Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Film/TV shootings across India stopped till March 31. Here’s what these TV actors have to tell JYOTHI VENKATESH
Film/TV Shootings have been stalled due to the Covid -19 pandemic, but this is the best decision that has been made keeping the current scenario and people’s safety in mind. Yes, there will be financial losses for individuals working in the TV and film sector and especially those getting paid on per day basis. The TV production houses who work daily to churn out episodes will also face the wrath along with film distributors and film production houses will also incur huge financial losses in the days to come. Indeed, this is a very challenging phase physically, emotionally mentally and economically for the entertainment sector.
I think it’s a great move by our chief minister. It’s for the safety of everyone who are working on the sets. Our federation has taken steps to stall all shoots till 31ist March, let’s not talk about loses. Human loss is more important than economic loss. Yes, it’s a forced holiday but safety comes first.
I feel it is an apt decision taken to stop the Film/TV shooting across India. Of course, life gets affected, not only yours but the lives of millions of viewers who wait to watch their favourite serial and who connect their lives with it. It also affects the lives of all the people working behind the camera; from the light dada to spot dada to so many people working behind the scenes to make a successful shoot happen. I think we should all see the bigger picture and if we all can self-quarantine ourselves for two weeks, we can stop this virus to spread more. Moreover, it is not just the film industry that is getting affected, different sectors and industries are getting affected throughout the world but I believe it is the need of the hour, the need of the nation and we should understand and cooperate.
We shoot in unventilated, air-conditioned studios with crews of 80-90pax in very close proximity. Social distancing is impossible. The crew eats catered food in common/shared metal plates (the virus can stay on metal for 12hrs) and cast wears rental costumes, has multiple hands touching their hair and face all day and sometimes has to share makeup and appliances. It’s a HIGH-risk environment. While movie shoots were cancelled with immediate effect, I don’t know why television shoots were allowed to continue uninterrupted till the 19th? There were also some actors who seem to be ‘proud’ of shooting right now. While I am all for the-show-must-go-on-attitude and have shot through the various crisis, this is different. What they don’t realize is that they aren’t doing anyone a favour and that this isn’t just about putting themselves at risk. They are putting their families, their crew and their city at risk.
Obviously, it is a big monetary loss for the industry but nothing is more valuable than human life. I appreciate the decision of the government. I shall be spending maximum time with my family, binge-watching my favourite shows.
I think this is the best time to be with yourself. It is important to understand that it is better to be on house arrest than go out. These dark times will also go. Life is full of different phases. You can eat well at home, spend some good time with your family, listen to good music, watch the best cinema. You can grow intellectually by consuming autobiographies and books on world leaders. Be at peace with yourself and stay calm.
It is one of a kind situation, nothing else matters now. No dreams, no aspirations, no competition…right now the priority is to be safe, it is survival of the fittest. We should focus on what is important to us. I’ll be spending time with my family and will definitely avoid public places. Right now, I’m on a vacation mode. I’m not being particular about what to eat and what not to eat. I do Surya namaskar at home and also trying to hone my craft because as an actor you should be able to perform and entertain people.
There are lockdowns happening in different countries in lieu of COVID-19. This is only the way forward and necessary preventive measures are being taken globally. Our government is very proactive in preventing the further spread of this pandemic by taking the necessary steps and I fully stand by them. Currently, I’m not shooting for any show or music video. The promotions related to the web series “State of Seige” has come to a halt. I also learned that two of the overseas events I was supposed to be a part of have been called off. Now that I have ample time, I spend my free time playing board games with my son Ayaan and wife Neha. I’m also trying my hand at cooking different cuisines and then make everyone at home try my preparation. My son always gives me honest feedback, but I guess my wife Neha is a little biased and always praises the dish, as she wants me to cook so that she gets a break from cooking.