We have written more than once about how web series occupied their niche in the West and continue to be in demand. Russia also joined: the producers finally began to invest money in them, the actors employed there find their online fans, and recently we even began to hold thematic festivals - the first of them, Realist Web Fest, for example, was held in Nizhny Novgorod in the summer. We tell you about the five most interesting and topical Russian web series of recent times and give the floor to their creators.
Text: Dmitry Barchenkov
Bar "On the chest"
The multi-part web film "Bar on the Chest" grew out of a low-budget story, which almost immediately after the launch was officially supported by RuTube (this is where new issues are released). Last summer, Bar also won the first web series festival. The secret of a simple plot of an anthology about the inhabitants of St. Petersburg lies in the non-trivial characters, the format of the shooting, during which all the heroes look at the viewer conventionally standing behind the bar counter, acuteness and relevance: the creators are not afraid of strong words in discussing problems that excite not only them, but also us …
The idea was to make the show as lifelike and realistic as possible. It consists of the stories of ordinary people. Our heroes seem to have come out of real life: they express thoughts that somehow slipped through most of us. But at the same time, we involved exclusively professional film crew and actors in the project.
A series that confidently wins in the "Best Dialogues" nomination. Varvara Shmykova, Denis Shvedov, Olga Aksyonova and other artists who can be found in more familiar television projects lie on the bed to talk about the sexual life of their heroes: some are oversaturated, while others are just beginning. Conversations that are surprisingly free from all clamps in the most intimate format - on the screen of a smartphone or laptop. The main thing here is not to make the mistake of giving up watching after the first episode - all the fun begins further.
It takes too long to find money for a full film, so the idea of a web serial format has been in the air for a long time. There was a feeling that it would definitely be possible to implement it. As a result, I freaked out and ordered myself to come up with a story that you can shoot without leaving your apartment. I looked around the room, saw my bed again and came up with a concept in a minute and a half. Then he wrote and rewrote the script for eight months. I am sure that soon we will face an influx of filmmakers in this area and it will be very, very interesting.
The recently completed Call DiCaprio! Series, whose protagonist (Alexander Petrov) lives with HIV, has proved that the Russian audience is ready to discuss previously taboo topics. The project "Such affairs" "Everything is complicated" enters the same territory: the viewer observes the life of a Muscovite with an HIV-positive status (Irina Starshenbaum), and at turning points he is offered to make a choice after which the heroine's level of happiness will either rise or fall. Each such episode dispels one of the myths about HIV.
Of course, the series is in many ways reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh's interactive project "Mosaic", but you shouldn't scold the creators for the lack of an original idea. Everything is done at the highest level: the viewer makes a decision exactly where it is needed, the feeling of artificiality does not arise and the series organically line up into a solid story. In addition, the Russian project claims to be much more social than the American one.
producer of the series, curator of special projects "Takikh Dela"
On the one hand, I want the viewer to follow the feelings of the heroes, but on the other hand, people still have a lot of confusion around HIV in their heads, and it is scary to raise this topic without a detailed analysis of the materiel. We even conducted social research on young people's knowledge of HIV, and the data weighed towards including flashcards in the videos. We believe that it is these multimedia formats that can change the worldview of people.
Another set of social stories, only this time about the benefits of trust. Each of them is told by a real person, and the animation, developed under the strict guidance of Valeria Gai Germanicus, accompanies the narration. Among the speakers, you can find a military pilot whose engine once stopped during a flight, or an exorcist policeman who exorcises demons with the help of grass and a cigarette butt growing in the yard. The possibilities for the development of drama are practically unlimited here, and the idea of combining a cartoon and a real case convinces us to pay attention to this Internet project, which, by the way, has become an original advertising stunt.
producer and founder of Metrafilms:
The main goal of the show was not just to entertain. This format was chosen to solve the communication problem - to tell the internal and external audience of the insurance company about the new brand values. We came up with the concept of a digital communication campaign and created a branded series. Each episode was created by a separate animation team and used different animation techniques and art styles.
If before that we listed successful, unusual or simply important projects, then the multimedia challenge of journalists Mikhail Zygar and Karen Shainyan, who tells about the global events of one year, has the ambition to bring the Russian serial industry to the world level. The idea is strikingly simple: Mikhail Zygar takes the experience of his documentary works "All the Kremlin's Men" and "The Empire Must Die" and transfers it to an Internet platform. The viewer is holding a smartphone of some outstanding personality: from Yuri Gagarin and Vladimir Vysotsky to Andy Warhol and Jean-Luc Godard. The text is also well-known, but nowadays a person reads. Letters, experiences, fateful decisions. Anyone who opened one of the short (8-15 minutes) episodes of this series will be able to find out what changed the minds of people at one of the most important, according to the creators, moments in history - in 1968.
Mikhail Zygar and Karen Shainyan
the creators of the series
A person's phone is a direct access to his head. We wanted to make a project for everyone: accessible, simple and instantly engaging. Documentary films, by definition, limit their audiences. To expand it, you need a special approach. We decided not to send the viewer back to the 1960s, but, on the contrary, to bring the 1960s closer to us. To make them clearer without further ado, simply by packaging the content into the interfaces we are used to. Therefore, our heroes use Uber, Tinder, Internet banking and social networks and put emoji in messengers.
PHOTOS: Rutube, MIM Film Studio, Takie Dela, Lateral Summer, Metrafilms, IQ Marketing, Bazelevs, Amediateka