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The Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for resuming the production for films, TV shows and various kinds of production have now been announced by the Government. Thermal screening at entry points, mandatory use of face covers/masks and physical distancing of six feet are among the new rules people working in the media production industry will have to adhere to as they resume work amid the corona virus pandemic. The SOPs have been laid out after consulting there health and the home ministries.

The said SOPs aim to ensure adequate distancing at shoot locations and other work places and contains measures including proper sanitization, crowd management and provision for protective equipment as well. Barring those who will be in front of the camera, rest everyone will have to wear the masks. Contact Minimization is at the core of these SOPs. There will be minimal contact and sharing of props too. Make up and hair stylists will have to wear PPE kits as well. Besides this, use of Arogya Setu app has been recommended as well.

The production has been halted since March and since then the industry has suffered a lot. Unemployment has been very high, not only in our industry but in all the sectors. The producers and the studios have been facing tremendous losses, especially those of the movies which aren’t completed yet; in the sense that they were taken on floors and the shoots had to stop abruptly for the right reasons. Films like; John Abraham and Arjun Kapoor starrer next which goes on the floors next week, after that there’s MUMBAI SAGA, ATTACK, YRF’S SAMSHERA, PRITHVIRAJ starring Akshay Kumar and a huge set was erected for the same but the shooting had to be stalled. There are many other films which had minor work left to be done as well. It will be interesting to see when the producers of these film resume their work.

Some films have resumed/started their shoots since the past few weeks and now with the new SOPs have come into the forefront, many producers will now be coming out and will try to finish their films. A lot of serials have also resumed but films couldn’t have really started because a lot of films are shot between states and these general SOPs, which apply to the whole nation, have come as a huge welcome step in the right direction of unlocking the country. The states and UTs will definitely come up with their own SOPs now keeping their situation in mind but a lot of these general steps will remain same nationwide.

People were also adamant on not starting any new projects but with these new SOPs others can also now plan and start their respective projects. This is a great sign for reopening again. I’m hearing that recces for a lot of films have already started. We had shared the news about Deepika Padukone’s film which was going to be shot in Sri Lanka which will now be shot next month in Goa. There were also a couple of films involving Taapsee Pannu which were to go on the floors but now they should be starting soon as well. The list for the same goes on! There is one film which we already know which has begun shooting in Scotland. Emmay Entertainment and Pooja Entertainment co-produced BELL BOTTOM, with Akshay Kumar , Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta in the leads, and it will be shot in an extensive 30-45 days schedule.

These are small victories for the film industry and however small they are, they are welcomed. It will be interesting to see how I&B ministry along with the Health Ministry come up with the SOPs of reopening the multiplexes and theaters again. It is important not only for us but even for our economy that they open up soon and once they do a lot of things can be planned by the producers and studios as well, as we all know so many film releases had to be halted and moved ahead indefinitely while some are being released on OTT platforms. All we can do now is wait and watch as things unfold and hope things get better. The dark clouds will pave way for a bright sunny day, eventually.

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