Television

TV show production efficiency impacted by Covid2019: Swastik Productions' Rahul Kumar Tewary

He is focusing more on VFX to avoid crowd gathering scenes.

TV show

MUMBAI: A month since TV production resumed, the ride has been bumpy. With sets rigorously sanitised, makeup and hair artists wearing PPE kits, it’s still better than no shoots at all. Swastik Productions MD Rahul Kumar Tewary says that it took a lot of planning to resume shooting.

“Before beginning the shoot, the cast and crew members of Devi Aadi Parashakti and RadhaKrishn reached Umbergaon, Gujarat, on 8 and 10 June where they were quarantined. There was regular check-up conducted within premises. The labours and crew members are living at the studio itself while artists are living at nearby apartments,” he shares.

He highlights that the production has created a Covid2019 team that looks after sanitisation and fumigation of the entire set and the places where technicians, crew and artists are living. He clarifies that while shooting there is no contact from the outside world. There are multiple checkpoints on the set to ensure safety and security of people.

To maintain the grandeur and bring larger-than-life feel in the episodes, Tewary is relying more on VFX than having real people on the set.

Tewary elaborates, “It is a very difficult ride, the whole production planning, writing of episodes, consumes a lot of time. We are also focusing a lot on the VFX side to showcase more people in the story or a crowd scene. The script is written in a way that no body contact is involved. Massive sets are also avoided. So, all the departments, from the writers to creators, production, execution and technicians, are extremely careful.”

The production house is using two camera setups and for proper lighting, the DOP is responsible for creating the entire set-up a day or a night prior to save time. Post that only actors are available for the shot sans technicians and camerapersons. This move is to ensure that at any given time there are a smaller number of people available on the set. However, this is making it difficult to get episodes out in time. The production efficiency has been compromised due to the SOP measures.

Apart from that Tewary praises broadcasters for their constant support and encouragement. He says, “Broadcasters have been hugely impacted by this pandemic. The broadcasters worked hand in hand with producers to ensure we create a bank of episodes.”

He adds that as the shows are on air, banks are the main thing that will drive momentum on the floor. Every show will initially have the capsule of kahani ab tak to engage audiences.

The 12-hour shift timing remains the same as it was before the Covid2019. The studio also uses various tools to transmit data.

Tewary notes that during the pandemic, digital mediums have gained traction. But, he says that the market audience for television and digital are completely different. Both the mediums may overlap to a certain extent, but in the end these are two different market segments. “I believe the digital is growing, but TV will also remain the same. I don’t think there will be too much of an impact on TV programming. There is a certain age group of consumers for the digital content; there is a trend that the youth of India is moving towards the digital side,” he shares.

He is optimistic that as new content has started airing, TV audiences will be once again glued to the small screen.

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