The Show Must Go On…

Lockdown and Unlock changed many things for B-town, and now the stars are reporting to work with new schedules and safety norms in place

The Hindi film industry has started work again with unlocking 4.0. Filmmakers, actors, and movie crews are gradually discovering the new normal. Shooting schedules are following all the possible guidelines to stay safe during the pandemic. New rules and regulations for shooting consist of firm security measures, smaller teams, proper social distancing, and the addition of safety equipment including PPE suits.

Many Bollywood stars have resumed shooting for their films, where others are doing the dubbing for their films and also shooting ad campaigns. Many are also utilising this time to promote their upcoming films. When it comes to locations, the first choice for filmmakers are hill stations or foreign locales. It looks like our hills are the safest haven for Bollywood. Shahid Kapoor has already wrapped up the shoot for Jersey in Dehradun and has become the first to get back to work. On the other hand, Shilpa Shetty, Meezan Jaffery, Paresh Rawal and Pranita Subhash started shooting in Manali for Priyadarshan’s next project named Hungama 2. Uttarakhand is the first hill state to allow film shoots in June and now, Himachal has given the thumbs up.

Let’s take a ride to the pandemic shoots of B-towners

Akshay Kumar: Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta and Huma Qureshi are already shooting in the UK for their upcoming project Bellbottom. The crew reached the UK to start the shoot in August and now is about to wrap up.  The stars were accompanied by their families on this work trip. The team initially spent some quarantine period and then started shooting from 20th August. Meanwhile, they kept on posting pictures as well.

DeepVeer: Deepika Padukone was shooting in Goa whereas Ranveer kept on working from Mumbai. Deepika was shooting for the ongoing project of Shakun Batra, along with her co-actor Siddhant Chaturvedi. They flew to Goa for their shoot. Meanwhile, Ranveer was working for a brand shoot in Mumbai itself. 

Ishaan Khattar & Ananya Pandey: The duo, who are soon to appear as lead pair on screen, were in Goa to promote their upcoming film Khaali Peli. They were clicked at the airport in PPE kits, earlier they were snapped by Paps outside the city studio.

Ishaan Khattar and Ananya Pandey in a still from Khaali Peeli

BigB: After recovering from Covid-19, Amitabh Bacchan resumed the shoot for his TV show, ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Soon he will start shooting for Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra as well, also starring Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.

John Abraham: John is expected to initiate the shoot of his film Satyamev Jayate 2 in Lucknow this month. Chief Milap Zaveri had visited the city in August to scout areas on the outskirts of Lucknow. While the primary rushes were shot in Mumbai, the content of the continuation was improved during the lockdown and the story moved to Lucknow from Mumbai. A date for the shoot has not been set at this point.

Ayushmann Khurrana: Ayushmann Khurrana is shooting advertisements, while sibling Aparshakti wraps up his film. Ayushmann has been staying put in his old neighborhood Chandigarh for some time presently, and has of late shot various promotion crusades. He is likewise occupied with preparing for his film with Abhishek Kapoor. His sibling, Aparshakti, went for an advertisement campaign not long after he got back to Mumbai. He likewise wrapped up the shoot of the film, ‘Head Protector’, where he will be seen opposite Pranutan Bahl.

Raveena Tandon & Sonali Bendre: Sonali Bendre shared a video via online media which gave a brief look at the different security measures that are being executed on the set. The entertainer got down to business with a little team. Raveena shot a promotion for which a basic group was available. Actually, she did her own make-up and hair.

Randeep Hooda: Randeep, who of late went through a leg medical procedure, returned to naming for ‘Radhe’. The entertainer shared a selfie from the naming studio, and expressed, “Appreciative to be once again grinding away (sic).” The movie, coordinated by Prabhudeva, sees him rejoining with his ‘Kick’ and ‘Ruler’ co-star, Salman Khan.

Bhumi Pednekar and Vidya Balan: In coming weeks, more Bollywood stars will continue their separate ventures. One month from now, Bhumi will begin on spine chiller ‘Durgavati’. Around Diwali, Vidya will likewise face the camera as the second timetable of her film, ‘Sherni’ starts.

Following these new norms and ‘the show must go on formula’, last month Sanjay Mishra too shot for a film at Garhi Cantt, and Shakti Kapoor shot for The Dark Jungle in Maldevta, Mussoorie, and Dehradun. Sources revealed that since schools in Dehradun are closed, production houses are even shooting there, which didn’t happen often earlier. Rati Shankar, a line producer, said in an interaction, “From web series to films, everyone is coming to the hills for shooting – be it Himachal or Uttarakhand. Due to these film shoots, technical staff members who had left during the lockdown have also come back and joined their crews. Currently, we are handling two projects – one is a web series and the other project is a movie, which needs to be shot higher in the mountains. We are finalizing a location for it.”

When everything was actually normal in the pre-Covid days, filmmakers, actors, and the crews were used to staying at hotels, but after the post-covid era, now private properties are being booked to minimise the chances of getting infected or to be exposed to the virus. Mayank Tiwari, a line producer in an interview said that “For instance, Shahid Kapoor, who is currently shooting for Jersey in Dehradun is staying at a private resort. Similarly, there are hotels for crew members, where no outsiders are allowed and it is fully booked for the crew.”

(Cover: First look of Akshay Kumar starrer Bell Bottom)


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