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Interview with screenwriter Kesari Lal Bhattacharya

  • What is the first story you ever wrote?


  • Growing up, what movies or stories inspired your creative passion?

James Bond, Indiana Jones, Bollywood movies.

  • For an unknown writer, what is the best way to get their screenplay seen?

Film festivals.

  • What experiences from your life influence your characters?

I have lived a roller coaster life. So it is easy for me to dig in and pull out character traits from my personal experiences. What life experiences i chose? it depend on the character requirement. I heavily fall back on my parenting experiences for the emotions of a father, something which is a common to both main characters in my two scripts.

  • Can you explain your character development process?

I am still very new, so I am still developing a process. I am normally very critical of my own work and when a story idea comes to my mind I like to let it percolate in the sub conscious and try and locate the kernel that slowly turns into a big tree.

  • Do you write bios before you start writing?

Yes I do.

  • How emotionally involved are you with the characters you create?

Very. Up to a fault. I will not recommend that to other writers as it can jeopardize relation with the director.

  • What are your thoughts on structure?

I think it is important for new writers because we are entering some one else’s world. We need to first prove ourselves before we can start exploring. I also think it is important to first develop your own voice before we start making it vocal. Structure is important at the learning phase after that it is important to find own voice and learn to express it in a way that other would like to listen.

  • Do you outline before you start writing?

Yes always. I start with the name, log line, character bio and then beat sheet. I spent most amount of time polishing the beat sheet. Once I am satisfied, I start plotting.

  • What is the most important aspect of building a great character?

Truth. Good or bad the traits has to come from the character’s truth. Not my truth, but the character’s.