Filmmakers Interview

Kirill Khaletsky

Hello Kirill and thank you for granting us this interview

[MS] The style of “Road” reminds us of the French New wave, a film movement from the 1950s and 60s and is considered to be very influential in cinema history, was it your source of inspiration? If not, what was it? 

[Kirill]   Without any doubts, the film feels like French New Wave, but the main inspiration behind “Road” was the filmmaker Robert Bersson, who mostly worked alone and helped new upcoming talents from time to time. His works, philosophy and specific style  is really fascinating to me and is what  eventually helped me to  build my own story.  I feel like all these things like asceticism, the simplicity of acting,  spontaneity are what directors rarely use these days. I wanted to remind the viewers that occasionally what seems new today has simply been forgotten

[MS]  “Road is about “the relationship between people”, Why did you want to tell this specific story?

[Kirill]   There’s nothing more important in the world as the relationships between people. Love, betrayal, wisdom, understanding each other – it’s all about the people. The story of my film is simple at first glance, but I suggest the viewers to open up their hearts and try to feel this film more through their soul, rather than blankly stare with their eyes.

[MS]  What did you enjoy most while directing “Road”?

[Kirill]   The unity and solidarity of my crew. We wanted to make a real movie. Everybody was so excited to bring this story to life, even though at the timeI was the only one who understood the whole idea and the concept behind “Road”. When we presented the finished product to the whole crew, some of them “felt”/”lived” through it again, now fully understanding.

[MS]  What was the hardest scene to film?

[Kirill]   When movies were shot exclusively  on film, shooting kids or animals  was one of the most unpredictable scenes of the whole process, because it took so many takes to get the right shot. The same situation occured when working on our film. Arseniy (the boy) rehearsed a lot, added little bits by himself and improvised here and there. Even though he’s not in the shot for a long time, his cameo is a crucial moment. It took us a lot of effort and patience before we got exactly what I wanted to see from Arseniy, and I think it is quite noticable.

[MS] What about the Black and white palette and the 4:3 aspect ratio, tell us more about that choice?

[Kirill]   The black&white palette and the four to three aspect ratio represents the poverty of  today’s  human thinking. Nowadays we are used to perceive only the information we want to see, only in colors that we are able to see. Eventually,  when a person discovers something new, his entire world can turn upside down, his views may drastically change – just like at the end of “Road”, when the frame widens and the colours slowly appear.

[MS] How did you choose your cast and how was the experience working with them?

[Kirill]   I always take casting very seriously, and do it thoroughly. Social status and pleasant appearance are not quite enough for me. I tend to concentrate on how the person feels about the upcoming project. I talk to the casting actors, feel their essence, and literally decided on the spot whether it felt right or not. Shooting the film, I was so pleased with the final cast. I would rather say there’s no actors in the frame, it’s always people. They’re not  acting, they are being honest to themselves. To my mind there is nothing worse than poorly casted actors.

[MS] Who is your favorite Filmmaker?

[Kirill]   It’s really hard to say.. but there are two that comes to mind – Emir Kusrtica and Rober Bresson. I appreciate Kustrica for his honesty. When he’s telling his stories it’s like the director just happened to be right there – everything feels so natural and authentic. When it comes to Rober, I’ve already told a little about him earlier.

[MS] What was the most important lesson you learned as a filmmaker?

[Kirill]   To be quite honest, every project is an incredible and irreplaceable experience for the whole crew. We took almost four months to get everything and everyone prepared. I did my best to improve the scenery as much as I could, get the best people who felt right for the cast, talked a lot with my crew to make sure we were all on the same wavelength. Despite all that,  as a low budget film (“Road” was only made with my & my dad’s money) we had an extremely small crew. There were no make-up artists, no dressers, no managers whatsoever so we had to rely on each other like a family. From now on, I hope, our crew will only grow, adding new creative professionals to the team.

[MS] What advice do you have for any young/aspiring directors who wish to get started?

[Kirill]   Try to absorb as much information as you can – watch movies, read books, try to film something yourself, even for fun. Experience is your key to success. The chance of being a genius is one to a million, but becoming an experienced professional is way more achievable. Nothing in this world can hold you from growing, learning and working on yourself.

[MS] What are you currently working on?

[Kirill]   Right now I’m working on a brand new scenario, hopefully as powerful as “Road”. But at this moment I can only imagine specific scenes based around the main concept, there’s still a lot to work on. I hope I will start bringing this idea to life this summer.

[MS] Any final thoughts at the end of this interview?

[Kirill]   Also I would like to mention that I’m open to new projects – you can contact me at kirich.khaletsky@yandex.ru . Whether you’re a writer, producer or a operator – I would always be happy to get in touch!  Watch and make good films.

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