Film & TV industry shoots in Maharashtra to resume with these guidelines after the government permits

The Producers Guild of India thanked CMO Maharashtra for the considering the request to resume film and TV shoots. The body further issued SOPs and guidlines, which to be instituted whenever the permission is granted by Maharashtra government.

Film & TV industry shoots in Maharashtra to resume with these guidelines after the government permits

The Producers Guild of India took to Twitter, on Monday, May 25, to thank the Uddhav Thackeray-led government for considering the request to resume film and television shoots in the state amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The body also submitted the guidelines and SOP which will be followed strictly by the production houses, once the government gives permission to resume the shoots. 

The coronavirus outbreak has disturbed the country in many ways and also affected the media and entertainment industry. The detailed document was prepared with an aim to provide 'basic methods for establishing technical and organisational measures for contagion prevention.'

The SOP mentions general guidelines where officials have taken strict measures to ensure sanitisation and social distancing is maintained at all times. The body has made washing and sanitizing hands as a mandatory step for everyone on entry, exit & during the shoot. Further, each crew member will be provided with a triple layer medical mask & gloves which will be mandatory to wear during the entire shoot. Members on the set are asked to avoid physical greetings, sharing cigarettes, gathering in groups etc. The production house will also have to take charge of assigning designated people to open doors, to ensure used masks are disposed and not left unattended, food items are handled in a proper manner, etc. 

As a part of the 'onsite organisation,' every set will have to take the first months seriously as there will be a need for more space, so ensure that the crew members can be separated. Aspects like preparing posters, floor markings, use of portable chairs and furniture needs to be taken into consideration. Maintaining a minimum of 2 meters distance should be taken seriously.

Sanitisation will be given utmost importance and the set will be sanitised every day before the shoot. Government body will be informed about the same on a daily basis. Further, every set will have 3 types of sanitizers available - hand sanitizer, surface sanitizer & space sanitizers, which members will have to study and use appropriately. Use of portable washbasin is advised and it will be strategically placed and if possible, bathing arrangements should be provided. Every set will now have a dedicated COVID-19 helpdesk, with one or two members, referred to as 'Anti-COVID Boys' who will keep a check on all the necessary aspects, thereby maintain a record.

Besides this, every member will have to follow the COVID-19 protocol, but submitting the consent form about fitness and health declaration, undergo temperature check, submit necessary documents, and use the necessary PPE kits or gears, as suggested. 

Actors and crew members will have to adhere to filming protocols, both for fiction and non-fiction shows. The set will be divided into zones, and colour-coded bands will be given to every member on the set, to ensure social distancing at all times. All on the set crew must wear coloured bands which can help identify their roles. Officials will have to ensure that not more than 15 people will be present in a zone at any given point in time. While an indoor set will be divided into 11 zones, outdoor sets will be in 3 zones. 

For a non-fiction show, filming protocols have been given for shows which include artists, entourage, audience and/or guests.

Furthermore, every set will have a medical assistance area, which will include an isolation zone, medical staff, ambulance at all times. This will be used for anyone who is experiencing symptoms related to coronavirus.

Casting will be henceforth conducted online and the respective teams can follow one of the two options, where the candidate can either tape and send their audition (which can be checked later by the team) or through video-calls. These conversations with the casting director or team have to be recorded and stored in drives or computers.

Locations will be chosen after consulting with the respective ward officers to understand if the locality is categorised under the red, orange or green zones. Permissions and approvals will be needed beforehand. Any activity for pre-production and scouting location should be done with minimum staff and vehicles can be shared keeping government guidelines in mind.

The SOP also includes detailed guidelines for individual departments like hair and make-up, art, wardrobe, costume, sound, technical, camera, electrical, catering, and others, which will have to be followed strictly. Guidelines for post-production teams like sound studios, voice-over artists, etc. have been given, which also includes facility hygiene.

The crew will have to follow secure coordination at the filming locations which will include Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) manager or a trained authorized person(s) responsible for coordinating and supervising the anti-contagion measures. Risk assessments have to be implemented and if needed, an authorised H&S specialist can be contacted. 

All actors, stuntmen and possibly extras who come into contact with the actors should prove their state of health with a negative COVID-19 test, which will be based on doctor's recommendation. Only swab tests will be considered and for the tests to be relevant, it is essential that actors after testing, adhere to the quarantine rules.

The guidelines (SOP) conclude by stating, "If one of the members of the crew or subcontractors has violated or refused to comply with the security measures taken, they would be excluded from filming. The full support from the producer will be crucial when implementing these measures."

Also Read:

New safety guidelines issued for cinema halls to follow after coronavirus lockdown