Film shooting during covid-19: Masks, on-set doctors, temperature checks; Akshay Kumar’s ‘Bellbottom’ gears up for shoot

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Published: July 27, 2020 10:52 AM

The team of "Bellbottom", including actors Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta, will be travelling to the UK in August for a start-to-finish schedule. 

Akshay Kumar, Bellbottom, United Kingdom, Bellbottom movie shooting, Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, lara dutta, coronavirus lockdown, latest news on akshay kumarThe production house will charter a flight to fly the entire unit with medical facilities. (IE photo)

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar will be heading to the United Kingdom to start the shooting for his film ‘Bellbottom’ and the actor says the makers have chalked out a plan to ensure safety of the entire crew amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The team of “Bellbottom”, including actors Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta, will be travelling to the UK in August for a start-to-finish schedule. Produced by Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment, “Bellbottom” is one of the first films to announce resumption of shooting schedule in the wake of coronavirus-induced lockdown, which had brought the entertainment industry to a grinding halt.

“The new normal has made us realise a different way of working that none of us could have imagined. As much as I’m happy to be back on the sets, it’s also important for us to take care of everything around us. “Pooja Entertainment has laid down a safety plan for our shooting schedule abroad. We hope these measures help us accomplish a smooth and safe shoot,” Akshay said in a statement.

The production house will charter a flight to fly the entire unit with medical facilities. Besides medical-grade masks and face shields, the production house will also make it mandatory for the cast and crew to wear a wrist watch that will constantly monitor their oxygen levels, body temperature, blood pressure, stress levels and pulse.

A centralised dashboard will record the parameters of the entire unit and keep a check for any changes in readings.
Director Ranjit M Tewari said though it’ll be a challenge to shoot under the current situation, the crew is excited to start the work.

“It is going to be a challenging shoot given the circumstances, but I am extremely confident of the health and safety protocols put in place by Pooja Entertainment. Every member of the ‘Bellbottom’ family is exhilarated and geared up to kick start work,” Tewari said.

The film’s on-set guidelines also includes maintaining social distancing of no less than six feet wherever possible, hand sanitising stations available throughout the set, disinfecting surface areas and equipment using alcohol-based sanitisers before and after every shoot.

Producer Jackky Bhagnani said the safety measures were put in place as the health of his unit is of utmost importance. “I am truly grateful to Akshay Sir without whom this film and this shoot would have been impossible. He is a rock and our guiding light. It is only after every department and every individual was assured of the measures taken that we are embarking on this journey.

“From a doctor on the set at all times to keeping the entire set disinfected at all times, ‘safety first’ is our mantra. It’s a challenge but it makes ‘Bellbottom’ even more special for all of us,” Jackky said.  Written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh, the retro-drama is set in the 1980s and is about one of India’s forgotten heroes.

Production designers Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty said shooting a film in current times will be a task but they are looking at it as a “creative challenge” for the team, to deliver work and follow all the protocols.

The spot boy team for the film and the technical staff has been briefed about the process of on-set precautions.
Backed by Deepshikha Deshmukh, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani and Nikkhil Advani, “Bellbottom” is slated to release on April 2, 2021.

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