Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday announced new SOPs for resuming film and TV shooting. The announcement has come as a ray of hope for the TV and the film industry which has remained closed for the last 6 months due to Covid-19 pandemic and the minister claims that the new guidelines with the core objective of “contact minimisation” will be a “Sanjeevani” for it.
Javadekar in his announcement said, “I am happy to announce that we are releasing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for film and TV programme shooting which was stopped due to Covid-19 pandemic for the last 6 months. Some states had given permissions so it had started in places. We consulted the Health and the Home ministries regarding this and then the Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued this SOP. Social distancing and masks will be an integral part of this. The general principle behind this would help create a safe working environment for both the cast and the crew.”
Adequate social distancing and physical distancing of six feet at both outdoor and indoor shoot locations as well as other workplaces have to be ensured according to the SOPs. Proper measures of sanitisation, provision for PPEs, masks/face cover, crowd management, etc also have to be looked into. The SOP further emphasises on the importance of minimum sharing of costumes, makeup, wigs, props, etc. People handling such items are also expected to wear gloves and take necessary precautions. Regular sanitisation of sets, vanity vans, washrooms, make-up rooms have to be ensured.
While lapel microphones have been advised to be avoided and never shared, direct contact with the diaphragm of the mics are also to be kept away from. Physical distancing is also to be maintained within recording studios, editing rooms, scenes, camera locations, crew positions, stay-over/resting facilities etc. and minimum cast and crew members should be present during the shoots while keeping in mind strict prohibitions on the entry of audience or visitors into the set. However, coordination with local authorities has to be done in case there are audiences. There should be designated entry and exit points for shoot locations and staggered calls and pack-up timings to be ensured for different production houses at studios with multiple sets.
The use of Aarogya Setu app is advised and every cast and crew of the production units are expected to self-monitor and report in case of any symptoms while maintaining respiratory etiquette. Employees with higher risks of getting affected are advised to take extra precautions and no contact transaction for ticket bookings is to be followed.