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The Magic of Editing: The Interview with Konstantin Kochubey, the Film Editor

Konstantin Kochubey, the Russian film editor, told us how popular music videos and commercials are filmed and what you need to make a mark in this industry.

Konstantin Kochubey is engaged in video production – he makes resulting videos from the footage. He had worked as a cameraman and a film editor for various projects for more than eight years. For the last five years, he has been cooperating with “Hoodyakov Production”, a well-known Russian company.

He worked on a number of music videos for famous Russian performers such as Timati, Philipp Kirkorov, Egor Kreed, Valery Meladze, Morgenshtern and others. His carrier also includes work on commercial videos for such international brands as “Mercedes-Benz”, “Audi”, “Mondelez”, “MUCOS EMULSIONS, GmbH” and such Russian companies as “MegaFon”, “Aeroflot”, “Magnit”, “Sady Pridonya” (Rus. “Мегафон”, “Аэрофлот”, “Магнит”, “Сады Придонья”).

The range of your works is impressive. But how did you start your career?

It all started with a simple hobby. I liked to make videos since the time I went to school. When I went to college, I shot my travels and posted them on my YouTube channel. Then my friends began to ask me to edit videos of different events or for their blogs.

Then my customers started recommending me for other projects, and I began to work on filming or editing commercial videos for IT companies, banking and other business industries.

And once I was contacted by “Hoodyakov Production” – they offered me to edit a music video of Philipp Kirkorov on set. Since then, for five years, I have been on the staff of the “Hoodyakov Production” team.

Which video shooting was the most difficult and memorable?

Technically, the most difficult but also the most exciting shooting for me was shooting action videos. Car chases, explosions, gunshots, burning buildings, etc. — working with them, you can implement the most incredible ideas.

For example, I remembered the shooting of the video “Chetko” (Rus. Четко) with Artur Babich and Danya Milokhin (Russian TikTok performers) where the latter had to hang upside down, sing on the throne of exploding firecrackers and put on a burning jacket. By the way, the video eventually won an award at Chetko I Tagore International Film Festival (2022).

Many of the music videos you edited won awards, right?

Yes, especially in the music industry. This genre has the advantage of not limiting us in time too much, and the musicians are more willing to try something new. Therefore, the film editor can think out of the box and create a real work of modern art.

For example, the music video of Timati feat. HANZA & OWEEK won the BEST MUSIC VIDEO at the Skandal BERLIN MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS 2021.

Or the music video of Polina Goudieva won the award at the EUROPE MUSIC AWARDS 2022 in the BEST POP VIDEO category and also won the MUSIC VIDEO award at the World Film Carnival Festival in Singapore.

How did you make commercial videos for “Mondelez International”?

It was one of the most engaging projects in my professional life. We had to shoot several videos for the upcoming FIFA World Cup with products by Mondelez International, Inc. such as Dirol, Oreo, TUC, Picnic and Alpen Gold.

In total, we had to shoot about 20 videos while having only 20 hours for this.

Each frame was thought out to a fraction of a second. Sometimes, it took 20 takes to get a perfect picture. As a result, all videos turned out to be action-packed, with beautiful visual effects and really exciting.

What personal skills do you need to succeed in this occupation? And which of them do you have?

In addition to technical skills, carefulness and thoroughness are also very important. There are many simultaneous processes on the set that affect the final product. And when working with stars or very busy customers with every minute scheduled with precision, you may not have a second chance to shoot them.

For example, when we shot a New Year’s commercial for Sberbank (a Russian banking company) with all its products, we had to consider a lot of details. Even before shooting, the film editor needs to understand how to seamlessly implicate all products in the video and anticipate various things such as snow outside or recognizable narrative details.

Imagination, virtuosity and sense of style also play an important role. And, of course, diplomacy. The film editor often acts as a point of contact between the customer and the director. I think I have all these skills.

What do you need to be a good film editor?

First of all, you need to love this profession, know how to deal with stress and minor troubles while generating many creative ideas and have control of details.

You also should not be afraid to face responsibilities. The film editor is engaged in the project from the start of production to its very release.

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