The director of the series “Crystal” talks about exhausting filming. What’s behind the scenes?
Last year, the series “Crystal”, broadcast on KION, caused a sensation. A heartbreaking drama with detective elements captured attention with its realism. And the fact that the project is now successfully running on Channel One only proves its quality.
Now director Dushan Gligorov has released a new series called “Techie”. It premiered at KION on February 16. StarHit decided to speak with the director about the difficulty of implementing these two series.
Dushan, what attracted you to the storyline of the TV series “Techie”?
It seems to me that the choice of scripts for the directors is always done intuitively, that’s how it is for me. You read and are interested, some photos and images immediately pop into your head. I want to think about the story I read, certain scenes and lines of dialogue etched in my memory. Or, on the contrary, all this is not done. If you try to analyze, a lot of things were drawn to the “Techie” storyline. These are the heroes, and the acuteness of the situation in which they find themselves, and even their age – I like shooting people of the generation close to me, I understand them better. I would also emphasize the universality of the story: it’s very easy to get involved in it, to put yourself in the place of the protagonist. You can ask the question, “What would I do if my family was kidnapped and forced into a criminal operation?” “. I liked the intertwining of the past and the present of the characters, it makes the characters voluminous. In a nutshell, I read the script and the thought immediately came to mind: “I want to shoot this!”.
“Techie” is a detective, like last year’s hit “Crystal.” Why are you interested in this particular genre?
“Techie” is more of a thriller than a mystery novel. The main character is not an organ worker. I’m more interested in the drama genre. “Techie” and “Crystal” for me personally are mostly drama, and the detective and thriller is a setting for revealing the main characters. In both cases, the writers skillfully took advantage of the advantages of both genres, combining them perfectly.
Shooting such a tense thriller was surely difficult… Tell us a bit about it.
Our shoot lasted about three months. Working on every project is difficult in its own way, because time and possibilities are always limited. The director has a big responsibility, and extreme situations always happen. I would say that filming, in principle, is a big major force, from which you have to kind of swim out, film all the material well, meet deadlines and budget. At the same time, don’t forget to maintain a relationship with everyone, which is sometimes difficult – in extreme situations, we all start to behave differently. Filming “Techie” was not very difficult. However, several scenes proved difficult, especially those where the child, the son of the main characters, participated. We had a wonderful young artist, he was eight or nine months old then and, as you understand, the kid doesn’t care if the film crew wants to rehearse another take. The need to smile or cry at the right time is our problem, not his. However, he is still a big boy, and his parents were very patient, because in the end we still made it.
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Now “Khrustalny” is airing on Channel One, and before that it was a big hit in KION online cinema. Did the success of the project surprise you or did you still expect the story to hook the viewer?
Already at the level of the script, the story left no one indifferent. I have to admit that the reaction from the viewer has been bigger and bigger than I expected. It seemed like the story was too heavy and not everyone would be ready to dive into it. But it’s clear that today’s viewer craves heartfelt and honest stories about topics that weren’t usually talked about on screens before. To our surprise and delight, “Crystal” really hooked the viewer – the series became almost popular.
Both in “Technar” and in “Crystal” the main female role was played by Ekaterina Olkina. It wasn’t really a coincidence…
During the casting of each project, I always start by thinking about the actors with whom I have worked before who could play in a new project. But the stories are different, so it is very rare to find roles for the same artists. Katya Olkina is a wonderful and versatile actress. I’m glad it was her who played the heroines in both Technar and Khrustalny. Moreover, it was at Technar that we met her. Also in this series, Fedor Lavrov, with whom we worked together on the Maya project, and Konstantin Topologia, who played the governor of Khrustalny, starred. I like when actors play roles that don’t look like they’ve played before. They themselves are much more interesting, it is always visible on the screen. I hope that Vladimir Zherebtsov and Viktor Dobronravov can surprise the viewer with their images in Technar. They are subtle and professional artists.
Now we can safely say that all is well with you in the playoff slot. Do you plan to conquer feature films?
There are plans and dreams, but so far there is no proper story. I hope she finds me soon or I find her.
What genres would you like to work with in addition to thriller and crime? Maybe surprise fans with a romantic comedy or melodrama?
Yes, I would really like a real high-quality melodrama. But it’s very difficult to write it, that’s probably why I haven’t met it yet. I would like science fiction… I’m afraid of comedies, I feel rather insecure in this genre.
Which of your fellow directors is your creative guide? What work do you admire?
It seems to me that a whole galaxy of strong directors is working today in Russia, whose work I kindly envy. Andrei Zvyagintsev, Valery Todorovsky, Yuri Bykov, Boris Khlebnikov, Sasha Kott, Kirill Serebrennikov, Nikolai Lebedev, Zhora Kryzhovnikov, Andrei Konchalovsky, my master VGIK Andrei Eshpay… The list goes on. The more I work, the more I realize how difficult it is to make a really good film. A lot of things have to come together. We directors always work with the same dedication, convinced that this particular project will become special and strong. But real miracles don’t always happen. With this realization, my admiration for the work of colleagues at each of their new jobs only increases.
Photo: press service, part of the “Crystal” series