Nataliya Ignatova, Anna Rezanova
translated by L. Erashova

Yegor Konchalovsky, the director of the films Hermit, Antikiller and Antikiller-2: Antiterror, goes on working on his new film Escape. The shooting has been completed, and the film is now in postproduction.

Yevgeny Vetrov is a successful cardiosurgeon, happy in his professional activity and marriage. But one day everything changes: someone kills his beloved wife on the day he is supposed to sign an important contract. He is suspected, and everyone testifies against him. Vetrov is sentenced to high-security imprisonment. But he succeeds in escaping and comes back to Moscow to start his own investigation.

The shooting took place in the land of Lake Valdai, very rich in picturesque landscapes: lakes, rivers, almost untouched primeval forests, barely passable marshes which Yevgeny Mironov's character makes his way through.

We asked the director Yegor Konchalovsky for further comments.

— You shot near Lake Valdai; did you work only on location or in interiors too?

— There were few interiors. In the Valdai, we had built only one setting on location. We bought a house there, demolished it, moved it several kilometers and mounted it again on the marsh. Besides that, we had one more setting on a film stage at Mosfilm. We built the interior of the railway carriage – it was impossible to film in railway conditions.

— Is revenge the aim of the escape?

— There isn't any deliberate retribution in the film. Vetrov does not take revenge of his own will – the situation develops in such a way. But he's on the run all the way through the film – it is reflected in the title of the film – first across taiga and then around the city.

— Did stuntmen take part in the shooting?

— Of course, they had a lot of work to do. The same stuntmen worked with me before: Oleg Korytin, Igor Novosyelov and their team. It was difficult to shoot car chases because Zhenya Mironov cannot drive, and we had to get out of that situation somehow. But our film is neither an action nor a thriller. In my opinion, this is a drama with elements of an action film. In many respects, this is a film about love; it differs from Antikiller and Antikiller-2 in genre.

— Do you allow actors to show initiative on the set?

— Yes, I do, although I usually know what I need. I am lucky lately because I'm working with good actors in all my films. When the actor is gifted and professional, he, naturally, has his own opinion how to interpret his part. I like to consider these opinions, especially those of Yevgeny Mironov, Mikhail Ulyanov or Aleksandr Baluev. Some aspects are of fundamental importance to me and I insist on those, but as a rule, it is a dialogue.

— What period of working on a film do you like best of all?

— Every period has its own advantages and disadvantages. The shooting period is a time of stress, like the army: one gets up in the morning and is ready to drop in the evening. But on the other hand, in this period the rest of life's problems, the everyday difficulties, stand back. I remember with a nostalgic feeling the lake where we lived in wooden huts while shooting, although we were getting very tired.

The post-production period also has its advantages. I've come to the conclusion that after the final assembly a film is quite different than in the beginning of the work. So the film springs up once more on the cutting table. Undoubtedly, one can spoil the film and vice versa, one can make it better. As for sound, the post-production, synchronizing and Foley scoring are components of a very important stage. In my opinion, up-to-date sound equipment provides about 40-45% of a film's perception. I know it from my experience in advertising. I like every period of work on a film and I fear each of them in its own way.

— Do you have a great unrealized dream about your "main" film?

— There is no telling which film will be the main one. First one can think it is this one, then another. I have many different plans. I would like to make two historical films: an epic about prehistoric Kazakhstan and a film about the Vikings. I will do it in a year. I would like to make a film about the army, and I have got a script about my own active service. I would like to shoot a comedy. I want to shoot a fairy tale by Hoffmann or the Brothers Grimm, and just now I'm completing an animated film after Nutcracker by Hoffmann. Shooting is almost complete; all that remains is to shoot musical items. In general, I want to make various films.