With the coronavirus bringing all shoots to a halt, Akshay Kumar and his Padman director R Balki took the initiative to shoot a corona-preventive ad film on May 26.
"Akshay and I shot an ad for the health ministry about the post-lockdown responsibilities of each one of us. We need to get back to work but ensure our safety and those of others," Balki tells Subhash K Jha, shedding light on the experience of stepping out to shoot after two months.
The ad shows how shooting can be resumed in the post-lockdown scenario.
"At our shoot, we did what other film-makers will do when they get back to shooting, like getting back to work with social distancing, sanitised outdoor set, disinfectant screen, masks... the works," he adds.
The director says it took Akshay and him no time to get used to the new normal.
"We got used to it in a few minutes. A minimal 20-people crew, very strict protocol, and we found we can do it quite easily," he says.
The Paa director says the producer was a big help in economising on the time factor.
"Anil Naidu, the producer, showed us how we can do the same shoot with fewer people with maximum safety ensured," Balki adds./p>
The ad, according to Balki, was essential on two levels.
"We needed to do this as this as the message was very important. Also, we now know first-hand what we need to do when we have to shoot in the post lockdown era. Of course, we had all the permissions of the police, etc."