Officials of Cine And TV Artistes’ Association’s (CINTAA) have been making regular, uninformed visits to the sets of all primetime dailies to ensure that shoots don’t continue longer than 12 hours. Dharmesh Tiwari of CINTAA confirms the news and says that government regulations don’t permit shooting to extend beyond eight hours.
“For TV we want an extra four hours leeway but some production houses, on the pretext of building up an episode bank, shoot for 18 and even 20 hours a day, which is unfair!” grouses Tiwari, saying CINTAA first issues a warning to errant filmmakers, and then barges into the sets and stalls shoots.
This happened recently on the sets of the Colors’ primetime daily soap, Laagi Tujhse Lagan. Producer Hemal Thakker admits it but says that they were lucky because they managed to wrap up the stalled episode the next day during an early morning shift. “We try not to flouts the rule but sometimes special episodes take a while to film and if we stop halfway through, we suffer losses. Owning to the incessant rains and everyday technical glitches we don’t have an episode bank that will bail us out,” he reasons.
Tiwari insists that CINTAA is working for the artistes and in case of any complaints from technicians, directors, writers or even spot boys, necessary action is taken, promptly.
“Producers can’t expect them to work 18 hours, travel four hours and sleep two hours a day. Ever since we’ve started making the rounds, the families of these artistes and technicians have called to thank us for getting them back home at a civilised hour,” says Tiwari. “If producers don’t have an episode bank, that’s their problem. Why should others suffer?”