Recently, film, TV and web series shoots across the country were permitted to resume, with strict conditions. However, since coronavirus cases are still on the rise, many prolific artistes have not returned to the sets yet, due to safety concerns. As the entertainment arena tries to figure out how to move forward, several professionals from across the film and television fraternities are wondering not just when they might return to work, but also what the post-pandemic sets will even look like. The Daily Star spoke to a spectrum of film and television artistes about their thoughts and predictions regarding the future and the prospects of returning to work – safely – in a post-pandemic world, whenever that may be.
Redoan Rony: Productions are not going to be as largescale as they could be before. The make-up artistes and costume designers will have to be especially careful, since their jobs involve a lot of human contact. In addition, audiences will be apprehensive of going out to cinema theatres. The future of our film industry lies in digital distribution. Filmmakers will have to pitch their movies to streaming services, as they will be more prevalent than ever.
Mizanur Rahman Aryan: Even after the pandemic subsides, the number of people on the sets will be vastly reduced. I will be shooting with a completely healthy team. In any case, as a director, I will keep pulse oximeters, blood pressure meters, glucose monitors and nebulisers readily available for my cast and crew members, once we begin working again. I have written some scripts that have indoor scenes and require very few actors. However, I have not compromised on the essence of the stories. Other than that, I have worked on some drawing animation short films with a team in Kolkata, through video conferences. I assume that it will take at least six more months for the circumstances to improve.
Afran Nisho: Although some shoots have started with social distancing and other such precautionary measures on the sets, I don't think those arrangements will be sustainable after a point. As a solution, I imagine we will have to work with a team-based system. A small group of people will be shooting and quarantining together in a specific area for ten to fifteen days, and only return home once the entire project wraps up. They will have to stay in isolation in their homes for two weeks afterwards. People have been calling me for my shooting dates, but I have not committed to anything yet. I want to be able to support my family and do what I love, but only when everyone involved feels safe.
Sabila Nur: I have been in talks with my colleagues regarding a few Eid-Ul-Azha projects, but I have not made any actual decisions yet. Shooting as we know it will change in the future. We will not be travelling and working with an entourage of thirty to sixty people, like we used to. I hope that rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of the washrooms in the shooting houses become the norm, and actors start using their personal products to do their own make-up. On a positive note, I have been reflecting upon my own work and the kind of scripts I want to choose, during this hiatus. I will be more energised and motivated once I resume work.
Bidya Sinha Mim: Acting is meant to be an interactive profession and we are used to being around large groups. Socially distant films are just not the same. The world of cinema is not doing well at all. It will take at least two years for the industry to recover from the pandemic. I don't think we can fully return to regular life, until a vaccine is available for the virus.
Arifin Shuvoo: I worked on Mission Extreme for eleven months and it is my most challenging project yet. Sadly, the film's release was pushed back. Needless to say, this pandemic has caused me a lot of psychological distress, and I am not sure where our industry is headed. Frankly, I am not even thinking about work, as I need to stay home now for the well-being of my loved ones and myself. I hope that the virus will become less of a threat and there will be some concrete solutions in the next few months.