Why cinematographers say places in Murmansk region are filmmakers’ paradise – society & culture

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MOSCOW, September 14. / TASS /. Over the past hundred years, filmmakers have chosen locations in the Murmansk region for 120 films. Central Russian filmmakers tend to choose locations near the Arctic Circle. What attracts them? The harsh views of the Far North and the unique nature of the Kola Peninsula, or the logistics, technical opportunities or inspiration. We spoke with those who are developing the film industry in the region and who come to shoot films there.

Deep reality

“Last year in the Murmansk region were carried out five projects in different genres, but none of them was presented to the public. This year we have finalized the sixth project – to continue the Black Sea series – The Barents Sea. Production started at the beginning of August, ”Svetlana Soldatova, head of the regional center for the development of cinematography, told TASS.

At the moment, in Teriberka, continues the production of four projects: Fog, a psychopathic thriller, the shorts My North and On Bones, and a drama called Three Minutes of Silence.

Svetlana is adamant: for filmmakers, the polar region is where they can find whatever they need.

“Houses, without exterior insulation, which make scenes from historical films, small villages like Mishukovo, Ura-Guba, where time seems to have stood still, various terraces, hills, lakes, unique technical equipment, and, surely, the accessible Arctic, which is only two hours by plane from Moscow, “said Svetlana.

Galina Lifanova, general manager of the Gamma company in Moscow, has worked in cinema for 18 years. The Murmansk region overwhelmed it, she said.

“We are filled with inspiration from the days we spent on the Kola Peninsula. First of all, from nature: remarkable lakes, endless tundra. Everything looks absolutely unique,” ​​she said, unable to hide his emotions.

With a delegation of Russian producers, she came to the Far North to choose places. All the producers emphasized the convenient logistics and good roads in the Murmansk region.

“Here are two airports – in Murmansk and in Apatity, a railway, any equipment can be brought by car. Here are hotels, affordable food in cafes,” said participants in the group, which included Well-known screenwriters Vera Sher (Mysteries of Investigation), Igor Ter-Karapetov (Sky on Fire, Fortuneteller), author and director Alexander Kazakevich (Neofit Studios, Moscow), who works for the Culture television channel, well-known Galina Lifanova – Director general manager of Gamma Production Studios (Moscow), as well as Svetlana Stasenko – director at Passazhir studios – she chose a location in Kandalaksha for a new film.

“This is not my first trip to the Murmansk region, here I made two documentary films, one of which will be shown this fall. This region surprised me so much that I wrote a screenplay for one. ordinary film, so than to make the film here, because I must say that these places are best suited to tell about the Russian character, the Russian personality. The region expresses our nature so clearly, that I believe we do not need to seek deep, expressive sets, ”Stasenko said.

Svetlana Soldatova agrees. “Our nature – harsh, Nordic – helps reveal the character. It’s a different story when a person goes through hardships in a very comfortable environment, on a beach in Sochi, and in our case the stories are a bit like in the “Survived” or in “How I Ended This Summer”. We show the tundra, when everything seems to oppose, and so it brings out strength. The current demand is for heroes who overcome everyday and natural conditions. ” , she said.

More than a strong character

The Murmansk region is a wonderful setting for making films not only on serious difficulties. Nature is so rich there, and it takes a few hours by car to get from the old village on the Barents Sea – Teriberka, where Leviafan was made, to Kirovsk, which in Mystery of Dyatlov Ridge was filmed to show the towns Siberian Vizhai and Ivdel.

“Here in a complex you can find anything – the Kola Peninsula is like a macro lodge, where any movie can be shot. Here the mysterious series Dead Lake, the horror movie was produced. Kola Superdeep was also made here, as well as documentaries, dramas, cover Leviafan by Zviaguintsev, many films about war (WWII), such as, for example, Kukushka (Cuckoo) by Rogozhkin, “said Svetlana Soldatova , whose center in Murmansk assists producers who come to shoot films in the Region.

Murmansk Film Development Center

Just a few years ago, such a center did not exist in the Murmansk region. However, the demand from guest filmmakers for local experts only increased, and it was evident that such a center had to exist.

“Here should have been people who could help the visiting producers and direct them. We have connections, we grew up here and, surely, we know a lot about what people coming from Moscow or St. Petersburg don’t even have a clue, ”Soldatova said.

Producer Svetlana Stasenko recalled the stakes of one of her documentaries, produced near the Arctic Circle.

“Without the production center, the film was not possible. I came here with the wrong papers, and Svetlana Soldatova was there next to me, adjusting everything, rewriting the applications, and in the long run the film was made. , and I’m not ashamed of what I’ve produced, ”Stasenko said.

“The people who work in the center of Murmansk speak the language we speak,” continues Galina Lifanova. “They’re production-conscious people, knowing that. It’s easy to work with them, we’ve even consulted them at the script stage for the films we plan to produce on the Kola Peninsula next year. Imagine surfing the net, or when you just make a call, ask a question, and they help you, liaise with people, that’s great. “

Technical opportunities

It is not a problem to find people in the Murmansk region, who can be of assistance for the filming. Producers in the capital cities say it’s okay to recruit a second team there.

“They can be light technicians, assistant directors, cameramen; in the Murmansk region, there are a few theaters, from which it is possible to borrow background actors, or extras. Our company, Gamma, has made a few films here, and we have used local actors very actively. It is quite possible to bring in the minimum team from Moscow or St. Petersburg and get the rest here, ”said Galina Lifanova.

Svetlana Soldatova agrees with Galina. “For the locals it is very interesting. No wonder – working face to face with celebrities. Recently when we were filming the Barents Sea, a radio presenter from Murmansk became a swing for Ekaterina Vilkova – it was a unique experience.”

Polar day and magic hour shooting

The inhabitants can receive a unique experience of acting. No less experience receives producers who come from other regions: it is only here that they can experience Polar Day. In summer, the Sun stays above the horizon and therefore it never gets dark.

Galina Lifanova laughs as she says that because of this phenomenon the producers (it’s a joke!) Are happy to keep the actors awake and have them work around the clock.

More seriously, the polar day has great advantages – the shooting outdoors, which is normally very limited in time, can here last indefinitely. Filmmakers adore this time, calling it magical time.

“I can’t stop thinking about the lighting designers. They would have marveled. This time the magic hour, our favorite moment – the twilight, the half-evenings, the fantastic state, and when Zvyaguintsev came to do Leviafan here, it was about to shoot during that magic hour, “said director Svetlana Stasenko, and Galina Lifanova added:” When in the south this condition lasts barely 20 minutes, during which we have to manage to get everything ready and filming , and here this condition remains probably six hours. It is unique. The magic hour is endless here. “

“It is impossible to put light of this kind in a pavilion, it is our natural lighting, very Scandinavian, sober, low and almost horizontal hues, which emerge as the Sun lights up the night,” said Svetlana. Soldatova, end the conversation: the Murmansk region loves cinematography, and cinematography loves the Murmansk region.

Instead of the epilogue

The most popular films shot in the Murmansk region are: Leviafan by Andrei Zvyagintsev, Cuccoo by Alexander Rogozhkin, Dyatlov Pass Incident by Finnish Renny Harlin, the Dead Lake series with Evgeny Tsyganov, Deep Bay with Ivan Oganesyan, and many more. ‘others. A new line on this list is compartment number 6 of Juho Kuosmanen (Finland), who won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival in 2021.


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