Bengal TV industry completes 2 weeks of shooting with strict safety protocols
As part of the confidence-building exercise, each artist and technician has been provided with an insurance cover
Bengal TV industry has resumed shooting and production works have been underway for the past 2 weeks. All the safety and hygiene guidelines and social distancing norms are being strictly followed. Every artist and technician participating in the shoot has been provided with an insurance cover.
Despite reeling under the impact of COVID19, and having witnessed one of the worst cyclones ever, a major part of Tollywood industry returned to the sets on 11th June 2020. The Bengal Television industry has been working collaboratively towards the best possible solutions to make the age-old habit of television experience a fantastic one for the audience. The immense love towards the return of their favourite shows reflects the success of the shows in the very 1st week itself.
Mahendra Soni, Co-Founder & Director, SVF commented, “Initially, we too like everyone was sceptical on starting the shoot, but I must congratulate everyone and especially leaders at Federation, Artist forum and Broadcaster for working together and setting detailed guidelines and also assuring everyone that we will stand by everyone affected by the crisis. I think its a great example of how to fight back in scary times like this by staying together and resuming life in ‘new normal’.”
The State Government announced earlier this month that shoots can be resumed indoors with a maximum of 35 people in TV and Film shoots, respectively, following all health & safety protocols. While most of the filmmakers are waiting for further easing of restrictions, the shoots of the popular TV serials resumed from 11th June. From regularizing the shoot timings to following sanitation guidelines, the producers & channels have undertaken several safety measures to run the show smoothly. Federation of Cine Technicians & workers of Eastern India had been very supportive to extend every possible support to run the shoots adhering to safety protocols.
Parambrata Chatterjee, popular Actor turned Director & Writer was quoted saying- “I think it’s been a success, the resumption of the shoot. At least so far. I know many had reservations. All of us were apprehensive, to begin with, But I think getting back to work was necessary for a lot of people and we realized that. A lot of deliberations were done about SOPs and other verticals. Managing the insurance for artistes and technicians wasn’t an easy task, especially for a so-called regional industry. But so far so good. Films and web to start soon, fingers crossed. Would like to thank the efforts of everyone, from the administration to the respective guilds and the individual artists and technicians.”
While it was slow to start with, as everyone was learning to operate in the new normal, artistes & technicians in 2 weeks have adapted to the new pace of shooting. There are specific timelines within which the shoots are wrapped up each day. Everybody on the set is cognizant of the fact that safety measures need to be followed strictly, social distancing norms are to be maintained and so on. The substantial contribution from the Television sector is essential to keep the Entertainment Industry rolling significantly to recoup costs and strike some balance to keep entertainment in the living room alive. The producers, channels, artists, technicians- all worked collaboratively for the success of the shows shot within safety guidelines.
Swarup Biswas, President of Cine Technicians & workers association, said- “We are living in the ‘new normal’ world now, hence, we have to keep that in mind when we step out for our daily chores. It’s essential for us to ensure the safety of our artists & technicians on resuming the shoots of TV shows. Thanks to all the producers, channels & partners for their collaborative efforts. With the new insurance scheme in place, we can build on this new normal to deliver the best of content as we always do. It’s my pleasure to reveal that our TV shows are performing well and the audience is appreciating the effort being put behind the making of them. Its been 15 days now that the TV show shoots have been going on successfully through these hard days of COVID19 pandemic looming fiercely on our society; yet the hard struggle, determination & commitment of all manpower involved in the team-of producers, channels, artists, technicians, and FCTWEI, that we have overcome the hurdles and presented good teamwork in the face of the formidable challenge and presented to the audience some good productions. We hope this resilience and tenacity to overcome the obstacles, to face the challenge as a team is the essence of a sphinx and on this, we would be able to bring back that old ‘normal world’ once again and hope that those days are not far off.”
Saibal Banerjee, Producer, expressed- “Everybody was sceptical in the beginning but as days passed by we gained confidence. We have tried to sketch a foolproof SOP and everyone is strictly adhering to it. We have a strong monitoring cell keeping vigil on a day to day activity.
Artists are feeling safe with the new arrangements in the makeup rooms and the safety standards maintained by the make up artists. We are using fumigation techniques to sanitize costumes and makeup materials. New techniques are adapted for master shots to give an illusion of more artists in the set. Mannequins are used for giving a feel of proximity. In other words, we are innovating new ways and not compromising with the storyline. Technicians too are feeling safe with the adequate safety arrangements.”
Meanwhile, Exhibitors in India are hopeful that the Government will soon permit the reopening of Cinemas halls in the next few months. Even though Movie Theaters are shut and the Film Industry at a standstill, the Producers, Distributors and Exhibitors have been putting guidelines in place to ensure that they are ready to start functioning, in full compliance with health and safety norms.
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