What goes behind the scenes as daily soaps and shows are back on air on Malayalam channels

Just earlier than the shoot of his serial commences at Poonkulam in Thiruvananthapuram district on a given day, director AM Nazeer gathers his forged and crew for a pep speak. And when the shoot winds up at evening, he has a chat with them once more. This has been the routine since the capturing of his serial, Sumangali Bhava, aired on Zee Keralam, resumed submit the lockdown. “There is a fear about the pandemic. So I have to keep their spirits up for a tension-free working atmosphere on the set,” says Nazeer.

From the location of ‘Sumangali Bhava’ aired on Zee Keralam
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Malayalam tv business is steadily getting back on monitor as capturing of serials and shows have restarted, albeit with plenty of restrictions. Masks, sanitisers and face shields have grow to be necessary; social distancing needs to be ensured; a crew of 25 individuals; no outside shoots or late-night shoots.

When the nationwide lockdown to sluggish the unfold of COVID-19 got here into pressure, capturing of all types of tv content material was stalled, and inside a couple of weeks, tv channels discovered themselves out of contemporary content material. Now, new episodes are back on air with over 15 serials going on the flooring in the final three weeks.

“There is no hustle and bustle on the sets. everyone, except the artistes, wearing masks, it is a totally different atmosphere,” says Gurudas Shenoy, producer of Kudumbavilakku and Pouranamithinkal, each aired on Asianet. Writers have needed to “tweak or change” the storyline to work inside the framework. “For instance, we can’t shoot a road accident. Instead, we have to work out a scene where the character meets with a mishap in the house. It is a challenge to create the same impact though,” he provides.

From the location of ‘Manjil Virija Poovu’ aired on Mazhavil Manorama

From the location of ‘Manjil Virija Poovu’ aired on Mazhavil Manorama
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However, as the State authorities has allowed shoots at the sprawling Chitranjali Studio in the capital metropolis, most of the outside sequences are shot there. “We had to shoot a wedding sequence. But since crowds are out of bounds now, we came up with a different situation,” says Sreemovies Unnithan, producer of Manjil Virija Poovu and Jeevitha Nouka, telecast on Mazhavil Manorama.

A director defined that since they wanted the outside shot of an actor, it was taken when he was travelling from the capturing set to the visitor home, the place he was staying! Some writers have included the impression of the pandemic and precautions to be adopted into the storyline, says an actor.

The makers level out that the two-month break gave them ample time to plan with out compromising on the storyline, particularly with regard to the logistics of working with a restricted variety of actors and crew members. “One of our artistes was in Bengaluru and we brought her to the State via proper channels. She was quarantined for 14 days before she joined us on the set at the scheduled date. Had she been not able to come, we might have had to rework the entire narrative,” says Nazeer.

Crew chips in

He says that members of the crew stepped in to play small roles. “There are some talented actors in my team and I didn’t have to look anywhere else when I needed an office manager and a doctor for the scenes,” he laughs.

Sreeram Ramachandran with his co-stars on the set of ‘Kasthooriman’ aired on Asianet

Sreeram Ramachandran along with his co-stars on the set of ‘Kasthooriman’ aired on Asianet
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It is a very totally different scene for all involved. “We are also working from home because the entire shooting is indoors! Initially, I was apprehensive about coming back to shoot. But I am getting used to it. This is livelihood for many people and I didn’t want to let down viewers who’ve been looking forward to seeing new episodes,” says Sreeram Ramachandran, appearing in Kasthooriman, telecast on Asianet.

Mridhula Vijai, protagonist of Pookkalam Varavayi aired on Zee Keralam, provides that sporting masks besides when she is in make-up and sanitising arms at common intervals have grow to be second nature to her. “I now prefer to do my make-up and touch-up on my own. My mother no longer accompanies me to the set in order to meet the necessity to stick to the 25-people requirement,” says the actor.

Mridhula Vijai in a scene from ‘Pookkalam Varavayi’ aired on Zee Keralam

Mridhula Vijai in a scene from ‘Pookkalam Varavayi’ aired on Zee Keralam
| Photo Credit:
Special arrangement

Some channels have commenced their in-house productions additionally. “There is no live audience; In order to ensure social distancing, we made the artistes stand at specific spots,” says Anoop John, producer of Star Magic, the comedy superstar recreation present on Flowers TV. In the first episode, the actors got here on the flooring sporting printed masks. “But it took some time for all of them to get into the spirit of the show,” he says.

Noby Marcose, who’s a part of the present, provides that it was troublesome to generate laughs on the first day. “Even though we have shot without audiences, we used to get feedback from those on the shooting floor, such as the cameramen or other members of the production team. But, now, since all of them are wearing masks, we are not sure whether our punchlines are working!”

It’s an uphill process to observe all the tips, provides Gurudas. “We are also arranging for medical insurance for the team. Viewers have no idea about the humongous effort we take. But the show has to go on!” he says.

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