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Animatsiya in English

Overview of upcoming Russian animated features: part 12

Overview of upcoming Russian animated features: part 12

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drawing, old man
Our Masha in the Strawberry Country (Dec. 18, 2008)
The New Adventures of Alyonushka and Yeryoma (Dec. 25, 2008)
The Tale of Fedot the Strelets (Jan. 1, 2009) (Dec. 18, 2008)
Ivan Tsarevich and Grey Wolf (Feb. 1, 2009)
Alice's Birthday (Feb. 19, 2009)
Star Dogs: Belka and Strelka (Dec. 31, 2009)
Alien Pile (likely 2009)
A Room and a Half, or A Sentimental Journey to the Homeland (likely 2009)
Little Muk and the Pirates of the Caspian Sea (maybe 2009)
Kin-dza-dza-dza! (2010)
The Ugly Duckling (~2011)

Blue Beard
Синяя Борода
Release date: ?
Director: Sergey Oliferenko
Studio: United Multimedia Projects
Budget: $3 million
90 minutes

This is another project by the studio responsible for the recent feature Granny Yozhka and Others (which won the top award in its category and 11th place in the jury rating at the 2008 ORFoAF). However, this isn't a new project. Something was already completed in 2002, albeit under two different directors (Sergey Karpov and Sergey Sokolyuk). Still, as of 2008, UMP's website lists this film as being in production, and with the success of their earlier film perhaps some day we'll see a release after all. Producer Sergey Karpov said in a February 2008 interview: "It is already in production. A demo-reel will soon be released, on the basis of which the film community will be able to form a firm impression about what exactly we are doing".

Paraphrasing Action Magazine's overview from 2006:
The famous director and animator Sergey Olifirenko, known for the cult 1981 puppet-animated film "Bibigon", is working on a new project named "Blue Beard". The pre-production period has recently ended. It is based on the famous tales by the French master of children's horror Charles Perrault, and will become the first animated film in Russia to be released in IMAX 3D. Currently there's only one such theatre in Russia, but regular 35mm prints of the film will also be given to regular theatres. Besides this, according to producer Sergey Karpov, the project is interesting because despite the heavy use of computer animation, all of the characters will be real puppets. Despite the fact that the production period of the film will be 28 months, a distributor has already almost been found. It will probably be the company "Central Partnership", with which UMP is already working on the project "Granny Yozhka and Others". "Blue Beard is a real mystical thriller for adults," says Sergey Karpov,"it is filmed like a real film with close-ups and mid-range shots. That's why the budget is $3 million." Besides Oliferenko, the artist Arkadiy Melik-Sarkisyan, camera operator Valeriy Ryabin and others are working on the film. It is expected that the film will be released in 2007-2008.

And let's go a bit further back in time. Here's something from 2002:

The literary foundation of this animated project is the tale "Blue Beard" by Charles Perrault, but it is significantly reworked and altered. The events take place in France in the middle of the 15th century. The spirit, mood, achitecture and interiors of this era must be historically accurate, but the appearance of the protagonists and their clothes must be in accordance with, understood by, and close to our contemporaries (we are talking here not of modern clothes, but of very accurate and detailed stylization). Special attention must be given to plasticity of movement with can be gotten only by thorough work by the animator and by future processing through a computer (examples include films like "The Nightmare Before Christmas" by director Henry Selick, and "The Periwig-Maker" by German director Steffen Schäffler, 1999).

The project's creators have developed this puppet-animated film while using the latest computer 3D-graphics technologies, but on the foundation of the principal use of hand-made animation techniques, and construction of real interiors. At the same time, the computer is a tool for fixing artistic and technical challenges. The film will be shot in the Digital Film format of HD24p.

There is a direct rationale for this; computer graphics and processing will be present in 90% of the film.

The use of HDCAM 24P raises the level of quality to an even higher platform, to the level of 35mm film. The 24P format will lead to a merging of digital video technology with film production. It opens new artistic possibility for film thanks to the use of flexible television methods of filming and composing film combined with their later transmission to film stock for demonstration in existing film theatres.

Our goal:
To create a highly artistic work of film art which is able to compete with the best analogous productions in the Russian and international markets. To develop and create technologies, programs and a collective of like-minded people for creating quality new puppet-animated films. It is possible to continue on to other tales of Charles Perrault (another 2 films of 26 minutes each).
  • Pardon me, there is a misprint in the text. Not Kapkov but Karpov. Sergey Kapkov is a totally different person.
    • Thank you for spotting that, I'm going to fix that right away. I guess I wasn't alert enough and became confused by the Russian "r" being the same as the English "p".

      I knew that it was not kapkoff (author of the Encyclopedia of Domestic Animation); I thought maybe it was someone with the same name.
  • (Anonymous)
    Hello Niffiwan,
    Thank you for your insightful articles on Russian animation. Keep up the good work!

    Kind regards,
    A faithful reader

    PS: The German film is called "Der Perückenmacher" by Steffen Schäffler (The Periwig-Maker). It can be found on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GreZybajL5U)
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