Damini K Shetty On The Plight Of Television Producers During The Pandemic

With shooting and production stalled for the past few months, there have been reports of producers refusing to pay dues to actors and technicians. Given the on-going scenario, Damini K Shetty, who has donned the hat of an actor, writer, director, and producer, shares her view on the current topic.

Damini begins by stating, “As a producer myself and seeing other production houses, I can say we are all in a tough spot. Very often we are ready to fight and blame people but not understand each other’s problems or work in the same spirit. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s sentiments or start a debate but as I have done it all I can speak from experience and with valid points.”

Speaking of the plight of the producer, Damini says, “Producing is not as easy as it seems. People are failing to realize that producers don’t have a tree of money. It comes from a cycle of sources and when the cycle stops somewhere it affects the entire chain. Many producers have shut shop even before the pandemic, they have mortgaged their houses, not only lost money and work in order to pay people off but have lost their credibility because people refuse to understand. As a producer myself, I have experienced losses.”

She adds, “During shoots, very few people are looking after the producer’s money, and the producer lands up paying for the mistakes and carelessness of the crew. Unfortunately, nobody is willing to share the losses or take cuts. The minute you make profits people want you to share it with them.”

She concludes by saying, “Some producers don’t pay even when they can but at times they are not in the position to pay. There are many sides to a story, it’s necessary to understand and know the intent of the person. The situation we are in today, it calls for us to be more supportive, understanding, and kind towards each other. I hope we remember that.”