How’d you guys make this movie?
During the Polar Vortex of 2013 we boarded a midnight train out of Moscow and booked overnight travel bound for the Ural Mountains. Travel time was nearly 26 hours and with little or no food service — “No beverage cart!” — we were lucky to have packed various and sundry foodstuffs that we had quickly tossed together from a weathered, nondescript, red kiosk manned by a former KGB officer.
His only menu suggestion was the pickled herring, which, in retrospect was a good call. Many of our passengers seemed to have an acquired appetite for the tasty fish and were eager to trade many of their own cheeses, bread, and salty snack items for the sought-after herring. We were in the driver’s seat with our trades, and after filling our stomachs with roast beef sandwiches, robust barley soup, and freshly baked warm buttered bread, we fell asleep to the rocking motion of the train. We could hear many of the passengers still commenting on how lucky they were to have run into our pickled herring reserves.
After using our hand-crank, short wave radio and checking day old weather reports, we were fortunate again to have plenty of snow to work with. The promised white stuff accumulated quickly, nearly threatening the shoot. Naomi, our veteran wardrobe and makeup girl, (she also handled script continuity) was happy to have packed more of her winter wear and surprised all of us with her rapid change artistry and modeled the latest, overpriced Bogner ski wear. Naomi knows how to travel. Truth be told, she was also ok with the herring, too. We were happy to have her along.
Manning the Black 1957 16MM Bolex, and waiting for the light to work its magic as it moved into the late afternoon, our reindeer wrangler, Maxim, slipped the noose of the mangy neck of our “hero” – his personally-trained Rangifer tarandus. Cinematographer Boris Gorikav knew he had movie gold when the well-trained polar caribou stopped in mid-run, and stood stalk still, then winked at Boris, who nearly dropped the Bolly. It was a rare Urals film moment that only a few would ever witness.
We toasted our good fortune, it started snowing again, and Boris the ever-ready shooter, opened up the Bolex’s f-stop and let the camera run, using only his steady eye to “feel the shot” Boris turned to us and mouthed the word “Happy holidays,” as he slipped the camera off its tripod and then turned it skyward to catch the gently falling flakes. Later he explained he was sure to use the same camera shot on a upcoming Shaun White snowboard documentary slated for a Patagonia shoot later in the year. Post work and sound design was handled onboard the return train back to Moscow the only “hiccup” was the lack of bandwidth aboard the aged locomotive. It was indeed a happy holiday, and one that the Resin crew, Naomi, and Boris will likely not soon forget.
Resin is the bay area advertising agency that specializes in marketing and branding to seniors. During this festive holiday season we wanted to take time out for an unabashed and shameless plug: we’ve repositioned, rebranded and relaunched senior living communities in California, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, and plan on opening the 2015 with new campaigns in Kansas. When you want to talk to seniors, talk to us.