Shooting during lockdown: The directors’ perspective | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 10, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:15 PM, April 10, 2021

Shooting during lockdown: The directors’ perspective

Since the lockdown started from April 5, the woes of the entertainment industry have become more apparent, especially with Eid Ul Fitr just around the corner. We spoke to noted directors and leaders of Directors’ Guild and Actors’ Equity Bangladesh to learn about their views on fighting this crisis.

Directors' Guild Bangladesh is allowing shoots from 6 am to 6 pm during this lockdown.

"Around 5,000 individuals work behind the camera during a shoot. Stopping shoots would mean putting them out of work," says  noted actor and director Salauddin Lavlu, President of the guild. "Last time, we all had to work together to ensure that these workers are financially supported, but all of us were quite  inactive in the past year. As a result, we are struggling to meet even our own needs."

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Directors' Guild Bangladesh  has sent out messages to their members, asking them to follow the government's rules for safety, if they decide to shoot. Nevertheless, this decision can change at any minute, and shoots will be stopped if the condition worsens.

"Artistes who stay in front of the camera have to take off their masks, as per the demands of a scene. For them, physical distancing is not possible. We should not take these things lightly, if we want to stop the spread of Covid-19. A complete lockdown is the best solution right now," shared Shahiduzzaman Selim, President, Actors' Equity Bangladesh.

While many shows are currently in production and need to complete shooting, director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury has stopped his shoots entirely until further notice. "I have been working with many senior artistes, and I did not want to take any risks," he shares. Chowdhury will resume shooting only when the situation improves, and he can return to work in full swing. "Munshigiri, my project for Chorki, is already in post-production and I hope that we will be able to complete the work in due time," he adds.

It appears that the world of television has turned upside down, much like last year.

"I had started shooting for my four Eid projects. However, we have cancelled all the schedules until next week," says noted director Sanjoy Somadder. "I was hoping to resume shooting from April 20, but I have two children, both of whom are aged below three. I am worried about putting them in danger if I chose to step outside for long hours."

Nevertheless, he plans to have three new releases for Eid Ul- Fitr, including the web film "Omanush", and the tele-fictions "Namkaran" and "Anti-Hero".

"We have to compromise a lot if we have to shoot from 6 am to 6 pm," assets director Mizanur Rahman Aryan. His upcoming projects include two tele-fictions and two short films for Eid,  and one commercial. "What worries me is being able to deliver quality work, while adjusting to the precautions," he adds.

Noted director Ashfaque Nipun shared a similar take. "We only get the funds about a couple of months before Eid for our productions. We have to organise night shoots for nearly every project, depending on the demands of the scripts. It is very difficult to work in such fixed hours," he says. "There has not been any proper directives from the government for our industry. As our way of working is different, we need our leaders to work together, and come up with instructions that will solve our problems and help us overcome the odds."  

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