Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

To Kiss Or Not To Kiss: Bollywood In Dilemma Over Intimate Scenes In Films After Covid-19 Lockdown

Not only intimate scenes, but the entire process of filmmaking will pose a challenge to the film industry after the lockdown. The industry is likely to set guidelines that address these challenges.

A still from the movie Zoya Factor

After the lockdown that has been imposed due to the spread of Coronavirus, one of the challenges the filmmakers are likely to face is shooting the intimate scenes without risking the health of the actors.

The challenge has got the movie makers into thinking whether shooting intimate scenes would be a thing of the past post-pandemic or should there be a set of rules and processes that need to be followed while filming such scenes.

Cine & TV Artistes' Association(CINTAA), the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television And Radio Artistes have also teamed up to work on the SOPs that may be needed too follow during shooting intimate scenes.

Amit Behl, Senior Joint Secretary and Chairperson of the Outreach Committee CINTAA told Outlook: “Since CINTAA is the oldest and the biggest actor’s association in the country and we are affiliated to the Federation of International Actors, world’s biggest body of performing artists across 83 countries, we are actually awaiting the proper guidelines issued by our parent union, FIA supported by the Screen Actors Guild of American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Their guidelines, which are definitely going to be approved by the WHO, is going to be implemented worldwide and it is going to be the same for all.”

“In India also, we are basically looking at virologists on the set, somebody approved by the ICMR who can handle intimacy guidelines and also we are concerned about asymptomatic carriers on the sets,” Behl added.

In an Interview with the Outlook, Director Shoojit Sircar said: “I think it is going to be very difficult to perform intimate scenes. The first question is if the actors agree to do such scenes? The Film Guild of India has come up with some guidelines as to how shooting will be done. But it will all be trial and error. But it’s going to be very difficult to shoot after the lockdown. It is going to take time because nobody has experienced this before and it is going to be a fresh start.”

Sircar, in fact, wrote on Instagram a few days back, “How the cinema world conducts shooting intimate scenarios in the film to be seen and planned after all this is over. Especially the intimate kissing/hugging scenes. How close or how far…or cheat storytelling in those intimate scenes for some time.”

Actress Dia Mirza commented to Sircar’s post saying, “Guru, the entire process of making a film is intimate! So many people all coming together to create moment after moment in unity and synchronised effort. Aap intimate scene ki baath kar rahe ho, how will all that change? Will we be masked and gloved as a crew? Only time will tell.”

One of the directors of Paatal Lok, Avinash Arun, told Outlook: “We need to now have a scientific approach to not only handling intimate scenes in the film, but also the entire procedure of film making. We need to understand that issue needs to be handled from a social point of view. But definitely it will take time.”

Adding some humour to the debate, an Instagram user suggested that actors should go back them times when flowers were used as a metaphor for intimate scenes.

Apart from shooting intimate scenes, another challenge the film makers face is to maintain social distancing, given the fact that it takes a large crew on the movie set to shoot a single scene.

Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra was quoted in media reports as saying that he could not fathom the challenges ahead for people in the entertainment business. "Most of the difficulties will be faced by those who shoot. I don't know how 250 people will shoot until a vaccine is not in place. Will you test everyone, then head outdoors to shoot? Post this, we will start living differently, being cautious will become a habit,” he was quoted as saying.

Until a vaccine is developed for the Coronavirus, intimate scenes in the Bollywood may seem like a thing of the past, unless a new normal is set.