Battle for immunity

30.05.2014

The actors workshop came from our children and were led by Sergey Svetlakov. The film was produced by Timur Bekmambetov and Varya Avdyushko, co-founders of our foundation; and the director was one of the cinematographers from the film franchise “Yolki” (Chritmas Trees), Dmitry Kiselev. We are also pleased to say thank you for his participation in the project to camera operator Vladislav Opelyants, who worked on such films as  "12" and "Burnt by the Sun 2".Roman Nepomnyashchy helped to develop the script The plot of the film is simple: the battle between good and evil, between the body’s immune system and disease –a story the kids on the wards of our hospital know only too well. 

Timur Bekmambetov says: "They decided to tell what happens to them in their own way as they struggle with the microbes and viruses, and why their bodies, affected with primary immunodeficiencies, need immunoglobulin so much. As soon as we heard about this idea we immediately wanted to help the children express themselves. The team of volunteers formed very quickly and all the pre-production, from conception to realization, took us no more than two weeks. " 

"The children cannot be taught anything, you can only just let them play. And it’s not like playing a role, as an actor might do on the stage. You just have to play with them like in a game - and then everything turns out well”, says Dmitry Kiselev, as he shares his impressions from the filming. “The children who participated in the filming were, of course, also very excited and enthusiastic. I think, among other things, they wanted to be treated like normal healthy children, and they behaved accordingly. At the same time, during the filming, we tried to treat our young actors with special care and to spread the load on them. The parents were always nearby and they know their children and their capabilities. We allowed the kids to rest constantly, and sent them to bed exactly as the hospital schedule requires and to which they are accustomed."

The film set itself was a narrow hospital corridor, located next to the Department of Clinical Immunology, where the kids receive treatment. The corridor immediately became an entanglement of wires, and instead of nurses at their post ready to intercede, stuntman rehearsed their tricks. The hospital changed beyond recognition, as did our kids too. They were turned into real actors. Although coping with the role that they had so enthusiastically embraced did not come so easy. 

“Do not laugh at the camera, okay?” one small actor teaches another. The second one smiles all the time as soon as he hears the word “turnover!” "Just do the take and do not laugh." “I am not laughing, actually!” comes the response.

"Action". Again another surreptitious smile spreads from ear to ear. Professionalism, it seems, comes with experience.

The role of King was played by Daniel: “I am the King! I'm not afraid of monsters!” The King is the leader of the forces of Light. It so happened that the King was two heads lower than all the other warriors. Therefore, the army looked at the King somewhat disparagingly, but no-one was arguing. The King is the King, after all.

It was decided to ambush the powers of darkness. The warriors split up; some hid around the corner, and some decided to meet the enemy face to face. Some included the King.

“If you want to, hide, but I'm going to wait here”, he snapped. He stood calmly in the center of the corridor, looking back to where the enemy was to appear. The clash of the troops of immunity against the insidious enemy - stuntman, depicting harmful bacteria - resulted in two broken cardboard swords and one apologetic warrior: "It's not me that broke it! It’s this bacterium - and he came at me and then “kaaaaak” snap!" And the King?

“The King squeaked loudly!” the same warrior reports.

The stuntmen, who made the King "squeak", have been working with Timur Bekmambetov for 10 years now, since the film "Night Watch". They had the toughest job on set: after the first collision of light and dark forces, Igor Tsai had to rub his bruises and count his scratches - all the cardboard swords in the hands of the children were broken on his back. The little heroes tussled with the actors, playing malevolent viruses, in all seriousness, not in jest, as if they were real enemies. It seemed as if they put into this battle, made famous in the movies, all their strength and desire for victory over the disease.

All the cardboard props and even the cardboard castle itself were designed, constructed and donated to the shoot by our old friend,  "Cardboard Dad" Evgeny Kudryavtsev, a winner at the third festival of education for children "START UP". For the last two years he has regularly come to the children in the hospital and arranged workshops and cardboard fights. In the role of the viruses, the leader of the dark forces was performed by "Professor Bubbles" Ilya Zhilin. He hissed and rushed at the children, blowing smoke everywhere. Because of this and the work in the corridor,  the "smoke machine" triggered the hospital’s smoke alarms several times.

In December 2014 "Battle of Immunity" will be used as a prize at the Christmas charity event “Action!”, organized by Svetlana Bondarchuk. Bidders can compete for the status of a co-producer with Timur Bekmambetov: the name of the winner will appear at the beginning of the film. All proceeds from the sale of this item will be used to purchase medicines for the children, who need continual therapy.

The film will premiere in cinemas on January 29, 2015: it will be the support film for the major Russian comedy "Shaggy Xmas Trees” and other Russian films.

"BATTLE FOR IMMUNITY"

Production: BAZELEVS

Produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Varya Avdyushko

Executive producers: Alla Sobetski Luda Vereykina

Production manager: Dmitry Kets

Director: Dmitry Kiselev ("Black Lightning", "Christmas Tree")

Writers: Roman Nepomnyashchii ("Christmas Tree", "Freaks"), Dmitry Kiselev

Operator: Vladislav Opelyants ("12", "Burnt by the Sun 2")

Costume Designer: Yevgeny Kudryavtsev ("Cardboard Dad"), Maria Shvachkin

Stunt Igor Tsai ("Night Watch," "Wanted," "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter")

Manufacture of computer effects: Paul Perepelkin ("Night Watch," "Day Watch", "Wanted", "Black Lightning")

Decoration: Evgeny Kudryavtsev ("Cardboard Dad")

Special effects - "Professor Bubbles" Ilya Zhilin

Technology provided for filming: RENTAPHOTO (www.rentaphoto.com), CineLab (www.cinelab.ru)

Cast: Sergey Svetlakov, Ilia Zhiltsov ("Professor Bubbles"), Pasha Volbenko, Alina Kotova, Sasha Kuzshichkov, Jamal Kurkiyev, Dima Manashevsky, Sasha Shirokov, Sergei Chubary, Yaroslav Ushakov.

http://www.ntv.ru/novosti/1003160/ - NTV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k_SwfBVlDY&feature=share&list=UUsxd-Drk7iYG50Ly-LVNWaw&index=1 - REN TV