Last month, a number of TV shows’ shoot restarted – after having been stalled since March-end. Now, Bollywood filmmakers are also gearing up to get back to work. And among them, Sanjay Gupta is likely to be the first one to hit the floors [at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad] to complete the work on his next, Mumbai Saga. Among all the other precautions and guidelines, filmmakers and their team are supposed to cut down on their crew size as well.
But Gupta isn’t worried about it at all. “I am sure I wouldn’t have any issues. Over the last 8-10 years, we have seen the number of crew members – on the sets – going up considerably, and most of the times, we don’t even need so many people on the sets. Nowadays, when I walk into my set, the sheer size of crew amazes me. I have been making films for over 25 years now, but I still fail to understand the logic behind having so many people [on sets],” says the filmmaker, who started his directorial career with Aatish: Feel The Fire (1994).
In fact, Gupta recalls how things weren’t the same even till late 2000s. “I remember even when we made Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007), the crew size was about 50-60. These days, everyone – be it costume team, make-up artistes or even set designers – comes with a set of assistants. So, in essence, for the work that was earlier done by 60-70 people, we have close to 200 people now,” says the Kaabil director, adding that limiting the crew size will “only bring down the production costs.”
“It would, of course, be sad that some people may not be required [for work] in given circumstances. But at this point, I don’t think we have any other choice but to go back to our old days and style of working with maximum of 40-50,” says Gupta, whose next features John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi in the lead.