The show goes on
Even as Bengaluru reels under a lockdown, makers of Kannada soaps have swiftly moved sets to Hyderabad to shoot fresh episodes
If you have been watching the re-run of popular Kannada serials to keep yourself entertained during the lockdown, here’s some good news. Fresh episodes of a few serials will soon be aired soon. With the mantra that the show must go on, a handful of teleserial makers are rushing to Ramoji Films City to tape new content. The film studio has become a hub for Kannada soaps with the shooting of at least half a dozen Kannada television shows happening in the location.
Taking that first step was director and producer KS Ramji of Gagana Enterprises, who is currently spearheading three serials – Mangala Gowri Maduve, Geetha, and Naagini 2 – for Colors Kannada. “I was the first to shift my serials out of Bengaluru. We have camped at one portion of Shantiniketan of Ramoji Film City, which is spread over 500 acres. It’s like a town in itself. We are ensuring that no one besides the cast and crew enter the vicinity,” he says, adding, “It’s a 20-25 member crew for each serial. We have all gone through Covid tests, and only after that have we come here. Some artistes were unavailable, so we’ve worked accordingly.”
Meanwhile, the makers of Kannadathi landed in Hyderabad on Monday, while the team of Nammane Yuvarani and Hoomale will follow soon. Producer Prakash Jayaram, who is rolling the serial under Shri Jaimatha Combines, says, “The lockdown has brought everything to a standstill, but at the same time there are artistes and technicians who need daily work to survive. Many of them were calling me to express their concern over repaying EMIs and managing day-to-day expenditure. That’s why we made this move,” he says about the crew which flew to the location and will stay there for a fortnight. “After a 14-day shoot, the entire crew will be tested in everyone’s safety,” he adds.
For Ramji, the advantage is that he began shooting all his serials in Hyderabad, which has helped him keep the backdrop intact. “I usually launch my serials in Hyderabad, and the first few episodes are shot here,” says Ramji, who has taken a 100-member crew to the shoot location. Prakash feels responsible for his team and hopes this move will help many. “This is like working in a bio bubble,” he says, adding that this may not be a possibility for filmmakers, who require at least 200 people on sets.