With Coronavirus bringing all shooting in Mumbai to a halt, Akshay Kumar and his Padman director R Balki took the initiative to break the deadlock by shooting a corona-preventive ad film on May 26.
Shedding light on the experience of stepping out to shoot after two months, Balki says, “Akshay and I shot an ad for the health ministry about the post-lockdown responsibilities of each one of us. We need to get back to work but ensure our safety and those of others.”
The ad shows how shooting can be resumed in the post-lockdown scenario. Says Balki, “At our shoot, we did what other filmmakers will do when they get back to shooting, like getting back to work with social distancing, sanitised outdoor set, disinfectant screen, masks… the works.”
Balki says it took him and Akshay no time to get used to the new normal. “We got used to it in a few minutes. Minimal 20 people crew. Very strict protocol…and we found we can do it quite easily.”
The Paa director says the producer was a big help in economizing on the time factor. “Anil Naidu, the producer, showed us how we can do the same shoot with far fewer people with maximum safety ensured.”
The ad, according to Balki, was essential on two levels. “We needed to do this as this as the message was very important. Also, first-hand now we know what we need to do when we have to shoot in the post lockdown era. Of course, we had all the permissions of police, etc.”