Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Kandinsky and the Russian House

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Russian Film Archive at Krasnogorsk - Filming in Russia

One of the most sought after resources when filming in Russia is archive footage. Michael Craig and Copernicus Films can guide you through the process of choosing archive material for your films or even choose and acquire the material on your behalf; dealing with the Russian archive authorities, negotiating payments and handling any documentation pertaining to copyright. At the archive You get to select the material yourself on a Moviola. The first time I tried it was a bit difficult having only used one before in St Petersburg but I soon got the hang of it again.

Russia has some of the most outstanding collections of film archive. The documentary film collection is housed at Krasnogorsk which is a small town just outside Moscow. I remember my first trip to Krasnogorsk where I was able to acquire archive footage for many of my films including Rodchenko and the Russian Avant-garde and Meyerhold Theatre and the Russian Theatre.


Eisenstein
The system is straight forward and everything is delivered on a format of your choosing. Once you get the material up on the moviola and run it through its one of the most extraordinary feelings to see this material from maybe 80 years ago coming alive in front of your eyes. Films by Ziggy Vertov, "Man with Film Camera", Eisenstein, "Battleship Potemkin"  and Esfir Shub who directed "The Fall of The Romanovs" in 1927. She was a pioneer in the genre of compilation film, in the use of historical footage, and in recreating historical scenes in order to shoot new footage. 

Many of my film making friends in Russia who hail from the soviet time are forever extolling the virtues of film, they talk about the smell, the feel and the sheer tactile sensation of handling celluloid. Even though I have grown up using tape and and now digital, when you first open those cans and get to handle original material its a magnificent feeling and a powerful sensation of participating in a rich history.

For more information about the film production services that Copernicus Films can offer in Russia click here


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Filming in Russia

With regard to filming in Russia, Michael Craig first worked on a sprawling BBC drama in St Petersburg twenty years ago. We filmed everywhere from morgues, to hospitals to the main police headquarters and even the prison, as well as locations all over the city. With a crew and actors of 140 or so the main problem was finding enough food to feed them each day over a three month shooting schedule when food was not easily available in those days. No one could say it was easy but then this was the early 90s. The last day of shooting coincided with the storming of the White House in Moscow, so conditions were not ideal.  However despite all the problems the film got made and was within budget. Things have changed a lot since then.

When Michael Craig first moved to Moscow and was invited to visit Mosfilm, the studio was in quite a dilapidated state and morale was very low. A year or so ago he was invited to the Mosfilm studio as part of a delegation of diplomats to view the studios with the aim of showcasing Mosfilm and its facilities. Karen Shakhnazarov, the Russian director had been charged with the revamping and modernisation of the studios a few years previous. The transformation was astounding. The grounds had been neatly laid out, new buildings had appeared and old ones had been completely  renovated and updated. The sound studios (the biggest in Europe) had been updated to the highest standards and a whole 19th century Russian town had been built as a set in the grounds of the Mosfilm complex. It displays a commitment to and understanding of what a foreign film company would require to make a film here in Russia. 

As a director, Shakhnazarov set himself the task of outfitting Mosfilm with equipment and standards which he himself would want for any film he would make. With this in mind he went about the task of changing Mosfilm into a world class film making facility. The transformation of Mosfim is indicative of the new conditions which make it a great place to make films


Since that time Michael Craig has been involved in several large scale productions in Moscow as well working with numerous smaller companies and organisations in Moscow. Michael Craig founded Copernicus Films which has made eight documentary films independently in Moscow, an opera and interviews and journalistic projects.  With the right guidance and support anybody can have a positive experience making films in Russia in a stable environment. Michael Craig and Copernicus Films's twenty years working here in Russia, making contacts and establishing a sound business base has given him the insights and experience to offer such a service and benefit those companies or individuals wanting to come here and shoot a film project. No project is too large or too small for us and advice can be tailored to individual projects as required.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Alexander Rodchenko: Revolution in Photography

Alexander Rodchenko: Revolution in Photography

5 Oct. 2013 – 12 Jan. 2014

Kjarvalsstaðir

In October a retrospective of the photographs of Alexander Rodchenko, one of the leading  Russian artists of the first half of the 20th century, will open at the Reykjavík Art Museum’s Kjarvalsstaðir site.

Born in St. Petersburg in 1891, Rodchenko worked in Moscow as an artist and designer from 1915. He used many different media in his art: he started out as a painter and sculptor, then moved into photography in 1925.  He was a pioneer in photography and graphic design, designing for instance book covers, posters and advertisements in collaboration with Varvara Stepanova, his wife and closest colleague. The posters are among Rodchenko's best-known works, and remain inspiring nearly a century on.More information about the film Alexander Rodchenko and the Russian Theatre can be found here

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Vakhtangov and the Russian Theatre

Vakhtangov and the Russian Theatre -  Post Production Diary update 31 – FILM LAUNCHING SOON


Just some final details to clear up but we are looking at a launch for the film Vakhtangov and the Russian Theatre  in late October 2013. Slightly later than I expected but there have been many unforeseen obstacles to getting the finished film completed. One of the main obstacles was making sure that it was as good as I could get it with the resources available.

The process now involves gradually narrowing down any last minute problems or technical glitches as well as finalising the distribution strategy which I have been preparing for several months. This plan is nearly complete and will form part of the launch including press releases and an e-mail campaign to interested companies and individuals.
+Michael Craig and Copernicus Films All previous update can be found on vakhtangov.copernicusfilms.com +Rose Bruford College +Theatre Futures Copernicus Films