Director Dmitriy Dyachenko
Cinematographer Yuriy Nikogosov
Production Designer Eldar Karkhalev
Set Decorator Nikolay Alekseev
Property Master Maksim Sklyarov
Assistant Production Designer Kseniya Borisova
We needed an exceptional shooting location for the film about the constant confrontation between man and nature in the broadest sense of the word. In search of the best place, I visited the Urals, Karelia and Altai. Somewhere there was no suitable forest, somewhere there was unstable weather in winter or no space for holding production. Only in Altai, I found everything we needed.
An important episode of the film which takes place in the hunting winter hut resembles a «survival machine». There are only strong walls, a stove, plank beds and nothing more. Therefore, I focused on the textures. For example, I took the colors for painting the log house from the stones to which it was attached. The hut by its design became a part of the rock and thus no longer belonged to civilization.
I wanted the houses not to be placed next to each other, which was the main problem in finding the right village. Surrounded by mountains, locals try to choose flat terrain for building their houses. I had to look at more than twenty villages to choose the one where the houses go down the slope, the sun sets from the right side, and there are enough interesting shooting points.
At the very beginning of the preparation for filming, we made large frameworks for the scenery. There we managed to rehearse the basic camera movements. The most important requirement was having enough space for the group, but not making the scenery look too large.
Hunting is a murder. It was important for us to represent somehow the smell of death dissolved inside the winter hut. I thought that this sense can be obtained by making a subtle glossy coating on objects. We have tried all the methods, up to impregnating walls and floors with vegetable oil.