As I was shooting a documentary film

As I was shooting a documentary film

OR HOW? I make documentary films?

— Today, documentaries — is something absolutely incredible, such a magical genre in which the most interesting intertwined realism with surrealism, the truth and fiction, real events with events staged. There are such dramatic, comic and just the incredible events that feature films can not dream. It is simply impossible to imagine. And this just something you need to tune in to the shoot, put the camera, hold your breath … and suddenly begin to happen in the frame is absolutely incredible and unusual events. In general, all the things of what constitutes a normal documentary. The magic of some, and only. But I’m still not a magician, I’m just learning, learning to VGIK, where and teach these kinovolshebnikov — on kinooperatorskom faculty. It is true by default, but you can shoot movies all year, and only 40 days to hand over the session, clutching his head and realizing that nothing is learned for overflying a breakneck pace year.

The documentary film is now remained the most persistent and dedicated to this genre of people. Ridiculous salary does not allow all those who would like to shoot a documentary. But on the other hand, it is good because all dropped out, who is not willing to work for the idea and enthusiasm to burn (without which, as we know, in the movie did not do). Still, it does not say, but the money has spoiled the real art. I still was not a great experience, but for the last year I made three short films, two of which are on the tape. And as expected, it is increasing the most interesting was the third — «Lёnin horse and Leon.»

It all started very suddenly. I met with the director Joseph Trahtengerts, we talked for about fifteen minutes, and I learned three things: the film will be shot at Syktyvkar, about horses, and in the style of François Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel), that is grotesque. Puzzled by this preliminary conversation, I went on an expedition in Tikhvin dosnimali singing in Italian grandmothers came back and found out that I was not only approved by the operator, but has already bought a ticket and five days to travel. I started to rush, ready to shoot. It has been two garlands of light bulbs collected device for shooting with a rope, (this is when the camera moves along the cable as the cable car) and come up with some more unusual frames. All this, without even having time to really try, it was shipped on the trunk and, without waiting sensitogrammy we left. The films were given a total of nine boxes, «Fuji» 3: 1, and still managed to get two small boxes of expired Kodak 5229. That’s what all that could be expected. I took two chambers: the good old KONVAS and KINOFLEKS (so fashionable now called Kinor new e-filling). Arriving in Wiesing, we found that we settled in the hostel of the local college with no hot water and a toilet on the ground floor, which is just go it was a great feat. Looking at all this mess, I began to get upset and worry, but our cheerful director, slightly poёzhivayas from the cold on a hard bed Triple room, where we lived, told a very funny story from the distant Soviet times, about the greedy and careless Director: «In one of our southern republics were shooting a documentary about the advanced agriculture, and part of the group arrived in advance, and the director, cameraman and an assistant — the next day. State Farm was close to the airfield and our director, successfully reaching and scout, waited for the others. The rest of the group, arriving in the evening and unload, waiting for further orders. And this here’s a negligent officer, having learned that the car will not be today, I decided to spend the night. Hotel was not there, but it was a brand new, newly built stadium, and since it was warm, he offered to sleep on the benches there. At night it got cold and to keep warm, the three of them ran around the stadium throughout the night and morning, tired, exhausted from running, with blackened from the cold faces they arrived just two kilometers from this stadium, where the night they ran twenty kilometers. » And there was a story about how a director with the operator spent the night in the stairwell, and then another …. And slowly I began to have fun, our new home is no longer seemed so terrible. It was very interesting to listen to the experience of the wise man who spent almost all his life documentaries. One can only wonder and envy, because he is already 68 years old, almost 70! I was lying on a hard bed and thought about the huge number of films made about our vast country, and that here they are real adventure, a real mission, and then I did not understand, did not appreciate. And still thinking about that man in general is very strange creature can get used to everything and, wearing rubber boots, went to the toilet.

