ND/NF Discovery: Victor Ginzburg’s “Generation P” (Russia)

Posted by Michael Gibbons on 3.27.2012

Generation P

New Directors/New Films entry Generation P is a wild adventure in a post-Communist Russia newly invaded by Western advertising. Adapted from the cult novel by Victor Pelevin, Variety says director Victor Ginzburg has created "a virtuoso Brazil-like look at what followed after capitalism won the Cold War." Don't miss it on March 30 and April 1! [buy tickets]

Describe your film Generation P to someone who hasn't seen it.
This film gives new meaning to the word "Wow". Literally. 

What was the most memorable day of shooting like?
It's a crane story. A night shoot on the rooftop of a 45-story skyscraper, with a tower crane over it, still under construction in the center of Moscow. It was a very risky plan never before tried, as far as I know. We built a set of a "temple" on the roof for the scene where the main character hallucinates that he's on top of a Babylonian ziggurat. I wanted the light to be constantly moving to add a hallucinatory quality to the scene. This would be best lit from a helicopter but helicopters are banned over Moscow.  So we suspended a huge 12K light with its own generator from an enormous tower crane and convinced the Turkish crane operator to actually "fly" it for us. The direction in which the flying light pointed was controlled by 5 guys with 200 foot long ropes.  We also had other moving lights on the rooftop. It was very windy and scary and my 1st AD cracked under pressure and left the shoot. Everyone was freaking out.  So there we were, 45 floors above the night Moscow, on a very windy rooftop of an unfinished skyscraper, with the an enormous light rising up to the sky with 5 guys straining the ropes, a Turkish interpreter next to me yelling on a walkie-talkie, another dolly and a film crane moving other lights, the actor slowly approaching the hallucinatory temple and the camera crane rising to a wide master shot...  and it all suddenly came together, as dawn broke over Moscow.

What are you most excited to do while you're in NYC?
Walk around. See old friends from film school and go with new friends to the "Box".

Describe your very first experience with filmmaking.
I got my first 8mm camera when I was about 11-12 and made a movie about my grandmother on the beach. Upon viewing the "film", she asked me to never make movies of grandma again.

What would you be doing if you weren't making films?
Robbing banks in order to make films.

What is your favorite food to eat on set?
My DP Aleksei Rodionov introduced me to baby food in the woods of the Kostroma region. Film food on location could be really bad, and sometimes baby food is really great in tough situations.

Generation P screens on March 30 and April 1. [buy tickets]

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