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Creators of videos timed to 1,000 anniversary of Brest reveal filming secrects

Soon Brest will mark the 1,000th anniversary. Specifically for this date, the CTV channel, together with the Brest Executive Committee, shot five mini-movies within the project Where Motherland Begins. These are five stories. This weekend they were screened at the Brest cinema Belarus, and from September 1, the CTV Channel will broadcast them on air.

Our guests today are participants of this project TV presenter, the author and the producer of image ads about Brest Egor Khrustalev, cameraman Sergei Novikov and the author of the song about Brest, Belarusian singer Sasha Nemo.

Egor, tell us please more about these videos. As far as we know, there are five of them.

Egor Khrustalev, TV presenter:
Five videos, five quite different stories. Everything is thanks to our collective efforts. There was a big "brainstorming", the entire CTV team was engaged. In general, here are the basic lines: it starts with the full feeling that you are in one time and then it turns out that this is modern Brest. "Homeland Begins Here" is the first video, because the train is entering Brest. For us and for many guests of Belarus, the Motherland begins from Brest. Therefore, all this is united by such a history. The main one is probably the conversation in the compartment with a little girl who is proud of her city.

And really, there is something to be proud of. We fell in love with Brest during this time. This is an amazing, very special city, which has become a real European city. It's great.

Surely there are many associations: you will hear the word "Brest", at once something comes to your mind. You had to filter a lot of ideas, didn't you?

Egor Khrustalev:
Yes, we dropped a lot of them. As a resident of Minsk, I first of all thought that we should talk about border guards. And after talking in Brest with our creative group, they just said: "No, we do not perceive the border guards as part of our city, it's not so interesting for us."

Tremendous work has been done. But what happened behind the scenes?

Sergei Novikov, operator:
Behind the scenes, a lot of interesting things happened. Vikings swim with torches. Our crew is small and others are actors. And I wasted two hours to put out a bucket of diesel fuel. It kept burning. When we lit torches, we dipped them into a bucket of diesel fuel. There was a lot of fire! It was funny.

What is your favorite shot as a cameraman?

Egor Khrustalev:
Sergei Albertovich is proud of Vikings, in my opinion.

Sergey Novikov:
Yes. It was an interesting task. This is connected with many things, including the budget of these videos. There was no budget for light, so we shot the sunrise and sunset absolutely without light. If you saw The Revenant by Iñárritu and Lubezki, you know what I'm talking about. These scenes were shot without any light.

So you can now be nominated for Oscar?

Sergey Novikov:
No, no, I don't need one.

Sasha, how often do you perform with concerts?

Sasha Nemo, singer:
I am very pleased that I participated in this project. The Brest mayor invited me personally to the concert. So I can already announce exactly that I will participate in these concerts.

That's interesting. You are two Minskers and one native of Slonim. But the videos are about Brest. Was it easy to focus on the city which in principle is not familiar to you?

Egor Khrustalev:
I think that the employees of the Brest TV and the Brest film industry, probably, were jealous: "Why did not Brest residents make it?" But the fact is that we had the advantage: we tried to see the whole story with fresh eyes and present it anew. Not only for Brest residents. And secondly, we invited exclusively Brest actors.

By the way, I know it. I know this because I participated in the voice acting of one of the Brest videos.

Egor Khrustalev:
Yes, the German voice is Yuri Tsarev.

Here are the Brest actors. So you asked local actors from the Brest theater to pitch in. And how did they show themselves?

Sergey Novikov:
The work of the actors should be evaluated by the director. There is no Anton Gonchar today with us. It was he who worked with actors. But Egor and I can also evaluate their performance and I must say they did well, they coped with the task very well.

Egor Khrustalev:
We hope that they, of course, will become very recognizable throughout Belarus. Because the social orientation of the videos implies that they will be shown frequently and not on commercial terms. And, in general, you will be able to demonstrate your wonderful German, Yuri.

Sasha Nemo:
I want to add one more important factor. In any work, quality depends on the atmosphere and the situation in which you work. The team that came to Brest... I now know both Sergei and Egor in our daily work. They stayed there for several days. Having plunged into the atmosphere of Brest, having plunged into this work in another city everyone became closer and everything was somehow more amicable. We lived in one hotel. That was also a positive aspect. And the actors felt it all.

Sergey Novikov:
We tried to create a feeling of a light wind, a breeze on the film set. But in the evenings at the hotel, we argued sometimes when we discussed nuances and details of some characters.

Creators of videos timed to 1,000 anniversary of Brest reveal filming secrects