After the lockdown: B’wood gears up to shoot amid New Normal

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Mumbai: Director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

With the new normal setting in, Bollywood filmmaking will not be the same. New guidelines and restrictions — from on-set temperature checks to budget alterations — are bound to be in vogue if shooting and other production activities are to begin for films, TV and OTT shows once the lockdown is lifted.

Filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari told IANS that there will be a change in the way the process of production is looked at.

“We are staying in unknown times of hope. Whenever shoot starts, there will be a change in the way we look at the process of production. A new normal where safety of all is the most important priority will be in place, according to the rule book of the Guild,” Tiwari told IANS.

“For all new productions, there may be a schedule revamp, whereby indoor locations with minimum requirement of cast and crew, and production elements will be accomplished first,” she added.

“Team management and processes will require special care and planning. This is not going to be easy. It is important to not take chances. Most importantly, everyone is required to be responsible for their team as well as,” said Tiwari.

With the economy taking a dip, does she think budgets will have to be reworked?

“I assume budgets will be reworked and the allocation might increase in some areas. It’s not easy for production executives and producers, where the supply and demand chain, and managing of operations, will change — especially on a set which is used to seeing a chain of people on auto mode,” Tiwari said.

She added: “To be honest anyone will squirm before they start shooting, especially in Mumbai where the pandemic cases have risen. All of us are human and will be worried about the safety of everyone. Whenever shooting begins, I feel there will be a force of universe to protect everyone. People need to get paid and the river needs to flow with all safety measures in place. It is not going to be easy,” she said.

Actress Richa Chadha hopes that shooting will start with proper guidelines in place.

“I really don’t know what the shooting scenario will be post the pandemic but I am hoping with proper guidelines shoots can begin. I believe the Producers Guild has already sent a long set of guidelines saying how they plan to restart shoots slowly especially for television,” Richa told IANS.

She agrees that there is a fear of uncertainty.

“Of course, there is a fear of uncertainty but that fear exists in every sector. So, I think we are all in this together and definitely there is uncertainty and definitely there is stuff to worry about. But I think we have to be optimistic and just take a pause and wait for stuff to settle down so that more lives are not endangered,” she added.

She urged to support the health infrastructure: “We need to support our health infrastructure by also taking due precautions, because there is already a shortage of beds and ventilators, and doctors have succumbed to the disease.”

Actress Jacqueline Fernandez feels the changes will take place slowly.

“Post the lockdown, I’m sure there will be change but it will happen gradually. Things will take time to get back to normal for everyone and not just for the entertainment industry. Till then, we should continue to stay safe at home,” Jacqueline told IANS.

Acclaimed actor Pankaj Tripathi told IANS that whatever rules are given by the higher authorities have to be followed by actors and workers alike.

“The guidelines given by the government, medical authorities and experts across the world — those will be the change we will get to see. Any guidelines — from WHO, the medical fraternity, doctors in India, the Maharashtra government, the film federation, CINTAA and our union — will be similar for actors as well as workers. We actors are also workers,” said Pankaj.

Actress Yami Gautam feels that budgets are going to be adjusted.

“Budgets are going to be reworked. Already, proposed films most of us were to be part of are looking at reworked budgets and mediums, with theatres being shut and with no idea when they will open,” Yami told IANS.

Safety is the key, she feels. “We will have to follow protocols, precautions and the fresh guidelines. We’ll have to wait and watch. Safety is the most important thing. I don’t think things will be resumed any time soon. Budgets, of course, are going to be curtailed and reworked, knowing that globally the economy is taking a hit. Content-wise, I can hope that this is the time people are using to write films about good subjects and fresh concepts. I hope content-wise we come out stronger,” she said.

Actress Purbi Joshi feels that films with big sets will be drained.

“There’s going to be a lot of changes in the near future where more precautions are going to be taken. The way we even film — big sets with many people coming and going might all be drained now,” Purbi told IANS.

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