Mirroring the realities in storyline of serials seems to be one of the smartest ways out for the Bengali small screen industry that resumed shooting after 87 days. That’s exactly what writer-director Leena Gangopadhyay did when she wrote the episode of ‘Sreemoyee’ that resumed shooting on Thursday.
At least for this serial, the dialogues have been written in such a way that actors have to maintain social distancing. “We shot a scene with a character called Sankalpa. He is down with fever and has to be hospitalized,” said Gangopadhyay. Though she refuses to say if the character is a patient infected by Covid-19, she mentions that dialogues were cleverly written keeping in mind the health guidelines that have been issued for patients complaining of temperature. “So, when someone wants to come close and check his temperature, Sankalpa asks the person to stay away and says: ‘Don’t come. Tumi kachhe esho na karon ekhon Corona hochhe’,” said Gangopadhyay, adding that everyone except the actors is wearing mask and using hand sanitiser.
None of the ‘Sreemoyee’, ‘Mohor’, ‘Nakshikata’, ‘Korapakhi’ and ‘Jionkathi’ serials written by Gangopadhyay have any intimate scenes. So, it automatically ensures social distancing. Others are planning to use mannequins in case of shots that have to show actors hugging each other. According to Sani Ghosh Ray, who produces ‘Phirki’, ‘Dhrubotara’, ‘Sanjher Bati’ and ‘Irarbatir Chupkatha’, “Everyone has been very cooperative.” The child actor (Mahi Singh), who is below 10 and is the protagonist of ‘Phirki’, isn’t shooting. “We have made necessary changes in the track,” Ghosh Ray said.
Most of the actors above 65 have opted out of shooting. But septuagenarian Dulal Lahiri, who acts in ‘Mohor’, is keen to return after July 15.
“In case of scenes involving a family, it has been written in a way so that the characters don’t need to stand close to each other. For the hugging scenes, we are planning to use cheat scenes and use mannequins for the characters who have their back to camera,” said Ghosh Ray.
Arka Ganguly, who produces “Jionkathi”, has bought washing machines. “Since the costumes have to be washed daily, people are being trained to operate the machines. In our unit, at least 15 people were given face shields and PPE,” he said.
Incidentally, the number of episodes shot on the first day have not gone down from what it was earlier.
Source: Times of India