Media industry welcomes govt's COVID preventive SOP in 'letter & spirit'
Production houses have sworn to adhere to MIB's safety guidelines, citing the health and safety of their crew members as their topmost concern
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting recently released a detailed Guiding Principles and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on preventive measures for ‘Media Production to contain the spread of COVID-19’which is applicable to all media production including film shooting, television production, web series and all forms of content creation in the electronic and film medium.
The SOP mandates the use of Aarogya Setu app at the sets, frequent handwashing, respiratory etiquette, thermal screening and physical distancing for up to 6 feet at all times among other rules.
The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said, “The Contact Minimisation is at the core of the SOP. This will be ensured by minimal physical contact and sharing of props, PPEs for hairstylists and make-up artists among others.”
e4m reached out to the industry folks and film studios, all of whom welcomed the health protocols.
Siddharth Anand Kumar: Vice President - Films & Events at Saregama India said, “We have been earnestly following Standard Operating Procedures for our two feature films Comedy Couple and Zombivali. With the ongoing pandemic, it is extremely important to follow the guidelines diligently. The preventive measures issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting establishe the ‘new normal’ of shoots in the film industry. We are collaborating with healthcare experts who monitor every shooting schedule as the safety and comfort of the unit is above everything else . We look forward to adhering to the new sops issued by the ministry and we will do everything to implement them.”
Mona Merchant, the Head (Television) - Juggernaut Productions, a production arm of IN10 Media Network, shared, "While we are eager to commence shooting for the first TV show by Juggernaut Productions, safety of the cast and crew is a top priority. We welcome the health protocols shared by the ministry, facilitating the industry to go back in business. The guidelines are extensive, covering a wide spectrum of precautionary measures. We are working towards implementation of all suggestions, the practicality will unfold once we are on the set. During the lockdown, we have also been working towards adapting the script to suit the current situation, but simultaneously making sure the story or overall quality of work isn't compromised."
Veteran Producer Anand Pandit whose upcoming film Big Bull slated to release in October on Disney+ Hotstar swore to adhere to the SOP in "letter and spirit."
“I welcome the Govt's decision and I'm confident the SOP will help us plan our shoots better. It is extremely important for the entire team to follow the rules, even if that requires modifying the script a little. I also plan to appoint a team to oversee the guidelines and ensure that they are being implemented on a minute-to-minute basis. As a producer, the welfare and safety of my cast and crew is of utmost importance," he added.
Currently shooting with Akshay Kumar for the film Bellbottom, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Producer of Bellbottom shared, "We at Pooja Entertainment are happy with the government’s SOP and will adhere to it. The health and safety of our unit is of paramount importance. Before we resumed shooting, we chalked out an elaborate plan that ensured that every nook and corner of the set is sanitized. A trained batch of experts is keeping a hawk’s eye on the shooting procedures so that not only is social distance maintained but hand sanitizing stations or hand-washing facilities are available throughout the set area; all surfaces and equipment is cleaned frequently using alcohol-based sanitizing wipes and masks and face shields are a given. It is for the betterment of each one of us and we are sure we will come out of this soon".
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