Coronavirus outbreak: Shooting of films, TV and web shows stalled from March 19 to 31

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 17 March 2020

From postponing release dates of films, events to cancelling shooting, the entertainment industry is doing its bit to curb Coronavirus (COVID 19). TV producers and actors are taking much-needed precautions.

From postponing release dates of films to cancelling shooting, the entertainment industry is doing it’s bit to curb Coronavirus (COVID 19). The Producers Guild of India (GUILD), the premier film, television and digital content producers’ body on Monday announced that the shooting for on going films, TV shows and web series will be stopped from March 19 to 31. 

“The health and safety of our colleagues is of paramount importance to the Producers Guild of India. The industry’s united decision to suspend shooting between the period March 19 -31, 2020 is the need of the hour and we fully support it,” said Kulmeet Makkar, chief executive officer, Producers Guild of India in an official statement. 

He further added, “In the coming days, we will discuss details with our members on the modalities of postponing our production plans, keeping in mind the ongoing threat of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and take further decisions accordingly.” 

Producers going the extra mile: 
Right now, shooting of TV series, movies and web series are on full swing. But members of the television industry are ensuring that proper sanitisation is being done for each and every crew member, till they take a break couple of days latter. Producers and production houses are going the extra mile to keep everyone safe and virus-free. 

Binaifer Kohli, producer of Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, Happu Ki Ultan Paltan said that they have been taking precautions since many days now. “It is compulsory for everyone to wash their hands at the entrance on the set.  We have kept sanitisers there as well. Even while going home they have to wash their hands. I really fear my workers because in this industry people are working together around the clock. Even a single room has at least 30 or more people working,” she said. 
  
Amir Jaffar, the producer of Qurbaan Hua and Tujhse Hai Raabta, said that they have got IR thermometers on set. “Before the shoot starts, we take everyone’s temperature and before leaving. If we see that someone is unwell, we are giving them paid leaves. We don’t want anyone to worry about pay cut and not take a sick leave because of it. I have also got masks for everyone,” he said, adding that they also taking care of food hygiene and making sure it’s well cooked. “There also used to be non-vegetarian food, but these days for two weeks we will be only serving vegetarian food and ensuring it is well cooked,” he further added. 

“In all my shows set safety of cast and crew is of utmost importance. Apart from providing masks and sanitisers, we are not letting any visitors enter without permission. Leaves are sanctioned to anyone who is unwell. We have ensured no one smokes on the set,” said Rajan Shahi, whose currently three shows are on air including Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke and Anupamaa.
 
Mahesh Pandey added that there is a doctor who is called on set for a check-up. “Everyone has the right to get healthy and be treated well without any financial stress,” said the producer of Vidya. 

Actors are careful too: 
It’s not just producers but actors too are taking care of their health. They are doing their bit to stay clear of the virus. Karanvir Bohra, who is shooting for a web series The Casino said that the atmosphere on the set is very scary. “We see everyone wearing mask, they are sanitising every few minutes and no one is touching each other. Everyone is terrified. With everything shutting down, it’s getting scarier. We are just keeping our fingers crossed because everybody’s wages and life at a standstill,” he said. 

Even though situation looks scary but actors aren’t letting the situation affect them and taking all necessary precautions. Sharad Malhotra said that one needs to keep washing of their hands, avoid handshakes, keep sipping on some warm liquids, avoid crowded areas and also postpone overseas trips unless it’s very critical. Ridheema Tiwari believes that  ‘every decade or so, mother nature tests our immunity and our resilience’. “This time it is with the Coronavirus. Keeping myself healthy and keeping my immunity strong has been a priority for me always. I eat lots of veggies and fruits, exercise, drink plenty of warm fluids, wash my hands often and most importantly see an immunology super specialist, who gives me my timely seasonal vaccines and also puts me on an immune detox diet along with immune boosting natural supplements.” 

Vijyendra Kumeria, who is currently seen in Naagin 4, says that it’s heartening to see their production house go all out to ensure that everyone on the sets is safe. “If there is anyone sneezing or coughing, they are being sent home for proper medication and treatment. The production house is also taking care of the medical expenses.”

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