This pandemic has been challenging for filmmakers and the industry. We’re past halfway through 2021 with vaccines rolling out and travel opening or closing as per the situation. This has sparked several discussions revolved around creating films in what many now refer to as a ‘new normal.
Rajiv Whabi, the film producer, says going back on set must begin with safety first. But even before that, he adds, “planning and scripting a film now needs to take into consideration a number of new possibilities and protocols.” There’s a need to incorporate a certain level of flexibility as considering the constantly evolving situation, delays and disruptions cannot be ruled out.
Does that mean new rules and limitations would restrict possibilities? Not necessarily, believes Rajiv, “it could actually encourage filmmakers to think beyond the norm, especially for independent film projects.”
He goes on to say, “for independent teams, there’s no better time to get creative than when you’re working around restrictions, whether it’s a smaller crew, limited locations, budgets, or a pandemic” It removes distractions and shifts focus back on the script, which he says is the backbone of any film. Even before the pandemic, several feature titles that were filmed with limited crew and locations have achieved massive critical and commercial acclaim.
So what’s currently in the pipeline for him? There is a feature project and an episodic series in scripting, he says, but unconfirmed on which would be the first to go on floors. His creative team has been used to working remotely even prior to the pandemic, yet the covid has caused some delays. “Though remote filming has been gaining a lot of momentum lately, I’d wait till the situation eases up a bit more so,” he adds. For now, it’s back to screenplays on paper.