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The New Normal Has Made Us Realise A Different Way Of Working: Akshay Kumar On Shooting For ‘Bellbottom’

Photo courtesy: special arrangement

Vashu Bhagnani’s Production House Pooja Entertainment that is helming Akshay Kumar’s next, Bellbottom is reportedly currently taking all the necessary precautions in order to resume production. The company is chartering a full flight to fly the entire unit with ‘top-grade medical facilities’ according to a statement from the makers.

The logistics of the shoot, while also adhering to safety protocols, has been in the works for months, the makers say. The film will have an extended shoot schedule that will be announced soon. Apart from medical-grade masks and face shields, after consulting medical experts, the production house is making it mandatory for all cast and crew to wear a wrist watch that will constantly monitor their oxygen levels, body temperature, blood pressure, stress levels and pulse. A centralised dashboard will constantly record the parameters of the entire unit and keep a check for any changes in readings.

Jackky Bhagnani says, “As a producer, the health of my unit is of utmost importance to me. I am grateful to Akshay Sir without whom this film and this shoot would have been impossible. It is only after every department and every individual was assured of the measures taken that we are embarking on this journey. From a doctor on the set at all times to keeping the entire set disinfected at all times, ‘safety first’ is our mantra. It’s a challenge but it makes Bellbottom even more special for all of us.”

Akshay Kumar says, “The new normal has made us realise a different way of working that none of us could have imagined. As much as I’m happy to be back on the sets, it’s also important for us to take care of everything around us. Pooja Entertainment has laid down a safety plan for our shooting schedule abroad. We hope these measures help us accomplish a smooth and safe shoot.”

The film’s on-set guidelines will also include maintaining social distancing of no less than six feet wherever possible; hand sanitising stations will be made available throughout the set area; all surface areas and equipment to be disinfected frequently using alcohol-based sanitisers before and after every shoot.

Bellbottom, a retro drama with Akshay Kumar, Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi and Lara Dutta was announced late last year. Pooja Entertainment took the decision to shoot a start-to-finish stint keeping the global health crisis in mind.

The director of Bellbottom, Rantji M Tewari says, “The shoot will be challenging, but I am confident of the health and safety protocols that have been put in place by Pooja Entertainment.”

The production company is also doing its best to ensure that the set will be environmentally friendly considering that a majority of safety gear that needs to be used is disposable and made of material that is not biodegradable, a statement from the makers indicated. They have also briefed all of their crew including spot boys and light boys about the precautions being taken and the processes they need to adhere to, reportedly.

Bellbottom will release on 2 April 2021.

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