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When and where was the film shot?

Earth Man has been the longest production of any of our films. It went on for over three years. The official premiere was held on September 20, 2021. Filming took place in the south of Russia, in the Don region, this is the geographical latitude of France, Austria, Hungary. There is a very beautiful nature that inspired us, we got wonderful shots. And the music and sound design were made in Moscow.

How many people worked on the production of the video clip?

We had a small but very friendly team. I was a producer, scriptwriter, director and art director of the film, my co-director Olga Tugaeva was also a co-writer and director of photography. Plus a small technical team. The wonderful music for the film was written by composer Sergey Moiseenko, in collaboration with whom all films of the Film company MASLAK PRODUCTION were created. And the sound design was done in his COSMOSSTUDIO OF SERGEY MOISEENKO studio.

What interesting thing happened to you during the filming?

Filming was difficult, but interesting. After all, our hero is not a professional actor, he is an ordinary farmer. We had to record his daily life over a long period of time. But our hero, despite his natural modesty, was well aware of the importance of our work. After all, this film is not only about him, a Don farmer, but also about German, French, Spanish, American and other farmers who live exactly the same life. Therefore, filming took place in a warm, creative atmosphere, and working on each scene was a pleasure.

What are your plans for the future, as a director and also as a composer?

Unfortunately, in modern Russia, I do not see any prospects for the development of cinema. I may have to change something in my life. But I really hope that our team will continue to make films! We have a lot of interesting ideas, we are thinking about new as well as ongoing projects. Such as Fitness for example. This is a series of short musical comedies, united by the theme of fitness, in which women's complexes are subtly beaten. Judging by the number of festival wins that the first four films in the series have received, this could be a long-running and rated internet series. I hope we get an order for its continuation from some European or American streaming platform.

What is your all-time favourite film, music video and why?

Films produced by Film company MASLAK PRODUCTION. All of these, at the moment, seven films are like seven children, among whom there are no more or less favorites. This is a documentary about the Second World War Anchor in the Steppe (2020), four short comedies from the series Fitness - Student Fitness (2020), Living the Dream (2021), No Fitness - No Love (2021) and Eastern Fitness (2022), a mystical drama about football and its fans Magic Under Skin (2022). And the philosophy documentary Earth Man (2021), which is the subject of this interview. These are films of various genres, but all of them are musical. These films have already brought us over 100 festival wins around the world and continue to do so.

What were some of the highlights of your career so far?

I have a very complex biography. I live in Russia, but my native languages are Ukrainian and German, and I spent my childhood in Germany. I visited many countries, before the pandemic I had a lot of business in Germany ... Real man of the world. And I have been in art since the age of fifteen, I started as an artist in the theater. This was in 1983. After some time, my friends invited me to the film industry. I worked there for several years as an artist, stuntman, in the production department. At the same time, I studied at several institutes. Then I was engaged in business, was a military journalist, wrote several books ... In 2004 I returned to the film industry as a stuntman, action director and military history consultant, and in 2005 I started my acting career. And then, after several unsuccessful attempts, I finally started making my own films, and since 2019 I have been working as a director and producer.

If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be?

Our team is always ready to work with colleagues around the world. It is always interesting to get new experience and share your own!

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming filmmakers?

Be sincere in your work. You can't become a filmmaker just by going to university and watching someone else's movies. You need to acquire your own life experience, to see life from different angles. The more experience - the more interesting and deeper creativity.

But you also need to learn. Man is a social being, inseparable from humanity. And only the study of the culture of mankind will allow you to create something really important. The cinematographer bears a very responsible burden - to bring culture to minds and hearts. Therefore, he has no right not to be educated, multilaterally developed.

“Cinema is a hobby that sometimes gets paid.” This is a very difficult profession that takes a lot of moral and physical strength from a person, despite the fact that the result of all these efforts is always unpredictable. You cannot look at cinema only as a career. Cinema is a whole life! If you don't have an all-consuming love for cinema, which helps you cope with all its difficulties, choose a different profession.

What was the most important lesson you had to learn as director?

First, love what you do. If you love what you do, you will strive to do your job the best you can, you will give your heart and soul, all the strength to succeed in every film and in your career as a whole. And then no obstacles can stop you.

Second, the will to create. I make films simply because I can't do otherwise. On the one hand, this is the meaning of life and purpose, on the other hand, it is an internal obligation.

Third, sincerity. When choosing a topic for a film, you have to be really interested in it. You need to know everything about it, and only then you will get a really good movie.

What are you currently working on?

Right now, I'm focused on teaching students at my directing and acting school. Russia is a very problematic country, but many talented people are born in it. Since I have gained a lot of experience over many years of working in cinema and have created unique techniques that allow me to make good films, it is necessary to transfer this knowledge to students. I really hope that in time I will open such a school in Western Europe. At the same time, I am thinking about ideas and scripts for new films. And, of course, I am engaged in the festival promotion of already made films.

Where can our readers follow your work?

Our films are not publicly available yet. They can only be seen at private screenings and film festivals around the world. Therefore, please follow the information on my websites jurijmaslak.com (German/Rus), maslakproduction.com (English/German/Rus) and in social networks!

Is there anything you'd like to add, or someone you wish to thank?

I think we should thank such modest people as the hero of our film. A person, like any other living being, cannot exist without food. And its appearance in stores and markets is the result of the difficult, but very important for all people, year-round work of farmers around the world. They are not stars, they are not published in glossy magazines, but their work is very important for all of us. And each of them, just like our hero, can be called a Earth Man.

I think we should thank such modest people as the hero of our film. A person, like any other living being, cannot exist without food. And its appearance in stores and markets is the result of the difficult, but very important for all people, year-round work of farmers around the world. They are not stars, they are not published in glossy magazines, but their work is very important for all of us. And each of them, just like our hero, can be called a Earth Man.

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