Cyclone Tauktae Hits Ajay Devgn’s ‘Maidaan’ Set, TV Shows Affected
Maidaan, Tiger 3 and many TV show sets were damaged in cyclone Tauktae. Here's how producers are coping with it
When all film and TV shoots were banned during the lockdown last year it was a big setback for producers and then came 2021. The second wave of COVID-19 hit the country and Maharashtra being one of the most affected states, was forced to go under lockdown again. This has hit the entertainment industry hard another time. This time round several producers and channels moved their shoots to other states which increased costs, and now to top it all, film and TV sets have been hit by cyclone Tauktae. According to reports the cyclone which hit Maharashtra has washed away 50% TV and film sets that stood in Mumbai.
We spoke to a few producers who are bearing the brunt of the damage.
Film sets that were completely washed out due to the cyclone in Mumbai's Film City include Ajay Devgn's Maidaan produced by Boney Kapoor, Salman Khan's Tiger 3, Ranbir Kapoor’s Brahmastra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi.
Veteran producer Boney Kapoor told us, "As of now, I still don't know what the losses are in numbers. No one is calculating the loss of interest, the players who had come from abroad who went back, the hospitality, the security which is still there. I can't put a number as of now and I don't want to put a number now because as it is it's frustrating enough. I am thankful that I have a very supportive crew. My hero Ajay Devgn, my director, my partners and the other technicians, we get along very well and we are each others support system. We will face it together and come out of it."
Kapoor says that though he has faced bigger hurdles in life as a producer, he is frustrated with the damage done by the cyclone because it means he will have to put up the entire set again.
“The main frustration is that we will have to put up the set for the third time. We have shot three and a half matches and four and half are left. I have to call the players and the technicians again. So, it is frustrating but it’s something I have to face. It’s not a set that can be removed in a few days time. The last time when we removed the set before the rainfall after the lockdown in 2020, it took almost 20 to 25 days to remove everything but we could reuse almost 60% of it. So, the second time the cost of the set came down. Say first time it was Rs 100, the second time it was just Rs 60 to 70 but this time it could be more because things are damaged.”Boney Kapoor, Filmmaker
TV shows like Mere Sai, Punyashlok Ahilya Bai, Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai, Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain! and Wagle Ki Duniya have also faced damages. Some TV shows produced by Balaji Telefilms have also been affected.
Producer Nitin Vaidya of Dashami Creations, whose 3 shows - Punyashlok Ahilya Bai, Mere Sai and a new Marathi show faced severe set damages due to the cyclone. "All the three shows sets were severely damaged because of the cyclone. We had created an entire village, they are all temporary structures. They are all gone. Mere Sai's set in Mumbai is a three-year-old set, a village from 1950. Around Rs 2.5 crore was spent creating the village," says Vaidya.
According to reports, out of 95 sets of film and TV shows in Mumbai, over 50% have been damaged.
“So renovation of the sets was on for the last one month. But because of this storm, the entire renovation that was done in the last one month is gone. I am suffering a loss of more than Rs 2.5 to 3 crore for all the 3 sets just because of the cyclone. We have approached the insurance company for the claims but Rs 3 crore is a huge loss.”Nitin Vaidya, Producer/Founder and Director of Dashami Creations
Most of the TV shows have shifted base to places outside Maharashtra because of the lockdown. It's been more than one and half months that they have been shooting outside Mumbai. Over and above the costs of travel, accommodation of cast and crew, food and regular RT PCR tests, the producers are also bearing the standing cost of their sets in Mumbai and rent for the location. With monsoon arriving soon in Mumbai, restoring or building a new set once again is a big challenge. JD Majethia, producer and chairman of IFTPC, whose show Wagle Ki Duniya was partially damaged says that because of lockdown, restoring things has also become difficult.tv sets affected by cyclone.
“Some sets which were in the exteriors have been completely washed out. So it’s been very difficult to restore those sets because in a few days monsoons will arrive and they need to be built in a shade to set up a new set. A lot of people will have continuity problems also. People who don’t have the budget, how much will they get by insurance claims? So, there are multiple challenges the producers are facing.”JD Majethia, TV Producer
Now, with the COVID numbers having come down in Maharashtra, the only relief for producers will be if the state government gives them a green signal to start shooting for films and TV shows in the state again.
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