In September we were asked by an American production company who specialise in creating and promoting youtube content, to take a trip with EeOneGuy to the German capital to visit the Lenovo Launch.
EeOneGuy is a youtube vlogger with over 4 million followers who was selected by Lenovo to attend the launch show and take a look at their new products, and then create one of his unique youtube videos.
While we were there we also attended IFA, the global trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances. IFA see’s 240,000 visitors over its 6 days at the Berlin Expo Centre with 1,600 exhibitors all there to show off their new products and innovations.
We spent time with a group of bloggers and journalists while we were in Berlin and Lenovo invited us on a street art tour of Berlin. Here EeOneGuy got the chance to try his hand at graffiti for the first time. Berlin seems to be the European capital of street art with not only what remains of the Berlin wall covered in murals but also much of the city covered in graffiti.
It was very interesting to spend time at IFA and check out the new tech that is a huge part of our industry. We came away with a lot of new ideas and a long wish list.
This was an interesting experience of working purely on content for youtube so having to use a different production style. Click Here to see the video he made of his experience in Berlin.
This is the kind of project we love. A phone call on a Monday, Tuesday to put a plan together and hire equipment, crew arrive in Moscow on Wednesday ready to start shooting on Thursday.
The team of three from the UK followed Pixelord, a Russian electro musician around for 3 days. Interviewed him in his studio, saw some of his favourite haunts and filmed him performing.
For the performance segments he was filmed at a music shop “All for DJ”, as well as the Muzeon park of Arts (also known as Fallen Monument Park) and a gig aboard The Brusov Ship moored at Krymskaya embankment on the Moskva River.
It was interesting to hear how the city inspires him as a musician, the juxtaposition of old and new architecture of Moscow with giant traditional buildings from the Soviet era now positioned next to uber modern skyscrapers.
He took the team to Art-Play, a former tea factory now a hub of creative activity and home to the British Design School. He was also filmed in the Soviet Arcade Machine Museum, a place he says gives him a lot of inspiration for his creative output.
This was a commercial shoot for Novation, the maker of the LaunchPad used by Pixelord to make his music.
Click Here to see the film.
In the beginning of July we had the pleasure of working with a Brazilian production company filming a special TV show called “City of Dance” for RBS to broadcast across Santa Catarina.
For 33 years Joinville in Brazil has held a Dance festival and is included in the Guinness World Records for the largest student dance festival with around 6 thousand participants.
This program focusses on the special relationship the Bolshoi Theatre has with Joinville. Here there is the only Bolshoi Theatre School outside of Russia and they are celebrating their 15 year anniversary of starting the School there after a tour of Brazil in the early 90s.
“Even if my participation in launching the Joinville School of Bolshoi would be my only achievement as a dancer, an artist and a poet – I would be able to say that my life is not in vain”
We took care of the pre-production and setting up permits for filming on the streets of Moscow as well as providing an assistant producer to accompany the crew while filming in the Bolshoi Theatre and around the city.
Rafael Custodio, the presenter interviewed two famous ballet dancers Aleksandr Vetrov and Vladimir “God of Dance” Vasiliev as well as other key members of the Bolshoi team.
City of Dance will be broadcast on the 25th Aug on RBS.
We can now reveal more details about the Russian episode of Laish La. We didn’t quite put a man on the moon but we did put one into space. The 4 hosts came wanting to explore the possibility of getting closer to the stars and Russia having a great heritage of space travel, it was the perfect place to do this.
Moayed got the chance to fly in a MIG-29 twenty two km above sea level where he witnessed the curvature of the earth.
The very first man in space Yuri Gagarin said when he returned that earth was a wonderful place and we all must unite to take care of it. We believe that this is the essence of Laish La that if we all unite anything is possible.
In each episode of Laish La the 4 hosts stop people in the street to ask “What do you want to do before you die?” They then decide to help one of these people fulfil their dream. For the Russian episode the team decide that the person they would surprise would be none other than our very own Alyona Pimanova. When she was young she used to ice skate to a high level and dreamed of making it her career. As she got older, for different reasons she had to put skating aside to focus on other areas in her life, so her dream was to ice skate again as she had when she was young.
As she was part of the production team this meant a lot of white lies and misinformation to keep her from finding out what we were planning. This was made easier when she accompanied most of the team to Nizhny Novgorod for the MIG flight.
Back in Moscow the rest of the team were hard at work setting up the surprise. We visited nearly every ice rink in Moscow and we found one that would allow us to have it empty and all to ourselves on the Saturday evening.
We also spoke to a large number of agents of professional ice skaters to find an Olympic champion to give her a figure skating master class. Through a contact at the Moscow Sports University we managed to get a brilliant up and coming young skater who was happy to come and be part of the show.
We also tracked down Alyona’s ice skating teacher Tatiana Vitalievna she had not seen since she was very young.
The last part of the puzzle was to get her to the right place at the right time. We told her that the 4 hosts wanted her to show them how to skate and invited her to the rink. At this point she still had no idea what was about to happen and was thinking she would just help them to get skates and it would be the sign off.
She arrived helped them all hire ice skates and took them out on to the rink, then they told her that it was actually not about them, but was all for her. They emptied the rink and introduced the star who gave her some skating tips, then presenting her with a new ice skating outfit, let her have the whole rink to herself to remember how she used to skate which was her dream.
Last surprise was presenting her with flowers and the finally of reuniting her with Tatiana. They danced the same routine as they used to nearly 15 years ago.
