Alumni: Michael Lockshin

Michael Lockshin won 2nd prize in the non-EU Web Film category at YDA 2011 with his impressive campaign for Eristoff Vodka. We caught up with the Russian director to learn how the win affected his past year.

Please tell us what you’re doing now and where?

In Moscow. Sitting on a snowy rooftop.
Have recently finished postprod on a commissioned short film, slowly, very slowly working on script for some future film… otherwise time has passed very quickly last months, – been shooting commercials.

What were the key moments from winning at the YDA to the present?

In the months following the award I received a few offers of representation from as far away as Brazil and France, which was very exciting, but unfortunately haven’t yet shot with the productions that signed.

I didn’t make it to Cannes for the award ceremony, and I do feel that it would have been great to be there… The offers came kind of out of the blue for me.

In Russia the news about YDA spread around, don’t know how, and I must say that I felt that the award really did help… have been very busy since beginning of august, shooting around 1-2 commercials a month since then.

In Russia there is no point with being exclusive with any one production, so I’ve been working with various studios here: has been great experience with working with top agencies, best DOPs, etc.

Which piece of work are you the proudest of and why?

Apart from the short films I have shot, the Eristoff ad (from YDA) – is so far my favorite commercial…

Unfortunately there aren’t that many good commercial scripts in Russia, and to be honest haven’t received many scripts, which have been as strong as the two ads that won at the YDA… was lucky with those.

What would your dream job/script be?

An ad stylized as an Eisenstein film… or a surreal spoof mocumentary ad about an eccentric totalitarian soviet leader who has a secret fetish for some brand…

What is the most valuable advice you have been given about film making?

Make it personal.

Who are the most inspirational directors for you?

I always prefer to get inspired for commercials with films: I like real genre, and subtle humor, and stylization. Polanski, Foreman, Bunuel the Coens, etc… there are a few commercial directors who are my main inspiration…

What are you watching, reading, listening to? Where do you see ads or branding most?

Reading “The Rest is Noise”. Listening to a compilation of unknown 80s Soviet underground. Looking forward to watching The Artist one more time.

Most Russian commercials I watch on the web and try to know most that comes out… don’t care for TV much.

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