If the MET department’s predictions are anything to go by, this year, in spite of the monsoon arriving late, there are at least 10 days earmarked with extremely heavy showers in the city. And apart from disrupting the common man’s daily marathon to work and back, the rains have already started affecting daily soap schedules.
This is bound to happen, as most of the shooting locations are among the worst hit every year. The locations range from Goregaon’s Film City (Hitler Didi, Navya, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai) to other studios in places such as Mira Road (Afsar Bitiya), Naigaon (Mahadev, Balika Vadhu), Kanjurmarg (Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai) and beyond.
While Film City is known to get waterlogged easily, others like Naigaon become almost inaccessible during medium to heavy showers. Inaccessibility to the sets often results in back-to-back shoots, lack of episode banks, inability to shoot outdoors, reporting late on the sets and absenteeism.
And if you thought rain sequences were a good excuse to take care of monsoon woes, Siddharth Malhotra, producer of Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai, differs. “If I shoot outdoors in the rains, I’ll have to organise water tankers to maintain the scene’s continuity.
It’s not a wise idea to have rain sequences during monsoons since the showers don’t occur as per our wishes,” he explains. Rajan Shahi, producer of shows like Kuch Toh Log... and Yeh Rishta..., believes shooting indoors has its own share of problems. He says, “Since most of us film at studios that aren’t soundproof, the pitter-patter of the rain creates problems while dubbing and editing.”
To ensure that the show goes on, others like Nikhil Sinha of Mahadev and Ila Bedi Dutta of Hitler Didi have devised a clever plan. Assuming rains would disrupt their work, the duo has been shooting at soundproof studios. And soon, Ila plans to take off to Delhi, which is hot and dry, to take the story of her show forward.
“Mumbai can have its share of the monsoon, but we can’t let work suffer. So it’s best to tweak the storyline in a way that doesn’t allow the rains to play foul,” says Ila. Nikhil seconds her, adding, “My location is far from the city. Actors often arrive late during monsoon because of traffic jams. But once they are in, we ensure there are no interruptions.”