India’s Best Dancer is all set to begin shooting amid the coronavirus pandemic. The reality show’s producer Ranjeet Thakur, in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, shared his plans to shoot following government-issued guidelines. He revealed the first sacrifice they have to make is not allow any studio audience on sets. Even though it would act as a dampener, Thakur said it is the need of the hour to keep his team protected.
“We normally have around 450-500 people on set, including the audience on a shoot day. Now we will have to let that go and also work with just 33 per cent crew members. It would be difficult, but we need to start working again,” remarked the producer.
Sharing details of the workflow, Thakur said, “We have divided our floor into zones, and no one would be allowed to step into another zone. In the PCR (Production Control Room), we have made arrangements that one would have their systems at a six-feet distance from each other. Even on the stage and backstage, we have divided work according to zones. This would also mean that people will have to multi-task. Like the cameraman will also deal with the cabling job, the director will have to also handle switching, and the prop person will check on the entire setting. The artistes would also have to mike themselves up now. With less people around, and following social distancing, we have come up with all these permutations and combinations to resume work smoothly.”
India’s Best Dancer was already on air when the lockdown brought the shoots to a halt. When asked if the judges Malaika Arora, Geeta Kapoor, and Terence Lewis, and hosts Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa have agreed to come back to shoot, the producer said, “We have been discussing about it with them. We have also shared the entire blueprint of the plans with them. When they come on sets, they will directly go to their vanity which would be completely sanitised. They would have to come with the base makeup already done, and only the touch-up and hair would happen on set. They would be given just one person to help them with the costume, makeup and other things. I understand that initially it would be a task, but we will have to get used to it.”
Sharing that the safety measures would be taken for every person on set, Ranjeet Thakur added, “Right now everyone is scared for their lives, and even their families. So as a producer, it is my duty to make everyone on the set feel safe. Also, thankfully now people have realised the importance of hygiene and social distancing and are acting responsible themselves. We have asked everyone to get their own food while other measures would be taken care of by us. The usual madness on the set would now have to be properly streamlined.”
We further quizzed him on a probable date when shows would go on floor. He replied, “We are waiting a little for the worker community to also come on the same page. When you have to make such a drastic cut in numbers, you also need to figure out who all will finally come on board. Also, they would have to have the covid insurance, and also we cannot change the unit members. The government officials are very strict on this and can even fine all parties. Once the sets are inspected by the Film City officials, we will start work. If all goes according to plan, by next week or early July, we can start shoots again.”
India’s Best Dancer had launched on February 29 on Sony TV.