Nikita Vedenyapin

DIRECTOR | CINEMATOGRAPHER
In addition to my showreel I'd love to share with you some behind-the-scenes of my works, so you could understand my strengths and workflow features better :)

Teaser: my portfolio includes a full-length documentary, a feature film, a bunch of critically acclaimed short films (e.g. Cannes SFC), commercial cases for such brands as Universal Music, Hennessy, Iqos, FC Lokomotiv etc. On top of that I worked as head creative producer and head of directors department on one of the biggest russian TV-channels. And I'm only 25.

Most of these project were shot in extreme conditions, so I consider myself the low-budget and no-time production expert...

... and I want to tell you about it in detail.


Hello!
Universal Music x Hennessy
3 countries, 4 travels, 14 shooting days and… 15 000$ budget.

Is it even possible? Well, if not for some key pre-production calls, it wouldn't be.

The first call was to cut down the crew. Documentary style allows to introduce raw texture of reality: natural light, unpolished locations, handheld camera, so I decided to shoot this project as a director and a dp combined. That helped to avoid unnecessary crew members and travel costs.

The second call was to be reasonable about gear. It is cool and flashy to shoot with an Arri Alexa, but sometimes you can easily replace it with a BM 6k Pro. Paired with vintage Japanese photo lenses this little camera is capable of producing gorgeous image (if you can treat it right, of course). On top of obvious costs reduction this gear replacement allowed to reduce the camera department down to one 1st AC.

The third call was to spend a lot of pre-production time doing creative prep. Documentaries are always pretty chaotic and full of surprises so the only option not to get swept away is to create several so-called anchors. These anchors will eventually guide you through the project and help you to make right decisions on set.
Improvisation as it is.

8 P.M. The phone rings.
"Hey guys, save us, we beg you. We need to shoot it tomorrow. A short promotional, we have kind of a draft of a script. Girls are available for 5 hours between training sessions. Ah, yes, we have to release it in 3 days, so you have basically 2 days for post-pro. What do you think?"
Well... Not boring at least.
Lokomotiv. Time to prove ourselves
«We need 30 short commercials in a month. Creative development, production and post-pro are on you».

Well, the only thing that made this project possible was the brief: "make it look like guests of the show shot these commercials themselves" (show concept — entrepreneurs present their start-ups to professional investors). Even though this project was not the most complex, it served me as a perfect no-time-creative training routine. 30 commercial scripts of different genres (documentary, product, comedy, action, fashion, animation, etc.) were written in less than a week.
СТС. Buy it right now!
Self-discipline.

The first PPM was on 19.02.2021. 19.03.2021 was the date of premiere in Oktyabr — one of the biggest theaters in Moscow. It is quite an adventure to figure out, to shoot and to edit the one-hour dcumentary in a month. My salvation was, as I mentioned earlier, fast creative development. I was able to determine the message, key storytelling points, style and anchors of the film on the first day of prep. After that all I needed to do was to methodically follow the path.

In the end when you see the result of sleepless nights on the big screen... you realize it was totally worth it.
Sisters
The feature film in a week.

There is something special in shooting Russian indie films. 2500$, two cameras, a couple of lenses, a small LED light and a week in a deserted village. I was invited to this project as a cameraman, but when I got to the set, it turned out that there was no DP and the local director wasn't always experienced enough. So we agreed that in order to make it in time, it was better for me to take the role of a DP and a co-director.
White lake
When I was taking my directing degree I often felt angry and offended: "Why there is no decent camera in our university? Why they don't teach script-writers, cinematographers, editors? How are we supposed to make films in such poor conditions?". It's been almost two years since I graduated and now I realize that it has actually turned out to be an asset for me as I can direct, shoot, write, edit and even do a little bit of colorgrading.

Even if a project demands me to be only a director, I can estimate timings and collaborate more productively thanks to that experience.

Let's make something great together!

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