We are pleased to say that she has since continued to skate and this show has relighted the love she once had for ice skating. Dreams do come true it seems with a lot of work and the single minded ambition to make someone else life better is a great motivator.
This production will be one of the most interesting and fun shows we have worked on and we will remember that week for a long time to come. We are also pleased to have gained some wonderful friends among the team.
This spring we had the pleasure of working with Victoria Melody, a visual and performance artist from the UK, filming a documentary about the production of hair extensions.
When she was taking part in a beauty contest in Brighton for her project ‘Major Tom’ which premiered in 2013 she had hair extensions which made her ask questions about where the hair had come from. These questions sparked the beginning of her next theatre project that took her to India and Russia in an attempt to trace the hair used in her extensions back to the person who grew it.
We spent months researching the questions: where do Russian women sell their hair, how do hair dealers find these women, how much do they buy hair for?
We found that the majority of hair dealers are not open to speaking about their business, and even the salons who buy real hair refused to talk about this as soon as they understood we were going to make a film about this subject.
We visited a unique hair factory in Mosalsk, that produces around 1,5 tons of hair every month. Their dealer collects hair from all over Russia and brings it to the factory for processing. But again he decided to stay away from filming and didn’t want to reveal his identity. So much mystery in this hair business…
We did find one hair dealer from Volgograd who turned out to be interested in our film and agreed to show us this world of the Russian hair business. We were really surprised to discover hair harvesting events still take place. In Volgograd , for example, they take place every Friday in a shopping centre where people come and bring hair that they want to sell. One old lady brought her hair that she had been keeping for years and after having seen the advert on the bus stop “WE BUY HAIR” decided to sell it and buy a gift for her grandson, another young lady got bored of her long hair and wanted to get it cut right there for a small amount of money.
After Volgograd we travelled to a very small town of Borisoglebsk where we met a young lady who wanted to sell her waist length hair because she wanted a change. Although she was a little concerned about the outcome having had grown her hair for the past 9 years, in the end she was really pleased with her new haircut as well as with the amount of money she was paid by the hair dealer. It was lovely to share with her the excitement of this big change and follow her to the hairdresser for this film.
We ventured 120km from Moscow to Obninsk to investigate what state the Russian collective farms are in now for French-German TV. With stories that a lot of the land is being rented by Chinese farmers who are putting up hundreds of green houses and polytunnel’s to mass produce vegetables for the Russian market.
We had read an article which said that the Chinese farmers are using huge amounts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to bring on the crop faster and bigger than anything grown naturally. There are stories of them moving to different land each year leaving behind fields poisoned and unable to be farmed anymore, land that even weeds don’t grow on.
We found one of these Chinese run farms and they were very welcoming and showed us around. This group had worked the same plot of land for 5 years so maybe not all the stories we had read were true. We got some great film of their green houses and how they tend to the tomato plants.
Also for this story we looked at the local Russian population, most of them would have been farmers here 10 – 20 years ago, but now the young don’t seem to have the opportunity to work the land, either because there is not enough work or they don’t like the idea of this type of back breaking labour.
In the 3 days of filming we met one young Russian couple who have a small holding and are happy to still be working the land with their collection of young cows, goats and pigs. But this couple seem to be an exception and not typical in this region.
Throughout January we have been scouting different locations for a number of clients needs. One request has been to find a café setting for 4 presenters to meet and discuss their plans and this location needs to feature throughout the episode.
It has been quite the year which started in the icy north of Siberia and into the artic circle. Filming took us to a lot of new places in Russia as well as some familiar areas that we know and love. We met, interviewed and filmed a lot of very interesting people in 2014, some of who have since become good friends. We also worked with a lot of great people and continued to learn more from them all.
Our philosophy has always been that however long we have worked in the business, we always continue to develop and learn new techniques.
Through filming we have also investigated different stories in Russia which include the urban architecture of Moscow, the Red Army retreating from East Germany, Russian Road Rage and dash cams, Stalin’s rail roads and nomadic reindeer headers.
We would like to thank the following companies for their co-operation in 2014: Pilot Productions, The Service Desk Institute, Mentorn Media, Deutsche Welle TV, Hoferichter & Jacobs Film, PI&C, The British Council, Victoria Melody, Sugar Rush Productions and Cineflix.
So we are looking forward to many more adventures in Russia in 2015 with more teams from around the world coming to explore and document the ever changing and fascinating country that Russia is today.
We had two amazing days filming for Deutsche Welle TV‘s cultural magazine show with reporter Werner Herzog about the changing architecture of Moscow. We met with Sergey Kuznetsov, Chief architect of Moscow to talk about his new projects. One of which is Zaryadie park that is going to be built in heart of Moscow.
“It’s a place for the people. It’s not a place only for the tourists, it’s a place for Muscovites. Moscow really needs good parks and this is the last remaining, very important big plot. Not only in Moscow, but I would say in one of ten most important megapolis in the world, in a historic place. It’s a good sign for Russia” – Peter Kudryavtsev
We also filmed an interview with the director of Schusev State museum of architecture and The opening of the exhibition “Urban development: Position and Opposition”, which represents the works of graduating Russian architecture students and their vision of how to create a modern city and its space.
Last week we interviewed a Russian lawyer for QLTS School who provide international lawyers with training and consultation to qualify as English solicitors. This interview will form part of a number of testimonials from lawyers in different countries to promote their services.