In a partial relief to the film and TV industry, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday hinted that the government, in a limited manner, may consider allowing shooting and post production work, subject to strict adherence to lockdown norms, social distancing and hygiene rules. This will be considered only in non-red zones. At the maiden web interaction with the representatives of Marathi films and TV industry, Thackeray asked them to soon submit an action plan for resuming shooting and post-production work, which has come to a standstill since March 18 in Mumbai, Thane and Mira Bhayander.
Thackeray’s move is akin to a whiff of fresh air as the shooting and production of 70 Hindi serials, 40 Marathi serials and 10 digital media shows involving an investment of Rs 5,000 crore is in a limbo. Thackeray, at the outset, said the government is also sympathetic towards more than 2.5 lakh backstage actors and technicians who have been hit hard by the lockdown. He assured all necessary government help but wanted a clarity from the industry on whether the shooting sites and studios fall in the red zone and containment areas or not.
He also wanted details with regard to the number of people associated with the shootings and post production; also, a lowdown on arrangements for their lodging and dining, before the government gives a formal approval. He asked the Marathi TV and film industry representatives that they will have to submit details with regard to the shooting and studio sites and air conditioning and whether they can start shooting before the onset of monsoon.
Leading TV and film producer Nitin Vaidya, who was present at the web interaction, told FPJ, ‘‘Mumbai is an entertainment capital but the entire activity is at a standstill. TV serials, films and digital media programs are the vehicle to speed up the economy. Therefore, shooting and post production work, which falls in the category of IT-enabled services, should begin at the earliest.’’ They will, in turn, prepare a comprehensive standard operating procedure to be followed at the time of shooting and post production.