Director Nguyễn Phương Điền on set for the “Lưới Trời” TV drama series. Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn
HCM CITY Though cinemas have been temporarily closed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many television crews have begun producing new content.
Safety at filming studios has been prioritised to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and crews are more flexible about their schedules.
Local TV drama crews have become more experienced working in such a difficult time.
Film director Nguyễn Phương Điền said his crew has gone to Gò Dầu in Tây Ninh Province to film the next scenes of Lưới Trời after the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Lưới Trời consists of 40 episodes, 20 of which were completed by last December.
“Due to the pandemic, we have yet to film footage in crowded residential areas, but have given priority to scenes along the river wharf, village roads or outdoor areas without any people,” he said.
“We have constantly worked with authorities and informed them of our filming schedules while following epidemic prevention regulations. In addition to masks and sanitisers for the whole crew, we have set up barriers outside filming locations to avoid curious crowds,” he added.
The crew plans to stay in Tây Ninh for about 18 days before going to Dầu Giây in Đồng Nai Province and Tấn Châu in Đồng Tháp Province. Since most of the important scenes were filmed before Tết, it is easier for them to film now.
All are serious about protecting their own safety for a smoother filming process, Điền said.
Meanwhile, Vũ Thị Bích Liên, managing director of Mega GS Entertainment and Communication Complex, said that filmimg of director Hoàng Tuấn Cường’s movie, called Thương Con Cá Rô Đồng”, resumed right after Tết.
Thương Con Cá Rô Đồng is mostly being filmed outdoors without crowds, she said, adding that another movie would be produced in mid-March.
Actress Văn Phượng is currently trying to finish the filming of Phía Cuối Con Đường while preparing for another 50-episode TV drama project in late March.
“I feel under pressure working during the pandemic because I cannot wear a mask while filming with my colleagues. But my crew has been very supportive and has encouraged constant disinfection at the studio. Strangers are not allowed as well,” she said.
Hope for the best
It has been more expensive producing a TV drama during the pandemic compared to other times, experts said. Actor Văn Phượng said that complex scenes with the participation of many people had to be postponed, which added to the cost of production.
“I hope the epidemic will be over soon, the pace of life will return to normal, and locals will feel more secure when it comes to work,” she added.
Writer Thanh Hương said since only a certain number of people could be allocated on set, the organiser must be very efficient.
“I believe the TV drama industry in HCM City will thrive in 2021. Many projects are about to start shooting, unlike the situation where TV dramas have mostly been produced in the North. I am currently completing the script for Nơi Bình Yên Sóng Gió, a TV drama with 100 episodes. The first part, consisting of 40 to 45 episodes, will be filmed in days to come,” she added.
Director Huỳnh Tuấn Anh is also certain about the positive growth of TV dramas and web dramas this year, considering that the pandemic might have caused many investors to hesitate about producing movies.
The number of dramas with large investments and quality casts is gradually increasing, which is expected to create a new look for the local drama market. - VNS