It has been close to five months that the lockdown (in India) has been in force. But now, as the country — as well as the Hindi film industry — starts to unlock, we talk to three filmmakers about what they have missed the most during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, and what has kept them busy.
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When nature beckoned, We listened… We switched gears, From fast forward to slow motion… Now, there is a call again, a second coming, An excitement, yet a caution… And a hunger to reboot, A thirst to get back in… With this feeling, We begin, again… #SardarUdhamSingh Can’t wait to #reboot, with post production of #SardarUdhamSingh – set to #BeginAgain, tomorrow – 8th June @vickykaushal09 @filmsrisingsun @kinoworks @ronnielahiri @writish1 #Shubendu #Avik Mukhopadhyay @moitrashantanu @shekharpraja @jitu.gupta87 @bhargavoza2020 @singhal_tushar @sayanghosh_29. @corneliuspia @banitasandhu @veerakapuree @amolparashar @kumarthakur1 @bhanubabbal @vibhutitomar @fakelabeeb @mithillad
As a filmmaker, you always miss being on a film set. There can be no substitute for that exhilarating atmosphere. But before lockdown, I had shot Gulabo Sitabo and Sardar Udham Singh on a back-to-back basis. So, I guess I shouldn’t complain (about not being on sets).
Even though I am not shooting, and am at home (in Kolkata), I have been working almost every day. Earlier, I was busy with Gulabo Sitabo (it released on an OTT platform), and now, I’m working on the edit of my next (Sardar Udham Singh starring Vicky Kaushal). Plus, I am also penning my new film, whose research takes a lot of time as I have to do a lot of reading and writing.
When I am not working, I do some household chores, catch up on some interesting content especially documentaries. Plus, I have also had time to indulge in gardening.
We are creative people, and not in cement manufacturing business. So, I guess it has been more difficult for us to sit at home for so long. In normal times, we are used to being on sets talking non-stop about creative things. But for the past five months, all that creativity has been bottled up. At times, it become really frustrating. But what can you do?
Unlike a person, who is in a construction business and can’t talk about his work with family members, we get extremely excited about even one good scene that we may have written. It keeps a smile on our face for the entire day. It gives us a kind of kick that is difficult to explain. I personally miss that buzz and thrill of being on a film set. And I am sure all the filmmakers, creative people must be missing that. Who likes to be sitting at home for so long?
I have been at my Lonavala home with family since the start of the lockdown. I have been catching up on a lot of interesting content on OTT platforms till late in the night. Let’s see when shooting of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 restarts. Whenever producers inform me, I will come back to the city [Mumbai].
For me, I really want to be on the sets as that’s my most favourite place in the world. I miss the energy of the place where everyone is on top of their game. And honestly, why do we work on a script, do prep work and put all our hardwork for? To take that dream on the sets! Right? But that only has been stopped, so it’s a bit frustrating.
However, I am happy that I, along with my team, have been working from home and through digital mediums. Thanks to that, while Bell Bottom has started off in the UK, my other projects are all in full swing in terms of prep and planning. For me, what has remained most important all along is that I’ve had to keep my team’s morale high, that this phase will pass and things will be normal again.
My office has been functioning for a while now, with all the precautions in place. After all, for how long can you sit at home and wait for things to become ‘normal’. I myself am out everyday, for meetings and other things even if I am not in office. We have to find a way out of all of this.