Film star photo shoots lose pomp, photographers and designers their gigs2 min read . Updated: 08 Sep 2020, 12:16 PM IST
- Even though stars have begun stepping out for professional obligations, designers and photographers at the helm of these fancy photo shoots say things have changed radically with budgets down for such ventures by at least 40%
NEW DELHI : Grand photo shoots for magazine covers or advertising and promotional campaigns are a thing of past with covid-19 forcing top stars to stay at home, social distancing affecting crew and budget sizes translating into fewer gigs for photographers and fashion designers. In the recent past, several film stars have had their pictures taken by family members and partners.
Last week, actor Alia Bhatt turned muse for sister Shaheen who shot her for the cover of French lifestyle magazine Elle. A couple of weeks before that, Kareena Kapoor Khan celebrated 20 years in the film business with a cover for movie magazine Filmfare shot by her actor husband Saif Ali Khan. Earlier during the lockdown, actor Rajkummar Rao was on one of the earliest digital covers for Filmfare styled and shot by actor partner Patralekhaa, all at home. Even though stars have begun stepping out for professional obligations, designers and photographers at the helm of these fancy photo shoots say things have changed radically with budgets down for such ventures by at least 40%. Earlier depending on the size and scale of the project, the same could cost anything from ₹20-30 lakh to ₹2-5 crore.
“The (fashion and entertainment) industry is bleeding and it is a testing time for everyone," said designer Ashley Rebello who recently shot some promotional stills for television reality show Bigg Boss with actor Salman Khan but says he’s working two days a month compared to the 15-20 he was used to earlier. Designers like him have lost assistants and tailors who have gone back to their native towns while many have closed stores. As far as actual shoots go, not only can you no longer shoot lavishly with the routine three to six costume changes and lounge around in a studio but crew is minimal, you have at best, a camera man and an assistant in PPE gear.
“We have all realised there is no need of paraphernalia and that we need to produce better quality products with limited time and resources. The care and concern for health and surroundings is commendable but we aren’t getting the same financials," Rebello said. Even a visual medium like fashion has undergone a sea change with the luxury vibe of it being replaced by a more affordable one, something that can come to your home, largely a result of conversations on social media turning the world into one community, Rebello added.
“The whole idea of selling a fairy tale is gone. And I don’t think we will ever go back to it," he added.
Atul Kasbekar, veteran fashion photographer and founder of celebrity management company Bling! Entertainment Solutions said necessity is the mother of invention, a fact manifest in celebrities being shot at home by siblings or partners. While editing and designing can still be done remotely, you need the backend of visual material. With increasing viewership for streaming content, shoots for which have also resumed along with film and TV projects, there is more demand from OTTs for promotional stuff, artistes say.
“This (shooting remotely) was okay to amuse oneself for a while but is not sustainable in the long run," said Kasbekar who recently worked on an ad for Dharma 2.0, the vertical dedicated to ad films and new-age content at Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. “A lot of people are now shooting for digital output and even though that is cheaper, they expect the same quality."