Igor Pashkevich:

Brain Beats Money
Brain Beats Money

When I was just seventeen, I hardly knew anything about cinema and did not have a slightest idea about who Bob Foss or Pedro Almodovar were. But I knew perfectly well who Igor Pashkevich was. In the early 90s he was a bit older than me, but it was at that time that the stage manager made his first music videos to acquire a reputation of a true artist. There have been very few videos of his lately, if any, though… So the rumors about Pashkevich being involved in the first Belarusian blockbuster with “special visual effects” that will challenge Hollywood were rather surprising.

— They say Belarus’ first computer project may challenge Hollywood. May I ask you as the visual effects supervisor: do we have enough money to challenge them?

— I don’t believe money is the decisive aspect. So much was spent on “The Lord of the Rings”, but so little brain was used! The huge advertising campaign helped the project stay afloat for some time, but it is dead now. I share this opinion with many critics worldwide. “Harry Potter” cost much less and did not require so many commercials, but it is an excellent movie that has a solid plot, great characters, so I believe the movie will live forever.

You must be able to use what you have at hand, instead of chasing new high-tech and visual effects… In our movie we have children’s adventures in the virtual world, so there should be some special effects. I can assure you that a set of visual effects alone cannot make a movie, because visual effects are added to the script and work of the director.

— People tend to speak about the “clip-ish nature of brainwork” now. Viewers are getting used to absorbing large amounts of surface information and want suitable entertainments. Former clip makers have contributed much to this fashion, I guess.

— I agree that people have learnt to receive information in bulks. Actors would enter a room, take a pause and then start speaking. Anyways, movies can be bad or good even now. There is little information in [Tarkovsky’s] “Stalker”, but it is a real movie. It happens because the value of movies is not measured by the volume of information, but by the emotions they arouse and the depth of the images and message. As for this “clip-ish” tendency that you are talking about, it is just for a year or two. When ex-clip makers are trying to shoot movies using their short-video methods, they are the first to realize that their gadgets hardly provide any advantages.

— What are you working on these days?

— I haven’t asked my producers yet whether I may tell reporters about our plans. There are some projects, indeed, but I think it is too early to speak about them, as there are no definite locations, sources of financing or crews.

— So you are going to make a movie?

— I may be involved in one.

— What kind of movie will this be? A clip-ish one?

— If I get you correctly, this will not be one of those films, although there is no definition for this notion.

— Well, I mean pastiche, changing pictures, like [Russian] “Night Watch” and “Day Watch”.

— Possibly, but I don’t like such movies. I think these “Watches” are not films, but projects. All of them are projects – the series about Yesenin, “Master and Margarita”, this is a dummy that does not even look like a real thing.

— So what do you call a real
movie?

— I was very pleasantly surprised by Scorsese’s “Aviator”. It looks like the right tendency, when a commercial movie is made in such a way that it makes you think.

— The national movie studio has not been producing many movies. Do you think the situation will change?

— I started working for Belarusfilm not long ago. I mean I have been working with them for years, using their equipment and facilities, but I have just started meeting art directors and editors, I am just being showed the ropes. So I can’t say now whether Belarusfilm will make more movies or not.

by Irina Zavadskaya
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