Covid-19 effect: How the pandemic has robbed small screen of its monsoon flavour

Actors, producers, writers and directors of popular TV shows tell us that with the pandemic restricting outdoor shoot, lesser people on set, among other things, they have to let go of romantic, fun and serious rain sequences.
Actors Erica Fernandes and Shaheer Sheikh in a rain sequence from their popular show Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi.
Actors Erica Fernandes and Shaheer Sheikh in a rain sequence from their popular show Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi.
Updated on Aug 12, 2020 04:13 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Be it the quintessential romantic rain sequence or scenes with actors having fun while it pours, monsoon has always been an integral part of Hindi TV shows and such depiction of monsoon find a quick connect with the audiences, too. However, given the pandemic, this year, it seems, monsoon sequences will have to be compromised upon.

JD Majethia, chairman, television & web, Indian Film & Television Producers’ Council (IFTPC) says nothing matters more than the health of the cast and crew.

“We can’t afford to let people get drenched to shoot such scenes, as they take time and given the weather, many might fall sick. Also, such scenes require actors to shoot in closer proximity, something that we can’t do in corona times. So whether romantic, fun or reality driven rain sequences, we’ll avoid them unless things can be managed otherwise,” informs Majethia.

Actors Nakuul Mehta and Surbhi Chandna in a still from Ishqbaaaz.
Actors Nakuul Mehta and Surbhi Chandna in a still from Ishqbaaaz.

Furthermore, such sequences are shot with rain machines that require a new set of people to manage the machine. “Again, we can’t have so many people on the sets given the guidelines. We thought of a track in Bhakharwadi where we were suppose to show how rain played havoc on the lives of some footpath dwellers and how Anna (played by Deven Bhojani) would be helping them. But now we’ve changed them,” adds Majethia.

In fact, rain sequences during monsoon is a must for most fiction shows irrespective of the genre, says Deepak Sagar, who is directing the mythological show, Kahat Hanuman Jai Shri Ram.

“Such scenes are usually shot outdoors but now we have restrictions on that. In mytho shows, since we have special effects, there are tracks where we show the Gods creating sudden rain or shine etc. So, this time we’re thinking of using graphics and VFX for such scenes,” adds Sagar, who has earlier directed Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi and Yeh Vaada Raha.

Having shot for rain sequences in Laado and Rishton Se Badi Pratha, actor Rishina Kandhari says it’s fun to shoot them, though she’s aware it won’t be possible now. “Covid scare is a reality. No matter what precautions we take, it can happen to anyone without informing,” says the actor, who’s shooting for Tera Yaar Hoon Main.

Actor Mohit Malhotra, who’s working on Naagin 5, adds, “I’ve done it for Chupke Chupke and know the efforts such scenes require. I don’t think we can risk doing it now. And I don’t think I would be comfortable in doing them too.”

Makers of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah are trying to retain the monsoon flavour on the show but they won’t go overboard given the Covid related restrictions.
Makers of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah are trying to retain the monsoon flavour on the show but they won’t go overboard given the Covid related restrictions.

With these turn of events, writers, too, are tweaking the scenes to suit the current scenario.

Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega writer, Abhijit Sinha, says, “Waise baarish ke bina story adhuri hoti hai. Uske flavour hi kuch alag hai, especially in romantic shows. So, while we can’t show such scenes for sometime, we’re figuring out how we can retain flavour, even if we’ve to show rain in the background.”

Producer Asit Kumarr Modi shares that for one of the recent episodes of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, they shot a few scenes with umbrella and rain coats.

“Whether its the health of our cast and crew or audiences’ interest, we don’t want to compromise on anything. So, we figured out a way we could do it. Also, our show highlights real life issues, so we want to show the havoc rain creates on some lives. But, we’ll ensure we don’t go overboard,” he shares.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Shreya Mukherjee is a senior content producer at Hindustan Times. She has spent over eight years covering entertainment, features and hard-news. When not writing, her passion for travel, literature, films and music gets her going.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022