The trailer was made by Boris Shcherbitskiy, who's known for creating fan-made trailers for old Russian animation classics. He writes: "About two months ago, I was given the chance to make a real trailer for a film soon to be in cinemas. After watching the material, I decided to decline: I didn't get the artistic itch that had overcome me before I began work on my previous works. Especially considering that there was another man (much more skilled than I) who was given the very same task. But they convinced me that I should at least try, so I did. In the end, of course, the professional work was chosen to play in theatres. But they say that the director liked my trailer better. The official, professional one, you'll see later. Mine was chosen for getting the word out online."
The "online campaign" is being run by gavro-shik.
Гадкий! Утёнок гадкий!
Ужасно гадкий, жуткий и плохой
и не утёнок, и не цыплёнок -
ты даже сам не знаешь кто такой.
Не то что мы, ребята местные,
и всем известные
а ты такой ужасный -
грязный и чужой.
Чтобы тебя любили,
ты должен быть короче и жирней! (-ей-ей)
Точь в точь как мы, ребята классные,
ну сколько можно обьяснять что не бывает
среди нормальных уток и гусей.
Ты гадкий-гадкий! Ты не утиный!
Ты не гусиный, не куриный сын.
Ты безпородный, и все-противный,
худой и длинный - живи один!
Ugly! That duckling's ugly!
Horribly ugly, vile and a disgrace.
And he's no duckling, nor's he a chicken;
not even HE can say where is his place.
Quite unlike us, your local residents,
well-known around these lands,
While you're the worst endeavour
that we've seen ever,
and you will never
be a local face.
"No-one will ever love you
unless you get much shorter and more fat!"
The spitting image of us local boys,
who have such grace and poise;
how many times must we explain that among normal
goose and duck siblings,
you'll never see repulsive freaks like that.
You're ugly! Ugly! You're not a duckling!
You're not a gosling, nor a chicken's own.
You are a mongrel, dreadfully scrawny,
too tall and bony - go live alone!
At times, the translation is not literal, but expresses the overall sentiment instead. I kept to the original rhyme scheme as much as I could.
Also, I'm posting below the first part of an radio interview with Garri Bardin taken on Finam.fm on March 12, 2010, by Yelena Likhachova. Parts 2-4 will come later.
09.07 in the capital. Good morning, you are listening to "Finam FM". My name is Yelena Likhachyova; hello. "Every time," says today's guest, "that I tell somebody about my film, including people from whom I expect money, I cannot keep from crying, and in the finale begin crying about the fate of this character; as it's said, 'I will weep over my visions'[quote from Pushkin's 1830 Elegy]". But thank God, the money was found, this period is over, and we can now say that very, very soon, there will finally be a premiere of that very film, or rather that animated film in the musical genre." This animated film is called "The Ugly Duckling" and probably, by this point very many have already guessed who is our guest today. Our guest today is one of the most famous animators in Russia, Garri Yakovlevich Bardin. Good morning.
First, the overview:
Garri Bardin, animated film director, finished the Nemirovich-Danchenko School-studio at the Gorky Moscow Artistic Academic Theatre, worked as a dramatic actor in Gogol Theatre, and in film. In 1974, he was invited by Sergey Obraztsov to be a director in the Moscow Puppet Theatre. After a year, he began working as a director and animator at Soyuzmultfilm studio, where in 15 years he made 15 films that were awarded prizes at home and abroad. Among his works are "The Flying Ship", "Banquet", "Adagio", "Embellishments", "Puss in Boots", "Chucha" and "Grey Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood". In 1999, Garri Bardin was awarded the state prize of the Russian Federation.
Again, good morning. Thank you for coming to see us. So finally, won't you tell us what's going on with "The Ugly Duckling"? This story has dragged on for so long! There seems to be a lot of suffering in it, to be honest. This is probably one of the lengthiest of your projects?
It is the biggest, and I think that I will never try something like this again. This is five and a half years of my life. When this is done at age 30, it feels somewhat easy. At my age, though I don't feel the burden of years, nevertheless this is intensive work with a lot of people and animated characters - a lot of everything, really. But thank God, it's all coming to an end. The rerecording was just completed; the sound is done. Thank God that the computer exists, for on a computer it's possible to clean up all those mess-ups that I see, that maybe won't be seen by you, but it's important to me to bring everything to a good state, and I think that by the month of April we will already have the first copy.
So you'll have the first copy - and then what? As a cultural event, how's it being planned out?
In no way.
How do you mean "in no way"?
There really are no plans. First of all, I don't know what the fate of the film's distribution will be in Russia, because for me this is more important than anything.
This is a feature film: 1 hour and 16 minutes.
Yes, as opposed to your previous ones, which were short subjects; a difficult format to distribute.
Well, there was one attempt: when I made the first, second and third "Chucha", I tried to bring them together and show an hour and a half of "Chuchas", but this attempt was unsuccessful because of a number of reasons, and I think that the fault mostly lay with the distributor rather than with myself. Now I'm making my second attempt. There is a man who agreed to distribute it, but for this we need more resources, if the Ministry of Culture grants them to support the distribution. It's all uncertain; I don't know. I hope that this distribution, if it begins, will begin at the start of autumn.
