The Coronavirus pandemic took everyone and everything by a storm, and with no cure in sight, things don't look good even now. There is no doubt that it increased the workload, but also affected our finances in a very bad way. The entertainment industry is one of the sectors which suffered badly due to COVID-19. Shoots were stopped for over three months and even when they resumed there was a long list of guidelines that were supposed to be followed. And though it was for everyone's benefit, the production costs saw a visible rise. And producer Mahesh Pandey couldn't agree more.
He said, "Nobody had expected something like COVID, and there is no doubt every day is stressful as you need to keep an eye on all the precautionary measures and protocols. There is a fear in the surroundings and we all need to be extra cautious. We have spent a lot of extra money also because of that. Our unit is staying on the set itself, so from food to their stay, everything is an additional cost. Apart from this, there is a team of doctors always on the set. Then we have sanitizers and sanitizer tunnels installed, masks, gloves, etc., and we have got everyone's insurance done too, so all these are extra costs that nobody had ever considered."
Though he agreed that they have spent a lot of extra money because of COVID, he asserted he doesn't mind it as anyone stepping out to work for him is his responsibility. He further added, "I am not bothered about that extra expense because human life is more important than that. Money doesn't matter if people are coming to work for you."
The government approved guidelines have also put restrictions and limitations on proximity scenes. Speaking on this, Mahesh said, "Even shoot wise, it has become difficult. You can't have grand scenes. But I guess the industry is also working on creating newer content. I am very optimistic and I am sure that things will only get better with time. TRPs have also increased, as compared to the initial two weeks post lockdown. We all are taking extra precautions and I just pray that nobody should ever face a situation where they need to stop shooting. It's a really tough time."
Mahesh's show Gupta Brothers: Chaar Kunwaare From Ganga Kinaare recently went on-air. The show, a dramedy, is produced by him and his wife Madhu Pandey. It's a light-hearted show, which features Hiten Tejwani, Akash Mukherjee, Satya Tiwari, Meet Mukhi, Sonal Vengulkar, Parineeta Borthakur, and Rinku Dhawan.