Monday, November 19, 2007

TV Asia Phone Spam: A short film

Recently Manish sent me a couple of Bollywood scripts. While I was reading them I kept getting bugged by phone spam from a satellite TV channel that inspired me to write my own short film. Hope someone buys it soon.

PHONE KI GHANTI
(working title)

A screenplay


INT. BOARDROOM OF TV ASIAN CHANNEL OFFICE

Hotshot, a young marketing executive has been called in to revive the flagging fortunes of TV Asian. Hotshot dressed in a navy blue power suit is presiding over an executive meeting attended by the senior leadership team. The boardroom is brightly lit, long polished wooden table sorrounded by black tall back chairs. All executives are dressed in slightly loose fitting gray or tweed suits. A bowl of Aloo Bhujiya lies untouched in the center of the table.


HOTSHOT
We recently did a poll of Disc Networking subscribers of South Asian origin in the US and asked them 'Which channels do you watch?' Do you know where TV Asian stood?

SHEKHARBHAI
Er, number two

HOTSHOT
That was a rhetorical question. We weren't even on the list. Then we asked 'Have you heard of TV Asian?'

RAKHIBEN
Most of them had but had no time to tune in, right?

HOTSHOT
Only answer when called on please, otherwise no need to depress me. 90% said they didn't watch Korean TV. The other 10% asked if Doordarshan had changed its name as part of a makeover.

RONIT TOY
Yikes!

HOTSHOT
Exactly! We need some ideas on how to jazz up TV Asian, people! ...You, surely you have past experience with this!

Hotshot thrusts his finger at a middle-aged man who is about to doze off. Camera swivels from HOTSHOT's pointed finger to show KEERAVAN, a funny looking man (note: cast Paresh Rawal) who stifles a yawn and suddenly looks rather nervous.

KEERAVAN
Well, I was fired from B4U before coming here. But we can always cover the Gujarati Hasya Sammelan in New York this coming...

HOTSHOT
Moving on!

Hotshot now points to a woman with straight long hair, a gigantic bindi and painted nails who is smiling broadly and looking excited at being called on.

HOTSHOT
You!

ILABEN
How about a 24 hour ghazal marathon! We could get Pankaj Udhaas and Ghulam...

HOTSHOT
Shut up!

Suddenly a voice is heard as the camera stays on HOTSHOT's frustrated face. As the voice speaks, the camera swivels to a corner of the room we haven't seen before. A stocky man in horn-rimmed glasses is sitting working on a Rubik's cube. Greasy hair poke out from under the baseball cap on his head. The shirt says 'Shri 420' in devanagiri. Several pages of eight row Sudokus lie completed around him. The Rubik's cube is jumbled.

SHRI 420
We need to get close to our customers. Make them feel like we are thinking of them. A lot.

Rubik's cube now has its blue face complete.

HOTSHOT
I'm listening.

SHRI 420
We need to tell them what a great channel we are. Lure them in.

Rubik's cube now has red face complete

SHRI 420
We should phone spam all Disc Networking customers with our ads!

HOTSHOT
Phone spam? Isn't that a bad thing?

SHRI 420
So was Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag, but he still made lakhs, didn't he?

Rubik's cube now has white face complete

SHRI 420 (continues)
Phone spam is super cheap these days. All you need is a recorded voice. Let's use a man's voice, we don't want our customers getting confused about what we broadcast. Disc will sell us their customer phone numbers in an instant if we show them some cash. Then their ass is ours!

HOTSHOT
Brilliant idea! Why didn't I think of it before! Annoy the heck out of our customers and they'll sign right up and start watching!

SHRI 420
Ka-ching!

The Rubik's cube completes with a snap. A triumphant smile spreads on SHRI 420's lips. He slowly gets up.

HOTSHOT
Where are you going?

SHRI 420
You'll have to excuse me. I need to go attend Himanshu Besharmiya's staff meeting.

11 comments:

anu g said...

That was really funny Aspi.'Aspi'ring to make a serial soon?Script a reality show!U r sure to succeed.....u have a great viewership here already!

anu g said...

One suggestion...replace the Rubiks cube with 'Sudoku'...thats the current craze these days! Unless like one of those arty movies, the cube represented something deep, which aam junta like me couldnt understand!!!

Aspi said...

anu g, yes, good suggestion: I will work that in.

cool_guy said...

good , Can somebody explain how many humorous meanings the following line in quote have .

Question is mainly for ladies .

"Let's use a man's voice, we don't want our customers getting confused about what we broadcast"

Thanks

girlie girl said...

That was hysterical, Aspi! Award winning script! Anu g, I like the Sudoku idea, but I feel like Rubiks cube is the symbol of intelligence...like if you can get that thing right, then you're brillian, type of thing...but maybe that's just my opinion!

Aspi, the Paresh Rawal casting was the best part!!

Priti said...

Aspi, that was a terrific script. Got all the masala, paisa vasool. The casting seems ideal too.

Except Ilaben’s choice of music. As far as I know, she’s an out and out Rajasthani folk singer (in that bass voice, the voice that seems to come from slightly torn larynx tissues. The effect is one of songs being sung by a hoarse throat!).

Aspi said...

Ok, since I don't do Sudoku I didn't know how to build the same drama as with a cube. So I did a bit of a compromise.

Priti, good point. Any replacements suggestions, let me know. I don't know too many female ghazal singers. Actually I don't know too many ghazal singers.

Hope Niranjan isn't reading this.

Sidekick said...

Aspi, that was fun. Clearly, the blog world's gain, is TV's loss! You ought to be scripting.....

m said...

i'm getting effin annoyed at the strike.. no more prison break for 2 months and heroes only has one or 2 episodes.. gossip girl will last for another few weeks

this means i might be stuck with desi TV for a while
*hema malini style*

NAAAAAAAAAAAHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN

Aspi said...

Wait till you see the movies in 2009.

m said...

they'll make
Survivor the movie
Dancing with the stars: the movie
The Bachelor - the movie
etc etc