If you know what this is about, then hello and welcome back, if not, we suggest you read our Ep 1 of The Pandemic Productions and catch up on all the ranting and raving that happened before with a few cliche’ motivations as a takeaway. We believe it could help you explore your ways of getting the shenanigans moving while keeping safe in these crucial times. Seize the freedom of movement, seize the choice to meet and travel, but no matter how bad it goes you can’t seize the creativity even if you will. In our series of carrying out video productions as we fight the pandemic and the paranoia, here’s one ‘Kissa’ about the time we shot for Flipkart. Did you get a chance to check out Alisha’s Beauty tips on the Flipkart App? No? Well, here you go
We had 2 days in hand with 8 videos to be shot, comprising 24 products and one cast – end to end. Meaning, right from setting up till packing- up we had just 10 hours of production time each day and if you know the drill, you know this one’s a damn race! BDP 101 Handbook had already cut down our team to half and created 3 times more challenges in terms of constant hand rummaging and time management. Of course, health comes first, but still, it gets annoying doesn’t it? A guy eats a bat somewhere and now we have to put sanitizers/alcohol on our hands every second hour!? Coming down to the serious notes, this was our first shoot in the first week of June in the midst of the lockdown, no one knew what to expect after such an uncalled-for situation. No one could greet, could meet, could high 5 on a good take or even exchange handshakes, there was just a clear understanding of passing smiles through masks.
So, how exactly do you shoot for beauty products without actually having to engage with them? The simple answer is, you can’t. Considering the environment we were working in, the entire crew maintained an average of the 1-meter distance from each other, and more than 2 meters from the cast as she was to apply the product, be on the frame and had to be exposed to the set with no mask. Only our stylist was allowed to be in the 1-meter radius of the cast during the touch-ups, and changes, post the cast, had worn back her mask. These were tense moments, it was all too new and too risky, but as long as we stuck to our Bible (BDP Handbook) we were doing great, okay, we were just good to be completely honest.
While we managed the set, our clients, equally new to the new normal of film making process, were with us throughout the production through the trusted Google Meets, making sure the crew got the time and sat through the virtual production on both days. For the first time a brand production must have worked without the client on set and yet it went smooth with all the feedback, retakes etc.
And to be fair, it was not easy, the constant urge to wipe off the sweat but the discomfort of the gloves and the practical plastic sheet disabling any touch so far made concentrating on the shoot a little more of a challenge, and maintaining time, a lot more. But the idea of coming out of it safely and to be more prepared with the new normal is what drove the entire crew. Even after hearing the two sweet words – PACK UP! The heartbeat would stay upbeat for the next 7-10 days. It was a pleasure in this pain, the success in this misery that we all created by taking care of ourselves as individuals and hence contributing to the wellness of our team, friends, and family that made the end result much better.
Happy to step out of the house after 2.5 months of house arrest, each member came with positive energy to make this happen. And guys! hats off to Aung San Su Ki to have been under arrest for so long, we can’t even imagine how she would have felt to finally step out! Wow. It’s not that before the lockdown, making a film was a cakewalk, but the sense of dependability of working with a team never existed. We have to now think if people can travel, if the crew is living in or coming from anywhere inside or around the containment zones, travel timings for each area, the food that has to be arranged for those who don’t have their own facility, routine health checkups, post-shoot quarantines and PPE kits and whatnot.
Assuming that uncertainty is the new certain and covering almost everything but the bittersweet eyes are the new normal, we stuck to the protocol. Overall we had to be at our max efficiency battling the slipping sand wearing masks and fogged up guards with all the heat from the lights, and the summers. This was the first time, we realized wearing latex gloves can be itchy with all the sweat, and lack of grip.
As much as crushing the external factors were, the internal team itself was on the edge of the wire of patience when one of the light boys coughed…twice! It’d be a lie if this experience didn’t get its mention in the book of ‘learning curves’. The wholesome team spirit from a safe distance was a commendable experience per see.
Here are some #BTS scans for you. Although this was our first during the pandemic, it did show a different side of the workplace for us filmmakers. Life is not going to be the same for a good foreseeable future. But as long as we are taking all the necessary measures to ensure safe and feasible production, shoots are going to go on.
If you want to name a chapter on your brand in our book of Pandemic Productions, do write to us at – firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re more than happy and much more prepared to shoot our next for your brand. After all, nothing makes us happier than being on a set and producing beautiful content.