Wait, what additional resources are you talking about? Advertising?
First of all, printing the film copies. Printing 100 copies costs 2,700,000. I, of course, do not have that kind of money.
You mean rubles?
But this is not a huge sum.
For you, it's not, but for me it is.
No, no, I'm not in that category right now - for you or for me it's big, but for the Ministry of Culture...
Everything there is so unclear right now, who is responsible for what, how much money there will be, how it will be distributed - it's all taking so long, that... they're taking a time-out.
So right now it's unclear?
Right now it's unclear.
Alright. In Moscow, probably, with the efforts of you and your friends, acquiantices, of people close to you by nature, some sorts of screenings will be organized which one could attend.
Probably so. But this would be so miniscule that it would not be distribution. Just like festivals - that isn't distribution, and showing it to your friends is also not distribution. Because I am aiming for a large audience; I made this film for family viewing, for children and adults.
Which follows logically from the plot, of course. Even if we don't mention what ideas you inserted in there. I know a little.
The plot is completely different.
Well, not completely different, maybe a little different. What do you mean completely different?
Okay, let's take it from here. When I read your interviews from three years, two years, even a year ago, there was no talk of having a completely different plot.
Well, he turns into a swan - that's all that's left over from Andersen. But everything that precedes this transformation is, of course, completely different; it's all mine. I took as my starting point the concept that this cygnet was born in a birdhouse. And the story went from there, from his childhood, growing up, to all those humiliations that he suffered in this birdhouse.
You know, I won't ask you what it's about; we'll go and watch and make our own conclusions. But why precisely did you make this film now?
I... How shall I put this... Me and my son are going along different paths, but in the same direction.
I remind our listeners that Garri Yakovlevich's son, Pavel Bardin, makes not animated films but...
Just films, live-action films.
He made "Russia-88", speaking out fairly boldly against xenophobia with his fiction film about Moscow skinheads - this is a sore point that he's worried about, and that I'm worried about. Within my capacities, I speak about how there are different people living next to us, completely different from us, and how our tolerance, our latitude... it's all about this. About the fact that they also feel pain, cold, hunger, and are worthy of respect whether they be black, white or yellow. Basically, it's about that. In a way, I'm continuing the theme of my film "Adagio". But spread out into a musical, and this is more powerful, because there are about 500 characters.
Yes, you sure expanded that little tale.
And I must tell you, that there were such forces there that, God knows, it was hard for me to reach. Because, first of all, there was Tchaikovsky's music...
You used music from "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker", right?
Right, and there was the wonderful arranger Sergey Anashkin, my old friend. He made such a good arrangement that [Vladimir] Spivakov agreed to play it. Yes, he said that...
And he played it?
He played it.
The orchestra in the film is under his direction?
Yes, yes. He said that if I ruined Tchaikovsky, he would not do it. But I told him that I love Tchaikovsky as much as he does, and when he read the notes, the parts, he said: "Who's your arranger?" and I said: "Here, Sergey Anashkin". He said "It's excellent". And they played it; they played an hour of music. This was amazing. it was recorded in the House of Music, and this was one of the happiest days. I love music in general, and recording music is like a holiday. And this holiday Vladimir Spivakov gave me, when he recorded his orchestra, the National Philharmonic, playing an hour of music by Tchaikovsky. It was wonderful. Then there was Yuliy Kim, who wrote poems to the ballet music,
then there was the chorus of Mikhail Turetskiy, which also made its contribution, then there was Yulia Rutberg...
You're listing the people who sang and did the voices?
Yes, who did the voices. And Sveta Stepchenko, my favourite violinist - just so - she's a violinist in Spivakov's orchestra, a wonderful violinist, and she once sang the part of Little Red Riding Hood in "Grey Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood." And many years later, she sang for the ugly duckling, and she sang in such a way that there is literally a lump in my throat when she sings.
Is it true that even bankers cry at the end? Well, maybe not at the end, but let's say in the middle when the poor duckling overcomes various obstacles. I heard that it's impossible to watch it, that it's so touching that they bawl their hearts out.
How shall I put this... Should I say: "yes! They bawl their hearts out! I made such a tearjerker!" That would be pretty silly of me! But I'll say that when we did the rerecording and watched the result - so that we had the image, 5.1 Dolby surround sound... We watched it - my two sound directors are Volodya Kuznetsov (rerecording) and Aleksandr Khasin. And in the finale, when he transforms, and this ends so happily, we cried and cried; basically, grown men, but from empathy for what was happening... I think that the viewer will understand this and appreciate it. If they cry, I'll be happy.
They probably will. What matters is that it all can be fully seen by the viewer. Let us just leave things for a minute now, we have to take a commercial break. Once again, I will present our guest today. We've got a visit one of the most famous and acclaimed Russian animator Garri Bardin, the man who invented and made the "Grey Wolf And Little Red Riding Hood," "Adagio," "Conflict", "Banquet", "Chucha" "Embellishments" "Puss in Boots" "The Flying ship", and so on, and now his latest creation, 5,5 years of his life - "The Ugly Duckling" is practically completed, and the first copy will appear in April. It was unclear when the distribution and the premiere will be, but at least it's done. We will continue this theme in a minute and a half.
(part two is here)