Small screen’s big leap of faith: Shooting for some TV shows resumes, efforts underway to iron out glitches
Soon after the Maharashtra government gave the nod for TV shows to resume shoots and issued guidelines for the same, makers and channels started prepping to return to work. In fact, two Hindi shows — Pyar ki Luka Chuppi and Shakti.. Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki — resumed shooting on June 23. However, before others could follow suit, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and Cine And TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA) halted shoots stating certain guidelines weren’t met, including working hours, insurance cover etc. But after a meeting between FWICE, CINTAA and Indian Film & Television Producers’ Council (IFTPC) on Wednesday, shoots will now resume.
Pawan Kumar, producer-director of both these shows, says, “We’re adhering to guidelines. If there are any changes needed, we’ll try and incorporate. We can’t stop shooting because so many people right now need the job.”
Kumar adds shooting for Santoshi Maa - Sunayein Vrat Kathayein and Jag Janani Maa Vaishno Devi - Kahani Mata Rani Ki and two upcoming shows will resume shortly and that all six are being shot in Ramdev studio, Naigaon.
“The entire set and areas around it are being sanitised every half-an-hour. While shooting, everyone is wearing masks, face shields except the actors. The cast and crew are staying in Naigaon, in case there’s a lockdown, we’ll be able to continue,” he says.
Similarly, the cast and crew of Devi Aadi Parashakti reached Umbergaon, Gujarat, where they were quarantined. “Our two weeks got over on June 23 and we’ll start when everyone’s ready. We’re in a complete green zone and we’re taking extra precautions. Siddharth and Rahul (Kumar Tewary; producers of the show) are ensuring safety,” says actor Tarun Khanna.
Actor-producer, chairman, television & web, Indian Film & Television Producers’ Council (IFTPC), JD Majethia shares they’ve already received permission from set locations — Film City Chitra Nagari, Mira Road, Thane district, Palghar district, Malad etc. Hence, shooting for other shows, Kundali Bhagya, Tujhse Hai Raabta, Mere Sai, Yeh Rishta Kya Khelata Hai, among others, too, will start.
“We’re anyway planning to start in between June 25 and June 27. We’re in talks with FWICE and CINTAA and might provide Covid-19 insurance for 25 lakh as of now. Working for eight hours won’t be enough, we’ll have to do a 12-hour shift and pay cuts needs to be adjusted given the economic crisis.In the long run. We would avoid marriage and party scenes till next guidelines. Moving ahead we would restructure the working pattern,” Majethia tells us.
He recently organised a video-call between a doctor and the team of Bhakarwadi to understand precautions. “There’s a character who wears a hearing aid. Now there can be a scene when this hearing aid falls from his ear that he doesn’t realise and someone picks it for him. So will that be a problem? The doctor explained that it won’t be if we sanitise before and after,” he says
Meanwhile actor Rashami Desai might shoot for the finale of Naagin 4 on June 26. Next in line to resume could be Kumkum Bhagya. In fact, most are eager to resume shooting, but with caution. While actor Varun Badola is ready to shoot for Mere Dad ki Dulhan, he’s concerned as he lives with his old parents. “So, I just want everything in place on the sets. One person can infect anyone,” he says.
Echoing the concern, Amit Behl, joint secretary and chairperson, outreach committee, CINTAA, shares, “Shooting started in West Bengal, but they had to stop as things went wrong. It was the same in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Most studios in Maharashtra are in containment zones, a majority of studio floors are very cramped. So social distancing may pose a challenge.” However, Tanusri Dasgupta, executive vice-president, Balaji Telefilms, confirms shooting of all their shows would start together and “we’ve already done mock drills to ensure there are no complications”.
Others too contend “things have already been sorted” with insurance companies. They feel the idea “is to not just keep the cast and crew healthy but confident”. “And it’s very important because that will directly impact productivity and quality of work,” says Sumeet Mittal, producer of Barrister Babu and Shubharambh, which are expected to resume shooting today. “My crew for both shows will stay on the sets so there is minimal interaction with the outside world,” he says.
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