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No physical aashirwaad, kiss will become flying kiss: How TV shows look like in the Covid-19 era

It’s on, the shoots on tv. With PPE kits and sanitisers in place, your favorite celebrities have introduced back your favorite shows on air once more. However, with tweaks in place, for each the storyline and the way they shoot. For occasion, no totally different areas, no household being collectively in one body, no fights, no marriage… no hand-holding too, for that matter.

‘Kiss will become flying kiss’

JD Majethia, producer of the present Bhaakarwadi, says an enormous no to any scene which shows a gathering of individuals. “You can’t have too many people in one frame, there are restrictions. Then come the scenes involving a family. We also have to cut down on scenes which show someone touching an elder’s feet! Aashirwaad bhi door se dena padhega. Intimacy anyway isn’t there on TV,” he says.

The 51-year-old sums it up by saying, “Earlier, there was kiss, now it has become a flying kiss. We have to shoot trickily. I am on set as we speak. We can’t go to outdoor locations, that would be dangerous for that particular locality also. Though we haven’t tweaked our story too much, but we have a new track, taking a leap. The tweaks are there in scenes.” 

Covid precautionary measures a part of the present

Television viewers who watch Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, they noticed their favorite characters sporting face shields, masks, utilizing sanitisers — all as part of the story. Pooja Banerjee, who’s engaged on two huge shows at the moment — Kumkum Bhagya and Kasautii Zindagi Kay 2, says tales have already been tweaked based on the Covid pointers.

“There’s no touching, no romantic scenes, no intimate scenes, or even hugging. When I was shooting for Kumkum Bhagya, literally even the elbow touching was missing. In fact, I wear a face mask in one of the scenes, and those are actual scenes part of the episode. Whenever we shoot outside the house, it’s mandatory. This is the new normal, we can’t argue with this. We sanitise our hands immediately after a scene even if we touch a glass,” she tells us.

Kamya Punjabi, whose present Shakti- Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki is back with new episodes, says that the story will change for a lot of shows. “We won’t be able to explore much. We won’t shoot among big crowds now, your safety is in your hands. The channel and producer won’t serve safety on a platter. We will only shoot at locations which are indoors, not like going to any mall, dairy farm or lakeside,” she tells us. 

Less grandeur, expertise to the rescue?

From a author’s perspective too, things will alter. Sumrit Shahi, who has been the author for shows equivalent to Veer Ki Ardaas… Veera and the current net present Never Kiss Your Best Friend, says that as smaller models are in operation, storyline will change in phrases of the grandness. “A lot of grandeur shots require many production people, that is changing. Even something as simple as a confrontation scene will have to be shot differently, you will have to communicate the same thoughts in a way, while still trying to maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). One should honestly be glad that work is finally happening again now. I don’t think anyone is in a state of complaining,” he causes.

He goes on to provide an instance of how the pictures will look like. “You write the close up scenes in such a way that the two people are in the same frame, but it’s not being shot together. Or maybe when they fight, you will have to be innovative like being behind a glass screen, or fight over video call! Also, crowd scenes are something you don’t write. We will use stock footage, but I don’t know how much of a solution is that, we will have to smartly use audio,” says Shahi. 

Hands are tied, present banks to go for a toss

Producer Binaifer Kohli, who’s capturing for her present Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain!, says that proper now, she’s not in spending on costumes or jewelry for her characters, however reasonably on security procedures. “I am not even letting anyone show a funny video to someone on their phone! I have told them to be six feet apart. My show set is certified safe,” Kohli tells us.

Though emphasising on how even pointers can’t change a superb storyteller, Kohli admits that in a way, her arms are tied. She says, “My hands are tied on what scene to write. If I write ‘bazaar mein’, bazaar dikha nahi sakti. I want to show five people have gone to the police station, I can’t show those five people. The one person who goes inside, will have to do it from a 6 ft distance! We are limited. We will have to shoot smartly.”

However, as shoots will take longer with much less crew and precautions to be adopted, Kohli is anxious that the banks will go for a toss. “We will be on air for 10 days, and if someone falls ill, we will have to take a break for six days. It’s anyway monsoon season, it could also be typhoid or malaria,” she provides.

Interact with the writer on Twitter/ @RishabhSuri02

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