How different is the KBC shoot during COVID times? Show director Arun Sheshkumar takes us behind the scenes
Earlier this week Amitabh Bachchan turned 78. And Big B, as he is fondly called, has not let age slow him down. Even after testing positive for COVID-19, the septuagenarian bounced back to normal and was at work within days after his return from hospital. Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 12 proves that Bachchan has an undying spirit.
The person who is currently directing the superstar on the show, Arun Sheshkumar, shares more about Bachchan and what’s going on behind the scenes. Speaking about Big B, Arun says they were surprised when the actor tested positive. “We wanted to shoot promos for KBC but his team politely refused. He was extremely guarded. So when he tested positive, we were shocked,” reveals Arun. But after recovery, the superstar was back on the sets in no time. “He came back with five times the energy. We are still amazed to see him work like this, and we don’t know how he does it. During a film shoot, an actor gets breaks between scenes. But this is a reality show. We shoot continuously for more than two hours and Mr Bachchan maintains the same energy right from the start till the end of the day,” says Arun.
It may seem like everything has been under control for Kaun Banega Crorepati but the director says since March, the uncertainty impacted the entire team and the making of the show. “With every lockdown that was being announced, we had to come up with a new plan. We had four contingency plans ready. But, fortunately we went ahead with what we had decided initially, and that’s what the audience is watching right now.” On the technical front, the set of the show has been designed keeping in mind the social distancing norms. So participants can’t freely run towards the show host and hug him or take a selfie with him like they did in previous seasons. Arun also says that the crew is much smaller now. The popular buggy camera that was introduced in the last season is updated as well. “Mr Bachchan calls it Chutku in this season. It’s got two ears this time. Those are actually antennas on the rover cam. Technologically, we have evolved and included more automation on our systems,” explains Arun.
While the pandemic has brought all these changes, one thing that remains same about the show is the human emotion. The background of the participants, their struggles and survival stories continue to motivate Arun and his team. “Our biggest learning on the show is from our contestants. Each one of them comes with a different story. They go through many hardships, troubles and tragedies. But they survive and move forward. Just looking at them, particularly the Karam Veers (participants who are doing something for the society) and listening to their stories is inspiring,” he signs off.
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ayeshatabassum @new indianexpress.com