The Hindi film industry has been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in India. While some professions have the option of working from home, actor Shreyas Talpade points out that actors do not.
So Shreyas decided to take plays to audiences through the web, and started an online theatre a month into the lockdown.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Shreyas said, "The idea of an online theater came when we were almost a month into the lockdown. All of us were thinking of what to do to survive. Actors don't have an option of work from home. I thought this could be an opportunity where we record a play and stream it online by charging a nominal ticket fee."
He continued, "The theatre crew is limited to 15 or 20 people. We hire a theatre, clean it and follow all the protocols, hire a multi-camera set-up and go in. We shoot with the actors performing and do an online and offline edit, and once we have the final product ready, we can project the play online as a normal show."
"The idea is to charge a nominal price, for example, Rs 300 for a family as we can't charge on per person basis. I feel it's quite economical. Also, we will make sure that a password is sent which expires once the show is over which will ensure that there is no piracy or downloads."
He added that he is trying to get producers to support the idea. He understands that the returns might not be huge, but feels it is better to earn something than nothing. He said that the money collected will be distributed among technicians and actors who will be able to earn a livelihood.