Nikkhil Advani: Technicians to superstars, everyone will re-evaluate post COVID-19

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By Arundhuti Banerjee

Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Filmmaker Nikkhil Advani, who had several productions in the pipeline when the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, says that the whole process of budgeting and releasing a film will change once this phase ends, keeping in mind social distancing and viewing habit of the audience.

Asked about how he is holding up amid the lockdown, the founder of Emmay Entertainment told IANS: “We had three films and six shows in the pipelin. Everything is on hold now. Arjun (Kapoor) and Rakul’s film was on the floor. We were also shooting two films — ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’ and ‘Mumbai Diaries’. I am doing post (production) of ‘Indoo Ki Jawani’.”

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“As a producer, of course I am affected, but what I am trying to do is, instead of thinking negative, I am working with my writers and developing scripts. I am trying to finish the post-production of those projects that we can sitting in the house” shared Nikkhil.

Under his banner Nikkhil delivered films like “D-Day”, “Satyameva Jayate”, “Airlift”, “Batla House”, and ‘Marjaavaan” among others. He has also produced the Netflix show “Hasmukh”, featuring Vir Das.

Talking about one of the biggest problems the shooting process will face in near future, Nikkhil said: “Maintaining social distancing on a shooting floor is tough and that we have to incorporate in our lifestyle, in our work culture. From budgeting to promoting and processing of a film, everything is going to change post lockdown. I do not think the formula we were working with for long will be relevant anymore.”

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Citing an example, he said: “Even if we want to release a film, will people go to the theatre to watch it? Social distancing is one factor, home entertainment through OTT platforms is another. Of course, it is more convenient. From technicians to superstars, everyone has to sit down and re-evaluate. We are all going to look at it as ‘pre-COVID 19’ and ‘post COVID 19’. Nothing is going to be same!”

Does he have any solution in mind? “We cannot fight the change. We have to change ourselves to deal with it. Every film cannot be an event film. There are high-budget, mid-budget and small budget films. We plan the budget based on the subject and stars coming on board for the film. As the viewing habit of our audience is changing, we have to choose the platform of release and the story accordingly. That will surely change the budgeting of a film. The definition of stardom will also change. Running a production house is not easy, and all I am doing is preparing myself to deal with the new age that is coming!” Nikkhil signed off.

(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at arundhuti.b@ians.in)

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–IANS

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