Optimystix Entertainment finding creative ways to maintain social distancing on air

The auditions for Taare Zameen Par will happen online.

MUMBAI: Television shoots that were suspended due to the Covid2019 pandemic have now resumed following the necessary guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government. Sony SAB fans can now rejoice as the shoots for all shows have now resumed and will be back with new episodes soon. On 29 June, Sony SAB's light-hearted family entertainer show Tera Kya Hoga Alia and Balveer Returns started shooting.

Optimystix Entertainment creative head Nikul Desai tells that the production house is ecstatic to start shooting. The company is also prepping up for a singing show named Taare Zameen Par for Star Plus and Disney+ Hotstar.

He says that owing to the pandemic filming pattern will be changed. Things will be looked at from the lens of multitasking with people, contestants and the crew. A lot of television work like scripting, dialogues and direction used to happen on the spot. But, that way of working has changed now. A lot of pre-production work with the team and actors are done well in advance. 

“Due to various SOP measures and guidelines, we get less number of hours in a shift to complete the shoot. It means the output could be hampered, considering a smaller number of crew and other technicalities,” says Desai.

He also mentions that there won't be major changes in the script of Taare Zameen Par. The company will now also showcase a few stories revolving around the lives of contestants who have been positively or negatively affected by the pandemic.

The first set of the auditions of Taare Zameen Par happened before the lockdown, now the second set of auditions will happen online.

“We are currently figuring out ways to maintain social distancing on the show. Like earlier, judges having a banter, fall over each other or hug contestants and bless them; those will not happen. We are finding out creative means and ways to bring the fun quotient in the show. The idea is to follow all the norms and yet not hamper the emotional side of the show," he shares.

There will be minimal mention of pandemic and lockdown, but the production house is not too keen to mention Covid2019 in its shows as it believes audiences are watching television to refresh their minds. No one likes to be reminded about a pandemic.

For Balveer Returns, VFX, edit team and other technical teams are working from home.

Artists are given scripts in advance to save time and rehearsals are happening over Zoom calls. So, when the actors are on set, they have a fair idea about the shoot and the studio ends up saving some time.

He also points out that actors are travelling with their own vehicles. Apart from that writers, people from post-production are mostly working from home. The production house is also providing sanitised vehicles for people who used to travel by public transport.

There is no fixed date for the telecast as they need to be sure about the banks of the episode. August is a likely period.

Optimystix Entertainment’s lockdown special show Kuch Smiles Ho Jayein... With Alia starring Anusha Mishra and Balraj Syal is off air now. According to Desai, it was a short series with just five episodes as it was the need of the hour. The studio is now focussing on its prime fiction show.

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