Ritam: With Covid surge it has become scary to shoot now
When ‘Beehad ka Baagi’ director Ritam Srivastav, a Lucknowite, started shooting in Varanasi, some 45 days back, the only thing on his mind was the pressure of a sequel of his hit web-series ‘Raktanchal’.
“When I arrived in Varanasi, the situation was fine. During the course of the shoot, coronavirus cases started rising. Now, this scary pressure has added upon everything forcing us to shoot in a bio-bubble with all precautions as it’s about the safety of everyone — actors, crew and people associated with us,” said the director as he shoots for ‘Raktanchal-2’ near Ramnagar Fort.
Now, several protocols too need to be followed. “We have to abide by the guidelines. In Varanasi, the night curfew is from 8 pm to 7 am so we can’t shoot at night. So, the night sequences have to be converted to day. But, in the large picture these hassles are okay as it’s about everyone’s safety. We are working with senior actors like Ashish Vidyarthi so we need to be extra careful about everything,” he said.
The director said that getting tests done has become the way of life. “I myself undergo a test every week. Any actor who is coming from outstation has to get a RT-PCR test done. Besides, everyone in the team is tested on a routine basis and we are neither meeting nor allowing outsiders. The crew has also been minimised for safety reasons,” said Srivastav.
Though he is not compromising on the scale of the shoot but now a lot has to be done in post-production. “I like to shoot with a big canvas and since this is a sequel, it has to be bigger and better! We are not compromising on anything but now a lot of things we are minimising will have to be added in post-production like crowd-multiplication and all. Besides, Nikitin Dheer, Kranti Prakash Jha and Vikram Kochhar we also have Karan Patel and Mahi Gill also this time,” he said.
Srivastav has over a 15-day shoot left. Besides, he is looking forward to the release of his short film ‘Maternity Blues’ and plans to shoot his feature film later his year in Lucknow after the release of this series.