Being a part of the industry for a while now, how do you think the concept of story-telling has evolved over the years on TV?

The story- telling in TV has always been there dear I dont understand what do u mean by evolved . But yeah story telling has  certainly has changed with the times {agar aap ke poochne ka matlab yeh tha} as sensibility of our society has changed with the times While 'Hum Log' and 'Buniyad' of former DD days were far more realistic, with the advent of satellite television story-telling became more dramatic. [can say melodramatic when the Saas Bahu Era was at its peak and now the tide is turning in favor of romantic comedies or romantic dramadies]. Needless to say unlike that DD era, nowadays story telling has to work according to market economics.

TeeTee:  So, with changing scenarios ,what is the role of a story writer in a TV soap?

Barry: Simply put, if a TV soap is a journey the story writer decides where to go, screenplay writer decides how to reach there and the dialogue writer makes that journey interesting.

TeeTee: Thats an interesting way of putting it. Every coin has two sides, so what according to you are the pluses and minuses of a daily soap for a TV writer?

Barry: The upside of being a daily soap writer is that you get paid well {lolz...} well, I love the deadlines as they give me opportunities to compete with myself)... The disadvantage is that you get almost socially isolated... no time to socialize (Im still single at 40... lolz)

Tee Tee: Ha ha !  You have been around for so long, and have written for so many shows, but if you were to make a show what would it be on?

Barry:Well, do I need to answer that? Of courseRomance... :-)

TeeTee: It was silly of me to ask, but we are all allowed one mistake ..!! Moving on, what is the value addition that is made to the script at the dialogue level once a screenplay is handed over to you?

Barry: I think I have already answered that one

TeeTee: oops yes! So do you also regularly watch the show to keep up with the latest story?

Barry: Not always essentially... I feel no less than satiated after I am done with the script... (How can one write a script and escape the process of visualizing how that script will look like on the screen?)  Do I need to see it on TV?

TeeTee: I can imagine, the high! Now let me ask the love story writer a cliché question since this is supposed to be an interview.How important is romance in a story and do you believe as a writer, a story can take a back seat in order to further just romance?

Barry:There's a problem with this question... either the question is wrong or you are asking the question to the wrong person... for me romance is very much a part of the story

Tee Tee: Why are romantic moments given so much importance on StarOne shows?

Barry:Every TV channel has to identify its distinct and clearly defined target audience. It's always good to be focused and target specific and romance is star ones DNA.

TeeTee: When a story is handed over to you, how do you go about working on the screenplay and dialogues?

I just sit down in front of my comp and start writing J  jokes apart dear if it would have been a physical process in would have been able to describe it to u it would have been a strategy devised by brain I would have been able to describe it to u but my job is related more to the mind and less to the brain.  Mind is lil difficult to explain ;-)

TeeTee: Where do you see the TV industry 5 years from today?

Barry: God is kind... as you've asked about a very long span of time in this 'jet-speed-development' I guess we are going see the changes at the same paces... do you think anybody else than God himself can answer that question? (and, for that matters, any question about the next era)... the phenomenal changes we have witnessed in our world  {geographical, socio-political , economical, scientific, etc etc etc}   in last five years even Nostradamus wont be able to predict what we might see the very next morning ;-)

TeeTee: A show that you look at, with fond memories as a writer and why?

Barry: Cant pick out one every show I have written has left me with beautiful memories.. be it Banoo main teri dulhann.. Kabhi aayi na judaai kumkum orReth or Kaajaal or Geet . Or.

TeeTee: So you love all your shows like a father loves all his children the same way.. We shall ask you no more questions on that.
Let us now talk about your current hit show Geet-Hui Sabse Parayi where you were until recently doing story, screenplay as well as dialogues. Our fans would like to hear tales of their favorite show, direct Writer ke Zubaani.

On Geet:

Tee Tee: You until recently were doing, story and screenplay for GEET along with dialogues? How do you cope with the pressure?

Barry:Pressure is my middle name :D  :D I have been a daily soap writer for a quite a while now, that has normally handled three shows at a time so pressure has become more of a habit by now {kabhi kabhi to darr lagta hai ke pressure na hua to neend kaise aayegi( at times I wonder, if there were no pressure, how would I sleep at night (lol)}

TeeTee: A lot has been said lately about how the story has moved from being the tale of a girl and her struggles to an out and out love story. What do you what to say about genre shift?

Barry: Geet was launched with an aim to attract more GEC viewers {StarOne not being your normal run of the mill GEC} but viewers didnt come {read TRP}  so we had to shift to the genre  the genre which our committed viewers followed  love story J {numbers matter at the end of day}

TeeTee: You have been associated with the show right from the beginning. How do you think the show has evolved? Do share your journey with us on GHSP.

Barry: You should ask this question to a viewer who has been viewing my show from day one I strongly feel my viewer and me we both have been on same page right from episode 1 till date  yeh tajrubah alfaaz me bayaan karna jitna mushkil un ke liye hai utna hee mushkil mere liye hai!   (my experience with Geet cannot be expressed in words)

TeeTee: In the episodes that went by, much to the angst of many loyal viewers and fans, Geet has been shown to have forgiven Dev. In a real life scenario, how easy or difficult do you think it is for a woman to forgive a man who has marred her so deeply?

Barry: To be honest I think it is simply impossible for a woman to pardon a man who has done what Dev did to Geet. 

TeeTee: Being a man, how do you ensure that you bring in the sensitive and emotional nuances into the character of a female protagonist such as Geet?

Barry: Thats not too difficult coz right from my childhood I have been close to the ladies of the house hold my first best friend was my Grandma ma Sardarni Harmohinder Kaur  there after my mom Devinder Kaur and then my little sister Rupinder {my Rubah} 

TeeTee: Now for the most commonly asked and debated question across various fan forums, do you think men like Maan Singh Khurana exist for real?

Barry: Why not? Very much like stories, characters are inspired from life only kahaniyaan kisi aur duniya se ban ke thode hee aati hain imagination and creativity cant be beyond human experiences 

TeeTee: When Geet chose to forgive Dev for Maans sake, why do you think it was so hard for Maan to forgive his own brother ?

Barry: I think we have already gone past that point in the story but if  Maan wasnt able to forgive Dev  it was simply because of his love for Geet and more than that he is man of principles  if I would have been in his shoes I would have done the same asool rishton se jazbaat se  bade hote hain(principles outweight emotions anyday)!

TeeTee: Fans want Dev to go to jail, and they want Geet to punish him? What according to you would be the real form of punishment for Devs character?

Barry:For once I cant answer this one  coz the story line has changed Geet has forgiven him Maan tooo has accepted him to Barry dhillon kee ab dev ke saath koi zaati dushmani to hai nahi ;-)( Barry Dhillion has personally nothing against Dev;-))

TeeTee:Where does the story head from here?

{Barry rolls his eyes}  main to bataa doonga lekin logon ka maza khatm ho jaayega ! 

TeeTee: (disappointed but looks forward to the upcoming track) Its almost the end of this wonderful chat session. So before we go, lets keep up with our tradition and ask for a message for the fans of GHSP.

Barry:I thank u all for making Geet what it is today ! no doubts Nissar, me and others worked   hard to  make this show but without the support of you guys, our efforts meant nothing  so lovely people Keep watching Geet keep loving it aap dekhte rahiye main likhta rahoonga.. . silsile chalte rahenge!

Reporter - Niharika Vidya Sagar
Telly Tadka

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