Mumbai: The COVID-19 lockdown has forced closure of film studios as well as outdoor shooting, but that has not stopped an enthusiastic bunch of filmmakers from making films! Shooting at home amid lockdown is the latest trend in B-Town!
The format could be anything -- short or feature-length film, a limited series, or a music video -- but the key to filmmaking has to be the fact that everything is done within a single house, from pre-production to post-production.
It's not just budding or struggling filmmakers who are at it. When Salman Khan shot an entire music video with Jacqueline Fernandez at his Panvel farmhouse -- where he quarantined himself -- the signal was loud and clear. In the time of social distancing, Bollywood loves the idea, too!
The song, titled "Tere bina", was shot over four days, and it is his "cheapest production" till date, revealed Salman. The actor has shared that he has learnt a lot while shooting during the lockdown. "It's a learning experience that three people can very easily shoot a song. We didn't need any make-up artist, hair stylist," he said.
Actor Vatsal Sheth turned director with a short film, which he has entirely shot at home during the ongoing lockdown. The film, "Kahaa Toh Tha", running over six minutes, stars the actor with his wife Ishita Dutta, and explores love in the times of quarantine.
"I was having a chat with a friend of mine and I was telling him how much I miss shooting and the regular schedule. While talking to him, I realised, I am an actor, Ishita is an actor. We have phone cameras and basic stuff to shoot. I called a friend, he wrote this story for us, then we sat down on storyboarding, shot division and everything came together. That's how this film came to life," Vatsal said.
The cast and crew of the Instagram-based web-series "Firsts" shot their second season amid the COVID 19 lockdown. Conceptualised, written, and executed by the cast and crew from their respective homes, "Firsts" season 2 narrates the love story of a couple who meet on a dating platform.
Pranay Manchanda, who has acted in and directed the show also featuring his wife, actress Kriti Vij shared: "The most fascinating part of the lockdown-shoot was the DIY aspect of it. Our tripod was a bunch of old books with a cassette case on top, some of our locations in the house were different corners of the same room, and our elaborate on-location crew was each other."
Amid the lockdown, actor-comedian Maniesh Paul is playing the host of a new reality show called "Kya Bolti Public", an interactive game show on the Flipkart Video app, being shot at his home. "I have been the stylist, spot boy, cameraman, director, lightman, set guy, actor, host all wrapped into one given that the entire show has been shot from my home. It has been unlike anything I have ever done before and it truly goes to show how we adapt to change," he said.
Elsewhere, the cast of the Indian version of "The Office", including Mukul Chadda and Gauahar Khan, have reunited virtually for a special 'Working from Home' episode. The 'work from home' special episode showcases the characters joining via video-conferencing, to brainstorm ideas to keep the paper business growing during the nationwide lockdown. The video also stars Sayandeep Sengupta, Abhinav Sharma, Priyanka Setia, Preeti Kochar and Gavin Methalaka, and is written by Aarsh Vora, Shruti Madan and Chirag Mahabal.
"It is extremely important we keep ourselves engaged and productive during this quarantine period. It was quite exciting shooting this one episode, with the most fun team for one of my favourite shows 'The Office'. I'm looking forward to more. Hope the audiences enjoy and appreciate our little effort," Gauahar said.
Meanwhile, Amitabh Bachchan has started shooting for the upcoming season of the popular quiz show "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC) amid the COVID-19 lockdown, although not from his home. The veteran actor recently informed about the same in his blog.
Madhuri Dixit, who is all set to be back as a judge on reality TV with the new season of "Dance Deewane" has also shot the season's first promo from her home! The auditions have begun virtually and keeping the quarantine period in mind, the actress has urged dance enthusiasts to pick any corner of their homes and record a video to showcase their dancing talent.
"Don't let this lockdown deter you. Keep your spirits high and let dance be the form of expression. If you have the passion for dance and the determination to succeed, pick a corner of your house and send us a video of your dancing talent as I'm excited and eager to witness India's 'deewangi' (craze) for dance, once again," Madhuri said.