As India entered the phase 5 of Coronavirus-induced lockdown (dubbed Unlock Phase 1 by the ruling center) on Monday, one of the worst hit economies aka the movie industry saw an influx of permissions by their respective state governments to resume the work that was halted abruptly 2 months and plus ago. Among the states to permit their respective film industries to resume shooting were West Bengal (Tollywood) and Maharashtra (Bollywood) and both these states have allowed partial shootings.
Shooting of film, TV and web-series in both these entertainment industries can take place now, given not more than 35 members gather per unit and proper precautions are taken to avoid the social transmission of the novel COVID-19. Producers are also expected to take prior permission from their respective governing film bodies.
While the film-bodies of West Bengal are deciding on meeting internally to agree on a set of guidelines to be followed, the Maharashtra state government has issued a 16-page long set of guidelines which include the following rules:
- Only 33 per cent of the crew, not including the main cast can be present on set with compulsory six feet distance between the crew members and wearing masks.
- All set members need to carry identification cards and Aarogya Setu app downloaded on their compatible devices.
- The shooting should take place in a fully locked down premise, which will have to be gated and secured throughout the day.
- All doors and gates should be manned by security guards to minimize touching of the doors and handles.
- Ambulance, doctors and nurses are compulsory inclusions on the sets, while a dedicated personnel would be required to check the temperature of cast and crew.
- In case of distributing hard copy of scripts, papers should be disposed after every reading.
- Artistes can have one support staff on sets.
- Ideally, the same staff member should do the artiste’s hair and makeup; Make-up tools should be assigned to actors to avoid cross-contamination.
- Actors above the age of 65 will not be permitted on sets.
- No elaborate sequences like marriage, market or fight are permitted.
- No audience will be allowed for fiction or nonfiction programming.
- Any pregnant employee or an employee whose spouse is expecting will not be allowed on the set.