COIVD-19 hit the entire entertainment industry resulting in no shootings and new releases. However, after three long months, shooting of TV shows in the city was supposed to resume from today, following the guidelines laid out by the government. Some big TV shows like Kumkum Bhagya, Kundali Bhagya, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke and Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain among others, had their sets sanitized and ready for commencement of work. However, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and Cine And TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA) put a halt on all shoots at the last minute.
As per The Federation, the Indian Film & TV Producers’ Council (IFTPC) had failed to fulfill some of their demands that included an 8-hour shift for workers, insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh and no pay cuts. To understand a producer’s perspective on the whole thing, Pinkvilla got in touch with Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain maker Binaifer Kohli who sounded relatively sceptical in executing the above-mentioned rules and demands. For Binaifer, an 8-hour-shift wouldn’t be enough, and she gave a fair explanation for this.
“An 8-hour shift doesn’t work for me because how will I make a bank in that? First I have to test 40-50 people with a thermal gun, then an oximeter, have to mark their daily report. Apart from this, I am not allowed to have anyone in the sets when the actors are there. Lightmen will check the lighting then go out, then the actors will go out and they will check for another angle, so if you see an episode which would have taken one and a half-day, will now take two and a half days. Then there is a staggered lunch break. How do we work and with what output? We have to stay on-air with a bank of episodes in case there are small closures,” said Kohli.
On pay cuts, Binaifer said, “All those who are highly paid and say that they will not take pay cuts, and we are told we can’t replace the actors, why? I can’t afford them, no? If I own a saree shop, and I can’t afford to keep a Banarasi saree I will only show you other material, right? Whatever is viable from the business point of view, the channel will do.”
She also spoke about the difficulties of working with only 33% of the total crew, the challenges that they will face during the monsoon season, and how actors with a big pay are not ready to go for a cut.