Insight from Alexander Chernobrovkin, CEO of the Ukrainian Media Agency
After spending a sleepless 22 hours driving women and children away from the war zone, Alexander Chernobrovkin miraculously managed to find some time to speak to The Location Guide about the state of the Ukrainian screen industries amid the current conflict with Russia. Despite the high levels of risk and tension in the region, Alexander remains resilient, determined and committed, offering inspiration to the global filmmaking community.
Filming sites for projects in Ukraine have now stopped or are being transferred to other countries. However, post-production companies, for the most part, continue to work by reorganising projects for execution through remote offices in other countries, evacuating personnel from Kiev along with equipment to safe places. The situation did not affect the deadlines and progress of our current projects, which for some reason surprises some of our clients. Tensions between Russian and Ukraine have been ongoing for years, so most professional companies have been ready for such complicated scenarios for a long time. Documentalists are actively collecting information and preparing content for the imminent release of stories about what is happening now.
Post-production is work with information, and information technologies in Ukraine are among the most developed in the world. For example, the slowest and cheapest home Internet in our country costs about USD5 per month and, in terms of speed, provides 100 Mbps of speed. Every grandmother knows how to create a Zoom conference to communicate with her grandchildren, and every Ukrainian has several gadgets and computers. We have almost everything digitised, and therefore post-production companies have long been actively using cloud technologies and standardisation of pipelines in their work, which allows us to protect the project from ordinary problems, such as an error with the choice of a contractor or a lack of qualifications for a particular task, and much more.
The reliability of communication in Ukraine is at a high level and has many levels of duplication. In case of destruction of any operator or several networks, it will still remain. Furthermore, in Ukraine you can find the best technicians in the world. Many special effects for the largest Hollywood films were made in Ukraine (for example, for the films Titanic or Mad Max: Fury Road) and the technical Oscars for this part of the industry are held in Kiev, by the Filmotechnik company.
At the moment, more than 10,000 film specialists and about 1,500 studios of various levels work in Ukraine, from small freelance teams to large major level studios. Of course, right now some of the projects were postponed or transferred to other countries. However, thanks to over 20 years of development for our cinema industry, we have established a huge number of connections with film commissions around the world. VFX studios have evacuated their staff with their families to safe cities and continue to work, while at the same time attracting outsourced specialists from other countries. With projects designed for a large number of graphics, the option of transferring filming to completely green pavilions or virtual production is available.
Regarding the ratio of price and quality, the price is often highly dependent on taxes, and in most countries they can reach up to 60% of the budget. Ukraine, on the other hand, has simplified taxation systems and a lower cost of living by world standards. This allows you to get a similar level of quality to the average European cinema or advertising with a budget 30-50% lower. Or, having the same budget, end up getting content at a level much higher than originally planned - with better graphics, better music, and so on.
The large level of digitalisation that I spoke about earlier has some negative factors, specifically for film production. In particular, the ability to find at several minutes and watch online a movie in high quality on any of several home monitors increases the demand and attendance of cinemas, which affects cinema fees. Therefore, the demand for content is growing, but we are experimenting with formats and technologies, focusing largely on exporting content.
Due to the fact that the Ukrainian Media Agency offers services to almost the entire media market of Ukraine - from small teams offering the creation of commercials for USD1000 to large studios with the production of full-length blockbusters - we will be able to find an option for cooperation with anyone who is looking for one. We offer a service for one of the best value for money in the world, facilitating co-productions, buying and selling content, and much more.
During these unprecedented times, we have learned to cooperate with each other and other countries very well, which allows us to gather several studios to work on one project, where the best studio on the market in post-production is engaged in post-production, and the best in production is engaged in production. At the same time, it is possible to order not only the ‘best’ in the market, but also to choose the price-quality ratio for any request. Not everyone needs Hollywood for millions of dollars. Sometimes, for the purposes of a specific project, you can limit yourself to a minimal team, leaving more budget for marketing or other purposes. If you need experience in some narrow specialisation, then such a specialist or team is located and attracted in a few hours. Visit our website or simply visit professional events and film markets, where we actively communicate with anyone who may be interested in services or partnerships in media production.
At the moment, https://www.ukrmedia.agency/ functions as a site to maintain information coverage of events in Ukraine. If you need content from these current events, you can find it here.
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