Coronavirus Outbreak: TV shows resume shooting in Mumbai’s Film City, Naigaon with limited crew, shifts, safety guidelines

Television shows have resumed production of daily soaps in different parts of the city with producers following guidelines to ensure the safety of the cast and crew amid the coronavirus scare.

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TV shows and films, which had stopped production in mid-March, have been allowed to resume shootings in non-containment zones with conditions to adhere to the state government led safety guidelines.

Colors TV shows such as Shakti Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki, Choti Sarrdaarni, Barrister Bahu, Shubharambh, Naati Pinky Ki Lambi Love Story and & TV’s Ek Mahanayak Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Santoshi Maa Sunaye Vrat Kathayein have resumed shooting either in Film City or in the outskirts of Mumbai in Naigaon from this week.

It is a new normal that is “not normal” said Barrister Bahu producer Shashi Mittal.

“All this is new to all of us. It is the new normal but it is not normal. It was essential to make it a habit, so we trained our crew members for ten days before shooting began.

“There is a small team, so there is warmth. We will become more comfortable slowly. This is a difficult time and everyone is being cautious,” Mittal told Press Trust of India.

She said close to 30 crew members are currently working on the sets, while actors are working in shifts.

“We can’t shoot family or crowded scenes today as it requires more cast, we are thinking of newer ways to shoot. We are using camera tricks and writing changes to ensure social distancing,” Mittal said.

They are not shooting with child actor Aura Bhatnagar for the time being as government guidelines do not allow child actors or crew members above the age of 65.

Actors are also coming prepared with their own safety kits.

Gracy Singh, who plays the role of Santoshi Maa in the show ‘Santoshi Maa….’, was excited to be back on sets.

“Our temperature and body oxygen levels were screened. We welcomed each other with a namaste, followed by a quick catching up session. “There were limited people on sets and we wore masks. At every point in and around the sets, there were sanitiser bottles and sprays,” Gracy said, adding, “It was quite a distinct experience, but I am sure with time, we will get used to it.”

&TV show Ek Mahanayak Dr B.R. Ambedkar features child actor Aayudh Bhanushali as the young Ambedkar but the shoot had to resume without him.

His co-stars Jagannath Nivangune and Neha Joshi, who essay the roles of Ambedkar’s parents — Ramji Maloji Sakpal and Bhimabai, were present for the shooting. “I came fully prepared with my own personal sanitation kit and carried a lot of masks with me for everyone just as a goodwill gesture, though we also have those available on the sets.

“Our temperature was checked. We regularly sanitise our hands. Everyone has been strictly adhering to the protocols and following social distancing norms,” Nivangune said.

Joshi said she was missing her reading and rehearsing sessions with her co-stars and director Imtiaz. “It was a homecoming of sorts. We have a significant track worked out, and we are quite excited for it to hit the television screens soon,” she added.

Asit Modi, the producer of Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma, said they are planning to resume shoot at the earliest.

“In our show, we have a huge cast with different families. It is not easy to shoot, we are thinking of newer ways to incorporate that in the shoot,” Modi told PTI, adding he is also in the process of taking insurance cover for the crew.

Star Plus shows Ye Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Kasauti Zindagii Ki, Yeh Rishte Hai Pyaar Ke and Ye Hai Chahatein have resumed shooting.

Ye Hai Chahatein star Sargun Kaur Luthra said it felt like a new start to be back on the set.

“I was very excited to finally face the camera after three months and also made sure to be cautious about my safety. Our team has provided us with safety kits. The shoot is going good so far,” Luthra said.

Star Bharat channel show RadhaKrishn – Krishn Arjun Gatha has also started the shoot. Actor Kinshuk Vaidya, the new entrant in the show RadhaKrishn.., said as there is no cure yet for the pandemic the makers are taking utmost care for everyone’s safety.

“At first everyone was worried as to how we would go about this, but everyone on the set feels safe and we are shooting without any worries,” Vaidya said.

He said it is great that everyone is working like a team for the betterment of each other. “From calling us a week in advance and keeping us in isolation, to using a sanitization process, everything is taken care of.

“Post the shoot of a scene, we immediately get ourselves sanitized and put a mask,” Vaidya added.

Zee TV’s popular daily soaps Kundali Bhagya and Kumkum Bhagya have restarted shoot with a limited crew. Sab TV’s show Bhakharwadi featuring Deven Bhojani in the lead, too have resumed shoot.

“100 Days! Last I’d entered my house on 17 March after ‘Pack-up’ of my shoot. Today came out .. as I resume shoot i.e. exactly on 100th day,” Bhojani wrote on Twitter on Thursday.




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