As Covid-19 cases shoot up, the entertainment industry is once again suffering from the ripple effect; from cutting down their crew to shifting locations to daily soaps churning out fresh episodes on relatable topics, the makers are doing all that they can to weather the storm.
Keeping it together
Producer Rajan Shahi’s three successful shows, Anupamaa, Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya 2 and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai (YRKKH), all airing on Star Plus, are being shot inside a bio-bubble in Gujarat. But then came along cyclone Tauktae! Actor Karan Kundrra, who has joined the cast of YRKKH, shared on his Instagram stories how the cyclone destroyed the sets in Silvassa. While the crew was trying to save the expensive equipment, Kundrra could be heard shouting bhago bhago (run, run) in the background.
The shooting of the shows Tujhse Hai Raabta, Qurbaan Hua and Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha, all produced by Sonali Jaffar and Amir Jaffar, is also being held in Gujarat. One of the members from the team says, “Producers are walking the extra mile to ensure fresh content for the audiences. There are on an average five to ten shows that are being telecast on different channels. At the same time, everybody is living in the constant fear of rising cases of not just Covid, but now Black Fungus too.”
Short & simple
On May 1, Punjabi actor Gippy Grewal was booked for defying weekend lockdown rules in Patiala, Punjab, while he was shooting for his upcoming film. While he was later released along with other crew members, as it was the last day of their shoot, it is a clear indicator of how shoots requiring a bigger crew are still posing a problem for filmmakers and producers.
On the other hand, music videos are still up and running. Singer Nachattar Gill shot the song Tere Baare in Jalandhar recently. Producer of the song, Raman Kumar Rammi, says, “We had a nine-member team for everything and followed all Covid protocols. We also made sure the whole team was tested before bringing them on board. We shot the entire video in one day.” Another song, Befikar Raho, shot fifteen days ago inside a bio-bubble in Mumbai, features Bigg Boss-fame Dalljiet Kaur and Umar Riaz. The producer, Goru Dogra, says, “Shooting went on for two days in Film City, Mumbai. We were lucky to have concluded it before the cyclone hit Mumbai, otherwise we would have had to postpone the shoot or look for another location.”
On the outskirts
Actor Saahil Uppal, antagonist in the show Pinjara Khubsurti Ka, says, “As the scenario is pretty bad in Delhi due to Coronavirus, our sets have been relocated to the outskirts near Mehrauli. Geographically, I am very near to my home, but, unfortunately, I cannot visit them because of Covid. It really feels bad, but we have to abide by the rules set by the government. I not only pray for my family’s well-being, but for the entire world; it’s a painful scenario.”
He adds, “The production team has created a bio-bubble and it’s actually very safe. Although there are restrictions, like we are not allowed to go out and vice-versa, but this is safer than the situation outside.”
Yash Patnaik, producer of Ishq Mein Marjawan 2, shifted base from cyclone-hit Goa, where they were shooting earlier, to Siliguri in West Bengal. But, according to Indian Meteorological Department, cyclone Yaas (pronounced as Yass) is likely to hit the place now!
Many producers are also opting for places that are away from the city to ensure the safety of their cast and crew.