Russia could become a centre of EuroAsian film production and successfully attract filmmakers from all over the world with increasing numbers of Hollywood productions…
1 …if not the global economic crisis. Most feature and even documentary film projects are frozen or strongly delayed. Most state-run or private film studios are in poor condition, frequently associated with debts. Some of them are reportedly filed for bankruptcy. Only few are busy with their own or international productions.
2 …if the Russian Government understands that it should strongly support domestic film industry with, say, a decree, aimed at significantly lowering the costs for film productions and especially for international productions in the territory of Russia. The law should give producers reduction on all costs, providing that they work together with Russian co-producers. Instead the Government recently launched a new reform: financing ‘socially important’ features and only 8 selected Russian film studios are funded. The current situation is absurd: 99 per cent of domestic filmmakers are now paralyzed with perspective of no-chance-for-survival.
3 …if most Russian well-equipped studios and production companies are supported jointly by the government, Russian film-makers union and variety of guilds. The whole system is completely disorganized and each producer or film company has to survive on his own. Mosfilm looks good and safe, but it’s services are too expensive to hire. Moscow-based Gorky Film presents shabby premises, empty corridors and obsolete equipment. Lenfilm in St-Petersburg is still worse with privatization scandals. A newly-built SISTEMA-RWS TV studio near St-Petersburg proudly hosted to a VIP-delegation headed by Vladimir Putin, however, later on few productions have been shot in those huge pavilions due to poor promo strategy and expensive facilities.
4 …post-production facilities are located mainly in Moscow, St-Petersburg and a few big Russian cities. Some of them are of very good quality. Mosfilm’s tone-studios lacks skilled professionals, like many other post-production studios in Russia: real good experts are now busy with fast-profit TV commercials, TV series or corporate advertising projects. Moscow-built Bazelevs, founded by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), is equipped with 50 Macs for editing and computer graphics, but only a few experts with creative brains and magic fingers are available.
Nevertheless, the situation is not that bad: there’s always a way…
Some US majors have already set up their own production companies in Moscow and launched their features-in-production, like Disney CIS, Sony/Monumental etc. They also use Russian crews and creative staff.
Russia/ex-USSR offers really a lot of excellent professional and creative experts, most of them now badly need to work. They will jump to hear about being hired for a Hollywood or West-European quality production with decent payment, wonderful working experience and high-class filmmakers in the crew.
Who would say NO to such an opportunity? – Always YES!