Rained out: Indian soap operas are experiencing a change in weather
Indian daily soaps are witnessing an interesting change in the weather, thanks to the monsoons. Be it a romantic moment between the lead pair, a fight sequence or a showdown between the saas and bahu, rains are inadvertently woven into the script, much to the amusement of viewers.
Karan Patel and Divyanka Tripathi in a scene from Yeh Hai Mohabbatein
But, with all the fun and excitement that rain sequences bring, there are also a lot of problems that makers and actors have to contend with this season.
Rajan Shahi, producer of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, says that he avoids doing a lot of outdoor shoots during the rain.
A fight sequence from Nagarjuna
"The season is very tricky because it doesn't rain continuously. If we shoot a rain sequence in the close-up angle, you will see a lot of rain, but in the wide shots, you may not see it at all. Since that affects the continuity of a shot, I normally avoid shooting outdoors. However, just the other day, we were discussing about a chase sequence with the creative team that will have to be done in the rains. We are currently working out a plan for it. In such a case, we order for tankers as the weather is tricky. This, however, increases the cost. The rains also delay shoots, but the show must go on."
While most shows create a romantic plotline to make the lead actors dance and sing songs in the rain, several use the season to sketch a fight sequence. Faisal Khan, who was part of Bharat Ka Veer Putra Maharana Pratap said, "Rain sequences were tough, when we had to shoot with horses. I remember once, my horse nearly slipped while running. I could have had a major injury, but our horse trainer, who was nearby, ran to help me. During the rains, you also have to do a lot of re-takes to get the scenes right. By the end of it, you are dripping wet and exhausted."
Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai
Grooving to the song
It's tough to act with water sprinkling all over your face, but it is worse when one has to deal with the rains during a dance sequence. Shantanu Maheshwari, who earlier acted in Dil Dosti Dance and is now part of Girls on Top, says, "During the Dil Dosti Dance shoot, we had one or two dance specials, and we did it while it was actually raining.
Kunwar Amar in Dil Dosti Dance
Personally, I love the rains and don't mind shooting when it is pouring, but the problem was doing these close-ups and master shots post the entire sequence. Once we were wet, we would feel extremely cold. Unfortunately, we couldn't even dry ourselves for fear of losing continuity. I remember once, after a shoot, I got a bad cold and fever." Actor Kunwar Amar, who was also part of the same show, adds, "I think shooting a romantic scene in the rain is toughest during the night. It's quite cold then, and we might be shivering, but we cannot let that show on screen."
Mixing with dirt
Rains often result in terrible shooting conditions for actors. While they fear falling ill after every shoot, some have to even battle with muck. "There is a lot of dirt and mud involved in the action sequences that I have to do. You have to constantly give re-takes, which is very taxing. What's worse is when muddy water goes into your mouth every time you have to utter a dialogue. It is quite unhygienic too," said Mrunal Jain, who is currently working on Nagarjuna.
While rainy days play spoilsport for romantic and action sequences, emotional scenes are hit hard too. Actress Dipika Kakar says, "The artificial rain comes down in full force, making it difficult to emote or show tears."