The latest news from the Hindi television industry that has taken to a screeching halt for the past two weeks is that all the channels will jointly aim at resuming shoot at the most by Tuesday.
The Producers’ body is abiding by the MOU signed on the November 19th, and production houses have started talking independently with their workers so that a mutual settlement is reached.
Says Mr. Pintoo Guha, Producer, Film Farm “We have had a talk with our workers and are going by the MOU signed on 19th. My team is ready to start shoot, so I think we will resume work by today evening. Having said this, nothing is clear as such as the costume and sound engineers had gone back on the same MOU earlier. So we need to wait and watch as to what happens tomorrow when we resume shoot!”.
Cloud of uncertainty looms large even now, as it was the same MOU on which few categories of workers had expressed displeasure days back. Pradeep, Supervising Producer, Shakuntalam Telefilms avers, “We can’t say whether we are resuming shoot or not. We are having a meeting with our workers’ team and all depends on the outcome of that”.
Sunjoy Wadhwa, Producer, Sphere Origin has also had a word with his team. “Our workers are absolutely satisfied, and we have seen to it that the overall sanctity is maintained. We have sorted out the wages problem between ourselves, and plan to resume shoot from today”.
Rajan Shahi of Director's Kut, says that the industry has suffered a huge loss, whether it be the broadcasters, producers or even the workers. According to him, “Money inflow has to be there to meet the workers’ demands. So the need of the hour is to start shoot and give viewers fresh episodes. There has been a long gap now, and even the good shows will suffer a setback in TRP’s as the audience might take time to get hooked to their shows again. I am meeting my workers today, and hopefully should resume shoot for my two shows soon”.
On the differences between the Producers and Costume as well as Sound guys, Dheeraj Kumar, Creative Eye says “They have come down a bit in their rates and the producers have agreed to meet them halfway. There was a meeting yesterday in which the above category workers gave a revised figure. With this settlement done, out first priority now is to get work started”.
Hats Off’s J.D. Majethia, Rajesh Chaddha, Supervising Producer, BAG Films and Deeya from DJ’s Creations, Jay Productions, Cinevistas also confirmed that they are resuming shoot from today.
Expressing confidence that work will not get disrupted from tomorrow, Hemal Thakker of Playtime Creations states, “Finally we are back to work and we will make sure nothing goes wrong now. This is possible as our workers support us”.
A spokesperson from Balaji Telefilms also stated, “We are resuming shoot from today. Hopefully things will be back to normalcy”.
It is heard that the producers who plan to resume shoot from today will do so under complete police security. The present situation demands that the producers shell out more money to the workers, and on this our source informs us that, “Producers will not be over-taxed with the rate hike, and they will not pass on the extra burden to the channel”.
From the channel’s viewpoint, Albert Almeida, Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television says, “We have been given to understand by our producers that their crews have agreed to start shooting, so we shall commence production immediately”.
Talking about the availability of fresh content to viewers, Tarun Mehra, Business Head, Zee TV says “We have heard that shooting will resume soon. But we will take a call on lifting the re-runs only if shooting continues uninterrupted. You never know if tomorrow somebody gets up and calls for a strike again. This is an unfortunate situation as the written word is not being adhered to”.
According to our source from the industry, “If shoot resumes from today, and hopefully with no further stoppage, then the viewers might get to see fresh episodes from next Monday.
The Producers, channels and the workers are indeed eager to back to work now, as they realize that the Hindi GEC’s are going thro’ a very bad phase. Hope this rejuvenation carries on and we don’t hear the word of ‘Strike’ again!!
As of now, we will go with the optimism of Dheeraj Kumar who says, “I am quite confident that there will be no disruption”.
Reporter: Anil Merani, Srividya Rajesh
Author: Srividya Rajesh