The next day we got to Palauzov. It was a big village with an abandoned church on the domes of which were trees and crooked crosses, sadly looking at the sky, as it did not notice the complete devastation that befell the once rich and big village. Now, through the courtyard blackened ruins of abandoned houses and ramshackle, overgrown with grass fences glumly trudged along the new road just been renovated. The first day of shooting is always issued heavy and unclear images are obtained by some stupid, uninteresting, does not seem out of this movie, but if you get into a rhythm — and everything starts to come to life, and the most interesting thing happening in the last days. Therefore, the main task of the operator of the documentary film — to save a film on these same events. After all, the film is such a magical thing that, however little it may be you, it is always as much as you need to remove all that is needed. And vice versa — no matter how much you it was not — never enough. I tried my best to feel it is necessary and important, do not spend wasted film. Film is very disciplined, forces shoot only the best shots. Strong deficit shooting time is just not bad, because the number of never outgrow in quality — the first take is always the best, and in the video you can nasnimat ten times more, but the mood, energy shot, unfortunately, will be ten times smaller — the image can not be fooled. It is better to remove one take on the film than nasnimat lot of video stuff. This I know from the experience of the previous picture where we filmed more than thirty hours of video on a half-hour now, I almost died from such a mad amount of filming, because each frame trying experience, catch the mood to pass through itself, in general, to remove as much as possible of Art . I think that is absolutely right, those who believe that in the documentary film, video film can be replaced. Even in sync, the most complex and require more square footage, can be easily removed with good preparation and smooth running of the director, who is not smeared on the plate, and knows exactly what he wants from this interview. The tape can not work, only those who do not know that it is particularly necessary, who hopes to unlimited video time: «Well, let’s take off, just in case, suddenly you get?». But just because nothing happens by chance, and nothing happens. All you need to cook, but not in the literal sense of the word, as it were, to set up the world to be frank. This director would have to be a wizard.

Maybe someone categorically disagree with me, many people will object to me, but I will not argue — to each his own. Of course, if you need to remove the «paid» for the anniversary of a Ukhta University, then there is no video can not do, but if you set sights on a film with humor — you can not do without the film, although there were precedents — to take at least a film B. Kasakovskogo » Hush. » In general, any creature has the right to life, and a true master will remove a movie, even a cell phone, but the film — it’s fantastic fun! Before shooting I’m agonizing thought: how to remove so as to obtain the grotesque? Book Francois Rabelais, in the style which had to get there, I did not like, and the director was of her ecstatic. I was not impressed «thin» the humor of Rabelais about the fact that the real giants of the best wipe goslings, the fabric on the codpiece buy yardstick, aplennikov his spare and otherwise to bestow. Apparently in the fifteenth century, it was unbelievable and amazing, but now this huge volume of unusual sounds very boring. From the time I like philosopher Michel de Montaigne: «indomitable imagination — that elevates and decorates it.» Apparently this saying, and was devoted to Rabelais, who for some five centuries, is still outdated, but the saying is still true. Well, in general, like — not like, and you need to shoot.

The heroes of our pictures turned Lenya farmer, horse and pig sailor Paul. Lenya plowed land, the master of a windmill, telling funny stories and wanted to ensure that the entire Russian energy, selecting it from the wind. Gelding sailor dreamed only of the green, lush grass and only sad eyes betrayed his longing for coltish youth in the herd with their mares. Pig Paul nothing dreamed he prudently grip and cling to their piggy life, knew that the morning and evening will receive their portion of soup, and that sailor — a wonderful way to convert his mother, and followed him everywhere. It looked like this: Leon rides a sailor, and next, grunting, running piglet. And so everywhere: in the village, the shop on the field.

