Following several appeals from the film industry, the Maharashtra government has permitted shoots for films, teleserials and advertisements. As part of its #MissionBeginAgain initiative, it issued 16-page guidelines to manage coronavirus risks and ensure the safety of all stakeholders.
Those intending to resume shootings will be required to submit their applications to the Maharashtra Films, Theatre and Cultural Development Corporation or at the district collectorates concerned across the state.
“After scrutinising the applications, the concerned authority will give the go-ahead for the shooting proposals. They will have to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines issued separately for the purpose,” said an official.
As part of the guidelines, shooting must take place in a locked down environment, stressing the use of masks and gloves. For auditions and casting, the use of video-conferencing apps like Zoom is recommended and if it must take place in person, face masks should be used.
The directive lays down protocols for location management and staff, and norms to be followed by departments such as art, electric, wardrobe, camera, sound and catering.
The use of larger tents is recommended with a maximum of five people inside a trailer. The crew on any set should be minimised to 33 per cent of its pre-COVID numbers, and all members must have the Aarogya Setu app installed. The guidelines stress the presence of trained housekeeping staff and medical personnel on set, along with health checks of all members upon entering a set. At this stage, no audience is permitted on the sets.
Interestingly, no elaborate sequences such as marriages or fight sequences (that require large numbers) can be filmed until the pandemic subsides. Make-up palettes, hairbrushes, and combs need to be disinfected regularly, and children under the age of 10 (including child actors) are not allowed on set.
Every member of the cast and crew has to complete a questionnaire pertaining to important information such as personal or family travel history, any contact with COVID patients, and any signs of COVID symptoms.
With these eased restrictions, shooting can resume for major Bollywood productions such as Kangana Ranaut’s Thalaivi, Salman Khan’s Radhe, and Kartik Aaryan’s Bhool Bhulaiyya 2.