As soon as the news of the first case of coronavirus in India came everyone was worried. The spread of a virus that has no vaccine for its treatment was challenging. And as the total case count reached 100. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21 days nationwide lockdown. No economic activities were allowed except for the essential services. This led to more panic among people. It affected people of all classes economically. Among all the affected sectors, the Entertainment Industry is one of those sectors that are adversely affected.
Entertainment Industry in India
The Entertainment Industry of India is one of the fastest-growing industries in India. It is handled by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It contains the Film industry, Television industry, Animation industry, Radio industry, and now the digital industry also. While the Television and digital industries are benefited by the nationwide lockdown. All other sub-industries of the entertainment industry have seen a downfall.
Impact on different Entertainment Industries
The Digital industry that includes the Over The Top (OTT) platforms has gained more subscribers than usual. They are providing their consumers with new and exciting content every month. And because of spending the whole day at home. Consumers are binge-watching.
The Television industry had both good and bad effects. On one hand, production and shooting of all daily soaps have been stopped for an indefinite period. It has led to the loss of jobs for the daily wage workers of the industry. And on the other hand, re-telecast of popular TV shows like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Byomkesh Bakshi and Shriman Shrimati have made some new records. The viewership of DD National surprisingly increased. This led to other Hindi GECs telecasting their old classic shows.
Indian Film Industry has been adversely affected. Shootings and production of films stopped in all over India. Not just Bollywood but other regional film industries are also affected by nationwide lockdown.
Impact of COVID-19 on Indian Film Industry
India is the largest producer of films around the globe. Every year thousands of films are being produced and shot in India. From Raja Harishchandra to Alam Ara to Anand to Chandni to Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayeingein and Kabir Singh. Bollywood has given us some of the greatest films to cherish forever.
But the spread of coronavirus has led to a halt in the process of producing emotions on white celluloid screen. With the announcement of nationwide lockdown. All the activities included in the film making process were stopped for an indefinite period. Cinema Halls and Malls are also shut down. That is why, many big-budget films like ‘Sooryavanshi’, ‘83’, etc. had to postpone their releases.
According to the industry officials, this was the first time in history, when the industry has been shut down for a long indefinite period. The Actors are shown on the screen. But there are hundreds of people including the director, cameraman, Lightman, spot boy, technicians, and others that play an integral role. This pandemic has not only lead to postponement of film releases. It has also led to the loss of jobs for a number of daily wage workers in the industry. Actors who are bound with one project cannot sign other projects because no one knows how the shooting schedule after the lockdown will look like.
Some directors are looking forward to releasing their films on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Gulaabo Sitaboo by Shoojit Sarcar already released on Amazon Prime on 12th June. But it will cause losses to movie theaters. Industry officials are debating over this topic. A section of them founds it right. While the other section opposes this.
Not just the mainstream Hindi Cinema but regional film industries are also affected by this pandemic. Some of them say that this is that time of year when they release their big-budget films and earn profits. But in the current scenario, it is not possible.
Indian Film Industry during Covid19 and post Covid19 after effects
Keeping in mind the current situation, officials believe that getting back to normal for the film industry will be difficult. It will take a year or more for the industry to process in the same manner as they use to before lockdown. More strict guidelines will be issued by the Central Government. Being an industry that requires extensive labor, it will be difficult to work with a limited crew. But as they say “Something is better than nothing”. With this hope, the industry will hopefully resume shortly. And provide some mind-blowing content for their audience.
Movie Shooting resumes in few Indian states with strict guidelines
After a long lockdown across India, few states have eased down the restrictions to open-up the economy. Providing further relaxation, the Government of Uttarakhand released its SOPs for filming around Himalayan region. The govt has asked to production houses to adhere all the rules and precautions like thermal screening of all crews daily, proper social distancing and frequent sanitisation of all filming crews. As per the guidelines from the state, for indoor shooting there would be 15 people and 30 people for outdoor shooting activities. As time passes, many other Indian states will come with their SOPs to start filming activities.
Author: Anjali Datt
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