Writer Duo Siddharth-Garima On Cinema During COVID-19: “Do-At-Home Projects Are Temporary”
The road to recovery is long and tiring but we are on it, nonetheless. I’m talking about the phase of ‘unlock’ and the trial and tribulations to salvage whatever is remaining of ‘normal’. And it’s an uphill task for every sector and the entertainment industry is no exception. If you haven’t heard it yet; shooting of ‘Avatar’ sequel has already begun in Coronavirus-free New Zealand. Even the filming of ‘Jurassic Park: Dominion’ will resume in the U.K. with a reported $5 million spent on health protocols. Now, while India is far away from either, Bollywood and the fraternity back home is still heavily dependent on streamers and is managing with do-at-home projects for the time being!
But cinephiles, don’t worry! We will be back in the groove and soon. At least that’s the hope I was infused with after having a chat with writer duo Siddharth and Garima. The Jodi who has written films like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela – Ramleela and lyrics and dialogues for Akshay Kumar starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Shahid Kapoor starrer Kabir Singh among many others, spoke exclusively to Mashable India about cinema in the age of COVID-19. And there’s hope.
When asked about challenges or hurdles about such DIY gigs, and if they are open to it, Garima said, “Essentially, for a do-at-home project, your location is limited. You know it is going to happen with a very limited crew. So, those are the things you keep in mind when you write. (Then) you don’t put too many characters in it. Once you know, these are your limitations; automatically things will fall in place. You will write accordingly. Yes, it is a little limiting cause one would really want to go out there and shoot but in these six months, that is what is being created. If somebody comes to us with something like that, we would happily write something within the four walls.”
It is then when Siddharth chided in saying, “I feel it is a temporary solution.” “It’s very today but eventually people will have to go out. Cinema is for a bigger screen. Of course, there are ideas; if you want to create like a suffocating kind of atmosphere, if the subject is like that, that’s different. Luckily, we have not created anything related to Coronavirus, so it’s not been a challenge for us. We have written with open minds with scenes involving waterfalls, jungles and so on.”
“But it is a little demotivating when you feel that whatever you were planning; like for example we had a film which is already on floors. So that got pushed. Those are things that bother you,” Garima added.
However, there’s no denying that OTT does extend the shelf life of any content and especially content created for the web. Garima further explained, “Given the nature of digital, if you see something on the web, you have (only) that much scope to show. And it is shot in limited means. So, that kind of stuff will sustain. But for cinema folks, I think it is limiting in a huge way.”
Cover Image: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India