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Combined Shooting Technology

CGI seems ubiquitous in media and entertainment these days. Producer Evgeny Telegin has been on the CGI train for quite some time. He was a producer on Timur Bekmambetov’s seminal film Day Watch (distributed in the US by Fox Searchlight) that set a new standard for filmmaking in Russia and beyond back in 2006. As CGI became a burgeoning tool in storytelling, Telegin immediately dove in the deep end to become one of the most sought after and talented producers who worked with productions specializing in live action and CGI based productions. His acclaim spread from his homeland and has led to a celebrated international body of work. From the early days of its implementation, he’s seen a huge change in the way CGI has effected film, TV, and web-based productions.

The crew of Day Watch was comprised of some of the most talented and forward thinking professionals in the Russian film industry. Bekmambetov’s Academy Award Nominated works (his film Wanted received two Oscar nominations) serve as proof of this. Telegin turned his attention to working as a part of Timur’s go to production house in Russia, Okey Dokey. During his time there, Evgeny worked with such international names as McDonalds, Ikea, Nike, Panasonic, and others; leading Okey Dokey to a number of awards including an ADCR 2006 Golden Award, a Moscow 2006 Festival Golden Award, and the XV Moscow International Advertising Festival 2005 Golden Award. Having just been a part of the biggest CGI film ever in Russia, Telegin was determined to push himself and Okey Dokey to new heights with the knowledge and skills he’d gained. He recalls, “I knew that CGI was not only going to change the way films were being made but also advertising and TV. I was in the prime position of being fully involved in the most ground breaking production and I felt I was in a position to lead the charge. We did a commercial for Dirol/Cadbury in 2007 which displayed big tornados made of water. This is obviously impossible to do without CGI but the look and motion of water is particularly difficult to show in a realistic sense. We ended up creating a very unique plugin for liquid to behave naturally, which holds up even when compared with present day FX. My interest in CGI was steadily increasing and my previous background in production was the ideal complement to this. This particular job [Dirol/Cadbury] had me constantly overseeing the CGI work in Moscow and the location shoot in Capetown, South Africa. It was exciting to be a part of it all.”

As a part of Trehmer Pro production house, Evgeny worked with his CGI design crew to create a number of TV spots that integrated live film action and CGI. Made for Russia’s TV3, the project created several short videos for the channel which would separate the ad units from the films and TV shows. These mini stories required a combination of live action and CGI that had heretofore been impossible. These “stories between the stories” became a focus of attention themselves with their dazzling visual presentation and positive influence. Because of their short time span (generally under 30 seconds each) the lion’s share of the production schedule was spent creating world’s outside the realm of possibilities; the ideal blend of fantasy and reality. Even though CGI contributed the magic, Trehmer Pro developed their own unique system of hydraulic platforms with a rotary mechanisms (to rotate smoothly, without jerking) so that camera positions would integrate perfectly with these images. The fact that there were so many of these mini stories created for TV3 led to the anticipation by the public of which story they might get among their nightly programs. Trehmer Pro had unwittingly created a cult following for these productions. (, (, (

In spite of all of this technical and virtual wizardry, it still comes down to the human factor that delineates average work and great work. The collaborations of live filming and CGI requires talented artists on both sides of the production team but also someone like Telegin with the knowledge and vision to coordinate. He relates, “It can be hard to find the balance sometimes between a DP who wants to light something a certain way and a CGI department who would rather just create it themselves. That's where you need to be a pro, knowing all parts of the production. As the producer, you must be able to come up with the right decision, combining all the parties’ opinions and suggestions. There’s also the added factor of fear; when people can’t see something that will be added later, they can worry. Sometimes my job is about convincing the team to trust that I know it will come out looking great in the end. That’s true whether you’re working on a commercial or creating Avatar (James Cameron’s iconic film). VR is taking the whole idea new places now and I am excited to see what comes next and to be a part of it.”

Author: Kelly King

Combined Shooting Technology Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:21:00 AM Rating: 5
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