I began to invent and remember different interesting techniques of shooting, and as a result, almost all of them I have borrowed from Sergei Pavlovich Urusevskogo, in particular to take over the water. We quickly built a trough with a transparent bottom of which had to drink a horse. Once, waited for a clear sky, the scene seemed to me difficult, was made a surprisingly fast and easy. There was also the problem — remove the red horse — it was more difficult, I began to experiment with light. Put two red zafiltrovannyh device for backlit and filmed in deep mode, and then — in the smoke, but the smoke was smelled and pavilions are not so disgusting as full-scale, our horse did not want to stand still and always strove to escape. Scene with plowing I have decided to withdraw from a rope stretched along the field. The cable was long enough — 30 meters and a height konvas human growth down to the earth itself (because of the slack rope) and then slowly climbed back. Videoscopic konvase was not, I had to shoot blindly, as the saying goes: «autopsy will tell.» After developing «autopsy» revealed that the song I did not get, but it turned wild, weird shots that just worked to enhance the drama of the episode. Another shooting blindly have formed spontaneously. I planned to remove the pig running and walking meditations in the yard among all iron trash, carefully assembled by our hero — needed a Steadicam, so even with the low point. And then I came across a thick steel strip bent by the letter «L». Without hesitation, in a fit of uncontrollable enthusiasm, we (with assistant Sasha Tananovym) fastened to konvas slightly buckled, sawed and ready. True it was impossible to transfer the focus, but it is almost never required. Runs for half a pig with this device, began to fall off his hands — to get a decent weight, but the pig was used to support such an honorable and not frightened, and even began to overly interested in the camera. Steel band smoothed shaking from the cross-country run. Several runs have not bad.

All of these extreme ugliness I shot konvasom — convenient for such cases the camera is not found, and if it get video monitoring — all priceless ekstrimkamera. I shot at this converted KONVASE his first painting, still there were KONTRGREYFER and control units (single-frame shooting mode and a programmable TSEYTRAFERA), as KINOFLEKSE. I really liked, and he rumbles quieter than usual KONVAS.)

And finally, it’s time to shoot synchronous. Here it should be noted the excellent work of the director. I confess, I did not see it, I mean work with the hero. Our hero Leon — charming man, which are combined in a strange way of life, rural wisdom and desire for philosophy (it is no exaggeration — the philosopher). On what subject or speak with him, all result in a philosophical discussion, several direct and naive, but with a deep sense, with worldly wisdom. Here, in the course I went KINOFLEKS — quite quiet, box camera. The new control unit is pleased with the ability to shoot frame by frame, and with a frequency of 1 to 48 frames per second. Nice to have clouds, shot at two frames per second shooting and rapidnaya running piglet. Never let down, except for the first day of filming, when my assistant for the first time charged this camera in «combat» conditions, shaking hands with excitement. The director of the team «sound chamber», and I include myself … «salad» — dragged both loops. Sasha ran to recharge the camera, but the film is a stubborn and fiercely resisted twice lunging at the perforation. Finally, it was fueled as it is necessary — a cherished start button, and she rustled so quiet and so nice, would listen and listen, but the cassette 150 meters flies fast, and 300 meter camera pulls that in some cases, help save precious meters. The creative impulse, carried away the excess can be removed and recharged allows ponder the next frame and analyze already captured. As a hand-held camera, it is not bad and has an optimum balance of weight, is well on his shoulder. Removable handle with the Start button and the strap is also very convenient. Optics is certainly not Carl Zeiss, but quite high aperture. The only thing this camera is sensitive, it is bad wound film, so the 300 meter high rollers better than unwinding in a studio. So I seem distracted, well, so, our hero, apparently unaware he told us that so long from it pulled our director. I will not say that, but it is not interesting to watch.

In general, the movie turned out, but I always remember one more cinematic rule — if you took the plan out of focus, the director is required to insert it into the picture. Even if there is a second double. I do not understand how I managed to pull off the most beautiful plan is not in focus. Terribly embarrassing, but nothing can be done, to be honest, with the focus still have small gaps, but with a strong desire can be taken as highly receptions).

You can certainly remember a lot of interesting, but the main thing I was told, and generally have only to thank, first of all, the State Film Committee and the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio for the opportunity to make a film, and the second — all those who participated in making the film, and just He helped us.

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