From no fixed weekly off to long working hours, the working style of the TV industry has always been under scrutiny. Those working in the industry have spoken about it a lot of times, but the issue still persists. Celebs share their opinion on the same. They talk about whether there is a need to streamline the industry further for better work conditions, and what’s the change they want to see and why, and what is that one rule that they think should be implied on the set for everyone’s good.
Well, the working conditions can always be improved, especially on television sets. I wouldn’t blame them because it’s a 24/7 kind of scenario and people need to work continuously because we are talking about daily shows. And, the commitments are such that you cannot fall short of content, and you have to provide the content because people are waiting to watch it every day. Having said that, the working conditions can always be improved, whether it has got to do with the circumstances, surroundings, makeup room, access to the studios… especially the condition in Film City. The roads and everything, the lanes of the Film City are so bad, they are tiring to drive on and the makeup rooms are also not very great.
Although in our production house, the producer has been very cooperative and provided the best scenario, it’s not the same on every set. The place where the artists sit in between the shots or where they eat, can always get better and a little more comfortable, so they can feel at home and the fatigue doesn’t hit them the way it does to a lot of people and especially in the scorching summers. The working conditions have become even more difficult. So yes, there is always scope for improvement, and we must do it.
A fixed weekly off is a must. From the work background that I have come from, I used to have a fixed weekly off and there was a fixed routine. Now it’s not clear when the off is, the unit is kept off when someone is travelling or someone is sick. With a fixed routine we could make plans but here we cannot, we have to inform prior that we want to leave and at times it can be our loss as our salary may get cut. I have no problems with my production house because they call me when I am really needed, there are days when we do 9-to-9 shifts but it’s cool because they complete our work and free us on days when we are not needed the whole day. I have heard that other shows and production houses call actors for 12 hours a day and it becomes very tiring for them.
An actor has to look fresh and they kind of mess with their routine. One rule that I want to request for our industry is that every artist should get a make-up room and they should not be clubbed with other actors. I don’t have that issue with Edit II productions because they take care of their team. Working hours at government institutions have also changed. Because the majority of individuals work in government institutions, the hours have been changed to 7 am to 2 pm. I feel we should also try to lessen the working hours here, like finish the shoot by 4, maybe. Total working hours should be 8 hours.
The TV industry, especially daily soaps, has always been hectic, actors work really hard and are on the run all the time. That’s the way the industry functions, and there are deadlines to meet. There is definitely scope for streamlining in the industry, we can have fixed working hours and build a bank of episodes of at least a week. One rule I feel is fixed Sunday offs. The TV Industry is one of the biggest industries which is giving employment to a variety of people. I am proud to be a part of the industry and I always look at the positive side.
The TV Industry is one of the best industries to be a part of. As far as deadlines and pressures are concerned, they exist in every industry, so the scope for improvement is there in every industry as well. The shooting environment can surely be better, for daily soaps. The organising and management of shoots can be better on the sets, and pack-ups should happen timely. Time and resource management could also be better. One rule that can be made compulsory is that phones shouldn’t be carried during the shoot and can be kept in the vanity or make-up room. The TV industry is big, and we provide a wide variety of entertainment accessible on the fingertips.
Work is worship, but the bitter truth is, undoubtedly, when actors have no work, they are ready to do anything, long working hours, long travel, outdoors, everything. This is a hardworking job. Association has the working hours rule, and the fraternity follows as well. But sometimes due to some unforeseen condition or happening, things go haywire— it can be location or artist availability or natural calamity, or the light issue or the creative output problem. Anything can happen any time, so it takes time at times. I’ve shot in minus degrees in Manali, and in scorching sun in sand dunes. It takes time for good results.