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Our people in Hollywood: producer Valeria Phil

Valeria Filshina gave up a successful career as a producer in her homeland to start all over again, but in Hollywood. Her track record includes several awards for the best advertising, filming with the director of Bondiada, a video for Ilya Lagutenko, Natalie Imbrulya, and the film Dom with Sergei Garmash and Bogdan Stupka.

The cozy home of Valeria Phil, as she prefers to call herself, is not far from Hollywood. Right at the entrance there is a big movie machine, around the mass of wires and appliances. In the hands of Valeria, the packages from the supermarket - the producer decided to please the students she let out for filming to her house. She was helped in life, and she should be sure 34-year-old Valeria.

Language to the states will bring

Perhaps Valeria owes her success to America to her parents, who in her native Zaporozhye enrolled her in a school with in-depth study of English. Thanks to her knowledge of the language, as a student, Valeria began working as a waitress at the restaurant “Ankle Sam” in Kiev. Work in this trendy place became her lucky ticket. "I was even hired from there to work as a translator by rich Jews from the oil business, they paid huge sums of money. I carried plates in the evening, translated to some energy minister in the morning, then ran to couples, dragged plates again, and thus paid for training and gained experience of working with important people, ”recalls Valeria.

One day, one of the employees of the restaurant asked Valeria to help her and other colleagues fill out lottery questionnaires in order to win a green card. It was 1997 year, many dreamed of emigrating. Valeria filled out the questionnaires to everyone, and the last - myself, at the same time. And I forgot about it. When, a year and a half later, the answer came that she had won a residence permit in the USA, Valeria was very surprised, but she didn’t do anything. She did not want to leave, at that time the language had already brought her to the movies.

After the restaurant, Valeria went to work as a translator. in a large production studio "Radioactive", which created music and commercials for the Western market. In just a year, the former waitress turned into a producer. “I didn't want to go to any America, I really liked what I was doing,” she recalls.

As a producer, Valeria negotiated with the foreign investors about the financing of projects, oversaw the entire process of creating advertisements, films and music videos. Customers - large and eminent.

On account of Valeria among other things - the clip of Nathalie Imbrulya “Shiver”.

According roller for the car “Renault Megane” she received the prestigious award “Cannes Lion” (it's like an Oscar on the European advertising market).

“I was a young, ambitious producer who tore everything. I worked for days and never stopped. But my husband and I drove to America every six months to register for a green card. ”

And then doubts began to appear - and maybe move? The decisive moment was a meeting with an immigration lawyer, who explained to Leray how she risked, formally “noting” on the green card. After a year and a half, the same lawyer helped Valerie make an American passport.

“I settled down completely in New York, paid taxes, worked as a freelance film worker. First for free, then for money, ”recalls Valeria.

Defeat pride

To be closer to Hollywood, Valeria moved to Los Angeles. Here again I had to start all over again and adjust to the new rules of the game. Here everyone needs to conquer his ambitions and pride; for a “dream factory”, former merits mean nothing. Important ability to work and the ability to adapt. In Ukraine, Valeria shot laptop advertising Lenovo Yoga with Martin Campbell, director of films from the Casino Royale and Golden Eye bond games.

“It's like this: oh, did you work with Martin? Well super, well done. And that's all. The competition is fierce. Here, 50 resumes come to the producer's place for one film per day "- explains Valeria, how high the requirements are in Hollywood.

To find a job, Valeria knocked on all doors. She calculated that in Los Angeles near 187 major production studios - and began sending out a resume. They answered no more than one letter out of ten. At first, she agreed to work for free. “And then, if you like, you will be noticed and offered the position of junior. There is a harsh world, the strongest survive, ”recalls Valeria.


The key to success is to plow hard, says Valeria Phil. Photos from personal archives

The right start was set by the meeting and further work with Rupert Wainwright (directed the films "Fog" and "Stigmata"), with him she collaborates to this day. According to the producer, Valeria's husband, Sergey Svetnoy, a lighting specialist, helped to get to know him.

For eight years in America, Valeria managed, among other things shoot a clip "Pirate copies" for the leader of the Mumiy Troll group and the idol of his own youth Ilya Lagutenko. Also on her track record of the American period - film "City of dreams" about the Arctic city of Barentsburg; the film “This is a free world” about illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe; the painting "House" with Bogdan Stupka and Sergei Garmash; advertising a line of swimsuits and underwear.

According to Valeria, after the move she began to earn two to three times more. “In America, work is paid both during the preparation of the project and during post-production, whereas in Ukraine the producer receives a fee only for filming days,” says Valeria.

A year and a half ago, Valeria opened her production center “Da! Films ”And now a lot of energy is invested in the development of this business. She undertakes to do commercials, television shows, movies and music videos. Now at the post-production stage - the film “Devil Harvest” directed by George Mendelyuk (there is no trailer yet, but you can read more about this film here). This project means a lot to Valeria, since it touches on the topic of the famine 1930 of the year, which is close to all Ukrainians. This film has a budget of 20 million dollars, and he is the most expensive film shot on the territory of Ukraine, says Valeria.

Staff “Da! Films ” so far small, only Valeria, her husband, lawyer, accountant, designer. Now in the development of a feature film, thriller, toIn addition, Valeria continues to work as a hired producer.

Do not need your samovar

According to Valeria, the recipe for success in Hollywood is simple: to plow a lot, not to be afraid of dirty work, including not to be ashamed of “making coffee”. “We are emigrants, we have to plow three times as much. We must be smarter, stronger, more restrained, but at the same time accept all the rules of the game that are dictated to us here, ”explains Valeria.

According to her, many people from post-Soviet countries lack a culture of communication on the set. In America, even the stars do not allow themselves to be rude and screaming. “We need to learn how to smile, we must also learn how to communicate openly and easily. You need to stop walking with sour faces and show all your emotions. Many Americans do not like this, ”says the producer.

In the sphere of show business it is very important to know English really well. Because the literal translation from Russian often sounds strange and even rude.

Customers from the post-Soviet countries, who believe that it’s prestigious to shoot something in Hollywood, often turn to Valeria. At the same time, they want to work semi-legally with very small budgets, Valeria complains. On average, a shooting day costs 50 thousand dollars, “Russians” often want to shoot the entire video for this amount.

As for the Russian-speaking actors - they really difficult. The accent is also hampered by completely different acting schools. And often - and the lack of discipline.

“We had a movie called“ Home ”with a famous Russian actor. He drank without drying out. I considered myself a top, did what he wanted, brought some girls to the playground, ”complains Valeria.

As an example, she cites the American actor Hugh Jackman, the stars of the film “Les Miserables”, who “jumps on horseback, is smart, and speaks any language, and handsome”.

There is something to dream about

While Valeria was talking with Forum in her office, young guys from the New York Film Academy were filming something in the living room. The director is Alexei Fedosov, also from Kiev, the rest - who is from where, blacks, Asians, Russians. Valeria loves to help budding filmmakers: she gives premises, equipment, even money. “I believe that something big is still waiting for me: a big patron from a big studio, who will also help me move on,” Valeria dreams.

She sets a goal: to get an Oscar. Nothing is impossible, she thinks, and Walt Disney's favorite quote is: “If you dare to dream about it, then you can do it.”

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