The ongoing pandemic has forced the world to pause and reconfigure its pace and ideas about what is normal and what isn’t. Thankfully, there is a collective shift towards making the most of what is still possible. With safety protocols and social-distancing in place of course. The Hindi film industry too has learnt quickly to adapt to the new normal with many film units daring to finish their schedules through the pandemic.
Bell Bottom: This Pooja Entertainment offering was the first film in the world to start and finish shooting during the COVID-19 pandemic in an extensive outdoor schedule across Scotland and London. The 200 member crew including director Ranjit M Tewari and stars Akshay Kumar, Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta, was taken to Scotland by the producers in a chartered flight, quarantined for 14 days and had to conform to all the safety specifications demanded by the Scottish government.
‘Chehre' and ‘The Big Bull’: Veteran producer Anand Pandit has had a creatively fulfilling year, all things considered. Despite Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan testing positive for COVID-19 and then recovering, Pandit’s two big ticket films starring the two, are now complete. ‘Chehre’ starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emran Hashmi is ready along with Abhishek Bachchan starrer ,’The Big Bull.’ Along the way, Pandit had to deal with disrupted schedules, reconsider release dates and push back new projects and collaborations temporarily. Pandit is now once again back in the swing of things and already excited by the prospect of working on fresh projects in 2021. He also spent the lockdown, making sure that his production team, technicians, spot boys, daily wage workers and security guards were taken care of monetarily and in every way possible.
Satyameva Jayate 2: This John Abraham and Divya Khosla Kumar starrer is directed by Milap Zaveri and produced by Nikkhil Advani. The film was stalled for months due to the pandemic but is now nearing completion after an extensive Lucknow schedule that will end sometime in January 2021. The unit and stars have adapted to the on set safety protocols and appear to have found a way to push through the odds like having to seal shooting locations from the general public till shooting wraps up.
Comedy Couple' and ‘Zombivali: Yoodlee Films, the cinematic division of Saregama India Limited put post lockdown safety norms in place to shoot two new films, 'Comedy Couple' and ‘Zombivali’. 'Comedy Couple' stars Saqib Salim and Shweta Basu Prasad and is directed by Nachiket Samant while 'Zombivali,' is a Marathi horror comedy directed by Aditya Sarpotdar and stars Amey Wagh, Lalit Prabhakar, and Vaidehi Parshuram. The producers ensured that not one member of the crew fell ill during the shoots or post-production work. There was also a COVID officer on sets to ensure stringent hygiene and monitor sanitization processes.