newsdog Facebook

Indian girl in Hollywood!

Hans India 2019-01-10 01:22:52
Vidhya Iyer is a passionate screenwriter in Hollywood working in both television shows and movies. Born and raised in Nigeria, she moved to Chennai at the age of 12. After studying Computer Engineering, she moved to Los Angeles where she studied screenwriting at the American Film Institute Conservatory.
About her inspiration to pursue screenwriting as a career avenue she says, “I loved watching characters grow on TV and in movies. They made mistakes, learnt from them and made me laugh, cry and feel for them. The stories I saw on the screen that took me on an emotional journey made me want to pursue screenwriting."
"Having grown up across different countries myself, I have always wanted to appeal to a global audience and to connect with them. I have been exposed to a variety of cultures and stories from a very young age. That inherently creates deep empathy for people who are different from you. My experience of living across different cultures and countries has given me insight into a range of emotion and characters that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. 
It also opens the creative mind up to so many more possibilities for stories. I also watch a lot of different movies and TV shows from across the globe. Most recently, I watched a gripping Spanish series called ‘Lacasa De Papel’," she adds.
Vidhya wrote her first movie script just prior to joining AFI for film school in 2015. It was a romantic comedy. "My writing has evolved so much since then. In fact, I would say it’s evolved a lot since the beginning of this year as well. The more you write the better you get at it. I also read a lot of screenplays. I think the best thing about the evolution of my writing and my style has been my ability to pick and choose projects and know which ones I would love to work on and which ones are wonderful projects but aren’t quite meant for me," she says.
Vidhya performs for Improv Comedy with her team Gravyboat at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA and performs stand-up and sketches too. A monthly all-female variety show at the Pack Theatre in LA called ‘LADY*LIKE.’ Her exposure to television was when she wrote a couple of shows like ‘PG 30’ and ‘Little Voice’. An animated kids’ TV show on a major TV network and a musical TV series for a new digital streaming service launching in 2019 are some future projects. 
Her short film 'Raksha' has an eerie tone that makes an interesting statement about the concept of destiny. "'Raksha' is an exciting project. My friend and co-writer, Jhanvi Motla and I wrote it as a comedy initially. Eventually, we took the same character and conflict and turned the story into a more dramatic one. We are very proud of the result. It asks a question that we all struggle with – ‘Are we products of our circumstances or do we really have free will?’”
About her other projects she says, "Aside from 'Raksha', I have written and directed a short called 'Jean' about the relationship of a father with his severely ill autistic daughter. Besides the shorts, I’m in the process of co-writing two feature films. They are still in very early stages and I can’t quite get into too much detail about them."
She believes that she positively connects with people from other cultures and regions through comedy. "People often say that comedy doesn’t translate well and definitely that can happen now and then, but largely I have found that if you get people laughing, they are more willing to engage with you," says Vidhya.
Vidhya shares that she would love to work with Taika Waititi who helmed ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and Zoya Akhtar, director of upcoming Ranveer Singh starrer ‘Gully Boy’. 
Tags: Vidhya Iyer, Screenwriter in Hollywood, Nigeria