TV producers back on sets with safety protocols

The credit period will now be 30 days for at least the first 3 months.

MUMBAI: After a long hiatus of three months following the nationwide lockdown, the entertainment industry is finally back on track. After resolving the outstanding issues IFTPC (Indian Film and Television Producers Council), FWICE (Federation of Western India Cine Employees) and CINTAA (Cine and TV Artistes' Association) have agreed to work in unison.

Among television shows, Colors’ Shakti-Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki, Choti Sarrdaarni, Barrister Babu and Dangal TV’s Pyar Ki Luka Chuppi have already begun shoots.

Hats Off Productions founder and Indian Film & Television Producers' Council (IFTPC) chairman TV wing JD Majethia is ecstatic to start work. In a special interaction with Majethia said that it was a long-fought battle that has been won. He played an active role in bringing together television producers, broadcasters and trade associations to resume shooting.

“It was a long chase because seeking government permission, coordinating with broadcasters and other trade unions was very challenging. Finally, we have come to common terms,” he says.

He mentions that IFTPC has agreed to provide two sets of insurance coverage i.e., death cover of Rs 25 lakh due to Covid2019 and also hospitalisation cover of Rs 2 lakh uniformly across all hierarchy of the cast and crew. After a detailed discussion with broadcasters a decision was taken to reduce the period of credit for cast and crew from existing 90 days to 30 days for at least the first three months.

Majethia has resumed the shooting of his show Bhakarwadi in Mira Road almost after 100 days. As per the government directives Majethia had called only 40 people on the set including original cast of Bhojani, Akshay Kelkar, Akshita Mudgal, Paresh Ganatra and few technicians. However, the strength of 100 crew members has now been reduced to 40.  

As a safety measure, separate lockers have been installed at the entrance. Before the cast and crew members enter the set, they have to remove their footwear and wear the pair of slippers provided by the production house. Majethia has a unique solution to maintain social distancing, he has provided umbrellas that everybody walks around with in the premise. He highlights that there is a designated marked position for everyone, and the actors and crew members will have to sit only in the allocated areas. There is a nurse available on the set who checks everyone's temperature before letting them in. It is mandatory for actors to wear masks and gloves when not filming a scene. But other crew members have to sport them all day long.

He explains, "Earlier, people would share gutkha, other nicotine products and smoke on sets. We have introduced a concept called share a sanitiser. Now, exchange of any nicotine products or chewing gum is strictly banned; they are only allowed to share sanitisers. At lunch, the unit was served packed food thus avoiding crowding.”

As far as travelling is concerned, actors are using their private vehicles to travel and crew who are travelling from far have been asked to stay on the set. Also a separate make-up kit has been allotted to each actor. Sanitation and fumigation are done twice a day.

Sphere Origins founder Sunjoy Waddhwa has resumed shooting for his show Singhalagna in Kolkata. As per the West Bengal government guidelines, all safety measures and protocols are strictly followed. However, he will start shooting in Mumbai only after September.

Creative Eye Limited MD Dheeraj Kumar explains that the production house is in the planning mode and shooting will be started in the next ten days. He is currently working on a show for Dangal. Preparations involving sanitisation, other SOP measures gathering technicians has been done.

Rashmi Sharma Telefilms founder Rashmi Sharma shared a glimpse of the shooting for her show Pyaar Ki Luka Chuppi on Instagram. She was among the first few producers to start shooting in Mumbai. The show is filmed at Naigaon.

Shashi Sumeet Productions’ shows Barrister Babu and Shubharambh have also started shooting.

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