Actor Akshay Kumar will soon be flying out of India on work for the first time since the Covid outbreak, and he is ensuring elaborate safety and precautionary measures for the entire crew.
Akshay is set to be in the UK soon, to start shooting for his upcoming film, “Bellbottom”, along with co-actors Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta. The unit will be travelling to the UK in August for a start-to-finish schedule.
The producers are chartering a flight to fly the entire unit, along with medical facilities.
Along with medical-grade masks and face shields, the production house will also make it mandatory for all cast and crew to wear a wrist watch that will constantly monitor their oxygen levels, body temperature, blood pressure, stress levels and pulse. A centralised dashboard will constantly record the parameters of the entire unit.
Said Akshay: “The new normal has made us realise a different way of working that none of us could have imagined. As much as I’m happy to be back on the sets, it’s also important for us to take care of everything around us.”
The on-set guidelines also include maintaining social distancing of at least six feet wherever possible. The set will have hand sanitising stations, and all surface areas and equipment will be disinfected frequently using alcohol-based sanitisers before and after every shoot.
“From a doctor on the set at all times to keeping the entire set disinfected at all times, safety first is our mantra. It’s a challenge but it makes ‘Bellbottom’ even more special for all of us,” said producer Jackky Bhagnani.
The retro-drama is one of the first films to announce resumption of its shooting schedule after the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
“Bellbottom” director Ranjit M Tewari said: “It is going to be a challenging shoot given the circumstances, but I am extremely confident of the health and safety protocols put in place. Every member of the ‘Bellbottom’ family is exhilarated and geared up to kickstart work.”
Producer Deepshikha Deshmukh added: “Medical waste is a big issue and we are taking all possible steps to make sure we are an environmentally conscious film unit.”
Production designers Amit Ray and Subrata Chakraborty feel “it is a challenging time to shoot a film, but we look at it as a creative challenge”.
The spot boy team for the film and the technical crew are in sync with the new on-set precautions.
Sushant, head of the spot boy team, said: “Hum sab ko samjhaya gaya hai ki set par jaane se pehle aur set par kya kya precaution lena hai. Sab log kaam par jaane kay liye utsuk hain (It has been explained to us what precautions we need to take before going on the set and on the set. We all are excited to go back to work).”
Inspired by true events, the film is set in 1980s, the story is about one of India’s forgotten heroes. It is written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh, and scheduled to release on April 2, 2021.