For instance, no physical greetings, hugs, kisses are permitted. Hand washing and sanitizing are mandatory on entry and exit, two metre distance needs to be maintained between colleagues and floor markings will be mandatory.
COVID-19 impact: No more hugging, kissing, close contact in TV serials, films! To ensure business continuity, Indian film and television producers have mounted a new Covid protocol for safety. This means a good bye for now to intimacy as masks and social distancing set the agenda. With all shooting suspended due to the lockdown, producers are eager to resume business but with utmost responsibility. Let’s not forget, social distancing is the universal norm to fight the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. To prioritize safety of all stakeholders and achieve their business objectives, stakeholders in the TV and film industry are willing to unlearn what they learnt in pre Covid times. For instance, no physical greetings, hugs, kisses are permitted. Hand washing and sanitizing are mandatory on entry and exit, two metre distance needs to be maintained between colleagues and floor markings will be mandatory.
From portable chairs to making arrangements for make-up, bathing, sanitisation
The 37-page guideline document titled “Prepare To Prevent” lays down the daily drill to instill a sense of discipline given the need to be safe while resuming shooting. Producers appear keen to invest in the safety maxim proposing portable chairs as against standard benches. Getting micro, the document lays down detailed guidelines on making arrangements for bathing, hygiene and sanitization. Given the focus on make-up as being a key component of production, the document also supports single use disposable items and preferably use of individual make-up. All tools and products related to make-up would have to be disinfected before use. Hand sanitizing before and after each makeup application would be made mandatory.
How TV, film industry’s new guidelines prioritize safety measures
Nitin Vaidya of Indian Film and TV Producers Council, IFTPC calls being responsible as a precursor to starting production with lockdown exit. Several other associations too have shown keenness to host well documented safety measures.
The protocol details various steps to define responsibility and these include prescribed social distancing and a ban on sharing anything personal like cigarettes. There is a ban on handshakes, hugs, kisses and physical greetings. The guidelines also stipulate wearing a mask of prescribed standards and gloves. They also ban handshakes. Senior citizens have been advised to stay away for three months.
The Guidelines by Producers Guild of India will come into play when the production work resumes. The announcement of the protocol comes in wake of the meeting of relevant stakeholders with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Use of masks and gloves has been mandatory for applying all make-up.
Given the diversity of production units, several other television and film associations too have mounted standard operating procedures. Clearly, resumption of business is a key priority but no producer wants to take a chance with safety.
Amit Bahl, a senior office bearer at the Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) disclosed that the association had shared its SOP with the government. Similarly, associations mentoring small producers too are drafting their own set of guidelines bringing in their unique perspective. The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) is working on these guidelines aimed at securing interests of small producers. The association has made a fervent plea to producers to make all pending payments.
While safety is of paramount importance, various associations are busy also trying to mitigate related challenges like medical insurance and fixing the responsibility for payment. Similarly, ensuring no outsiders get access to the shoots is being cited as a logistics challenge.