Filmmaker Q&A Vadim Levin

by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"

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DCP:

Vanity Fear was great! Where did the idea for it stem from?

 

VL:

The idea for VF originated from one of my other project actor’s story. From him I found out that it’s usually difficult for actors to get a good role without having a sufficient amount of followers. This led me to thinking about the importance of vanity in modern society. Then I kept developing the idea of how the passion for vanity can lead to unexpected consequences.

 

DCP:

Can you talk about the process of what it took to get the film made?

 

VL:

I had two key points that needed the most attention: finding an English speaking cast and selecting a camera. We had tested the majority of professional cameras that exist in the market right now, including Red Dragon, Black Magic etc. But unfortunately, all of those options couldn’t convey the feeling of online streaming. After that we tested many different smartphones, such as iPhone 6 and HTC, but ultimately stuck with Samsung Galaxy. We also had some tricky moments with testing SFX like blood from the neck, because the whole film had to be shot in one take and we needed to hide all of the material involved in this process. I bet you know what I'm talking about!

 

DCP:

The cast was impressive! How did you find your actors?

 

VL:

Finding the right actors turned out to be remarkably difficult. We had been holding auditions for 2-3 weeks with almost 300 candidates in total. One of the complicated parts was that we needed English speaking actors. This can be very problematic when casting in Russia. Nevertheless, we succeeded and you can see the result in the film.

 

The music was one of the best things about the film - How did you get the likes of composer Eric Elick to come on board?

 

We were very lucky to have Eric as part of our team. He is a friend of my fellow director Pablo Absento, so we got introduced to each other by her. When I showed Eric this short and we discussed the main concept, he started working on the first version of the score and music theme.  He is very talented and I approved his concept from the second version. Looking forward to working with him again!

 

DCP:

This film being your directorial debut, what are some things you've learned along the way that you will take with you on future projects as a director?

 

VL:

I have almost 15 years of experience in film production as a producer in Russia. You're right when you say, that this is my debut as a director. And all that I want to do is to continue growing as a creator and producer. So, this first success with VF short makes me feel that I'm on the right path.

 

DCP:

Do you have any films that have inspired you to be the artist you are today?

 

VL:

Well, over a hundred films have inspired me to be the artist I am today. But the most aspects of my work are about that I want to make people feel different emotions. I'm looking for new ways to entertain audiences, mixing entertainment with traditional movie language. Vanity Fear is a perfect example of my strategy. One of many to be more exact.

 

DCP:

If you could collaborate with anyone in the film business, whether it be actors/actresses, writers, directors, producers, who would it be?

 

VL:

First of all I want to say thanks to all of my team members! Every person is very talented and I could speak for hours about my guys. Of course I'll keep working with them on my future projects as it will be interesting for them, too. But in the future, hopefully, I am looking forward to working with many different big names from the industry such as Jason Blum and Roy Lee on horror features. Actually, we are open to offers and negotiations with those who are interested.

 

DCP:

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you may have on the horizon?

 

VL:

We have a great plan for 2017, meanwhile Vanity Fear feature film that we are planning to shoot next year. Also we have a tv-show that we are producing together with Pablo Absento. You surely know Pablo for her fantastic J-horror shorts “Shi” and “Slit”! We are already in development stage for the “Japanese Legends” tv-series and will be shooting the pilot in 2017, too. Also we are going to produce some horror shorts and hopefully the feature film based on “Shi” by Pablo Absento.

 

Stay tuned, Breathtaking Entertainment is coming on stage.

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