From Alia Bhatt’s next to Sidharth Malhotra’s upcoming film, this is what film sets look like in the new normal

In the post-pandemic world, regular film shoots have come to resemble Sci-Fi storyboards

Just in case you are wondering how the world’s most prolific film industry is dealing with the pandemic, here are a series of pictures that seem surreal if you compare them to the old normal. Not too long ago, film sets were spontaneously interactive places bustling with production crews, seamless energy and round-the-clock activity.

Since the onset of the pandemic, film sets have become ultra-sanitised, hyper-vigilant spaces that seem to mimic science fiction rather than real life. Post the rising infection rates all around and even among top-ranking actors, the industry is trying its best to adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and is relying on specialised services to pandemic proof their sets. One man who is spearheading this shift is Aditya Gupta, an industry insider and the brain behind India’s first set safety company, ‘Life First’.

The snapshots below depict how he is protecting some of the best-known production houses with the help of state-of-the-art sanitation equipment, pandemic adaptive technology and bio bubbles. The mantra of the company being, “We put your life first.”

Among the clients who trust this message are Ram Madhvani, Dharma Productions, Netflix, Red Chillies Entertainment, Excel Entertainment, Amazon Prime Video, Abundantia Entertainment, and many others. ‘Life First’ has also supervised the safety protocols of over 700 ad films.

As a director and chief assistant director for over 12 years with credits such as ‘Andhadhun’ and ‘OK Jaanu,’ Aditya now brings his own creative experience to customise safety protocols for his clients. He meets the direction and production teams, figures out shooting logistics, and then designs the protocols in keeping with the locations, crew size and unexpected variables. Restricted access, crowd management, colour coding and sanitation paraphernalia are used to keep the sets as safe as possible.

The biggest technological breakthrough aiding ‘Life First ‘ is the ultraviolet light (UV-C) which is germicidal and works through 10 x 20 feet hubs, portable robots and 90-litre boxes to destroy microorganisms, viruses, fungus, mould, bacteria and pathogens up to 99.9% in just 60 seconds. This equipment sterilises sets, vanities, toilets and even smaller touchable items like mics, files, gadgets, craft table goodies, brushes, combs and styling tools.

The idea for this soon-to-be patented portable UV-C hub came from the UV-C box that doctors use to keep their surgical tools in post medical procedures. Apart from using FDA approved, non-toxic herbal and Ayurvedic disinfectants, ‘Life First’ also uses procedures that are in compliance with directives issued by producer’s guilds. The company also helps film units with vaccinations, COVID-19 testing and PPE kit management and is now working to create an air purification prototype that will purify over 3,000 to 5,000 square metres in under two hours.


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