The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on Sunday released the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the resumption of film and television shooting and production activities in the country. While no production activity will be allowed in containment zones, State governments can impose additional measures in line with local conditions.
While social distancing will need to be ensured while sitting or standing at shoot locations, sound recording studios and editing rooms, even during shooting of scenes, sequences, set-ups at various camera locations, physical distancing norms will need to be followed. At the same time, staggered call and pick up timings by studios having multiple sets and staggered meal timings will need to be planned, as per the SOP.
Crew members handling or working with common or shared equipment will need to wear disposable gloves. Masks and face covers are mandatory except in front of the camera, frequent hand washing and sanitisation protocols will need to be followed, while use of Aarogya Setu app is advised. All employees who are at higher risk such as older employees, pregnant employees or employees with underlying medical conditions, will need to take extra precautions, according to the SOP.
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said, “In the last six months in many parts of the country there has been complete closure of this segment of the industry, while few States have allowed shooting partially. But today we are issuing this SOP as per international experience and after consultation with the Home Ministry and Health Ministry.” He said this SOP will facilitate resumption of film and TV programme shooting and production activities, which are an important part of the economy.
For outdoor shooting, necessary coordination with the local authorities shall be ensured to minimise and manage the spectators and even stay-over facilities for the crew will need to be planned adhering to physical distancing guidelines. “Measures shall be taken by the production team to involve minimum number of cast and crew members during the shoot. Visitors and audience shall not be allowed on sets,” the official SOP document stated.
The film and TV industry will need to ensure that common locations such as sets, cafeteria, make-up rooms, vanity vans among others and equipment are sanitised regularly. The production companies will need to make sure adequate provisions of gloves, boots, masks and PPE are undertaken. They will also need to designate a supervisor who will need to keep records of travel and medical history of the crew and monitor implementation of all the norms.
Sharing of costumes, hair wigs, make-up items, equipment, etc. will need to be kept at a minimum and make-up artists and hair stylists will need to ensure use of relevant PPEs. Efforts will need to be made to minimize the use of props and sanitisation of these props. No-contact transactions for tickets etc using online booking, QR codes and e-wallets have been recommended by the government.
Meanwhile, production companies will need to follow travel-related guidelines and SOPs issued by the MHA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Railways and the state governments.