We produced a nice story about a good fellow. We showed the real vital situations when each of us can get into, and searched for some way out — not only right, but estimable.
As the film is focused on children and young people (although I’m sure, that it has become the family film in the result), I’d like to point that there is no didacticism in the movie. All the heroes reveal themselves through actions.
During the movie process I understood, how difficult it was for a sportsman to be in the film and simultaneously to maintain high physical fitness. I realized that it wasn’t easy for Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Lee. Primarily because I had to perform difficult power acts. Sometimes I forced myself to muster all strength...
This film is about the forgotten history of the Ukrainians. I would even say — about folk-lore. For example, the Chinese shoot dozens of films only about Bruce Lee up to nowadays. And we have such people to be proud of — I. Piddubny, I. Firtsak and many others, whose names at their time were sounded in the whole world! But for some reason we hide it, it’s buried somewhere, it’s hidden...
Victor Andriyenko phoned me. We met that day. He told me about the scenario with such an excitement and emotions, that I consented without hesitation! Moreover, the story tells about a fellow from a village who, for no reason at all, left for a strange city to find the best life. Believe me, but I saw a lot of common with my life, because long ago I also went to unknown Lviv in search of happiness.
That’s why I simply was myself in the movie! We often joked on the film location, for example, if I had been invited to screen in an erotic film, I would have felt myself exactly «like a fish out of water». Actually each of us worked there according to his kind of sport.
Actually, I performed myself — as a weight-lifter. I was engaged into heavy athletics for 7 years, so I simply had to cast my mind back. And that’s all! Certainly, there is a difference between power-lifting, which I go in for now, and heavy athletics. The first is more strength kind of sport, and the second is a speedy one. In two weeks prior to film-shooting I practiced previous exercises and worked on speed a bit in order to feel.
There was a contact moment, when I had to kick my coach not much. That is to «put him at his place» — as if to ask, «Who are you?». I planned to do it very slightly, not to injure anything. But suddenly Victor Andriyenko appeared and ordered to smash and make him double over for a spectator to feel the moment! We were amused strongly then.
Camera-man Oleksandr KRYSHTALOVYCH, art-director Ihor FILIPOV, music by Ihor STETSYUK, sound producer Oleh KULCHYTSKY, film editor Victor MALYARENKO, song FAGOTT (Oleh MYKHAILYUTA).
The movie was made by the studio «Insight Media» Producer center through the request of the Ukrainian national agency in cinema issues.
- All actors in the film are dressed in the authentic historical suits of the beginning of the ХХ century, given by the Czech studio «Barrandov» (Czech Republic).
- 20 retro-motor cars were used at the set of the film (Poland).
- More than 4000 extra players played in the film.
- All power tricks in the film were performed alive.
- The weight of the block, which is broken by anvils on the breasts of the leading character, who lies on big nails during the trick, is 350 kg.
- Tableware, antique items, newspapers, furniture etc were given by private collectors and museums.
- All circus scenes were screened in the real circus Shapito (Kyiv), the majority of the European scenes — in Chernivtsi, and also in Kamyanets-Podilskiy.
- The part of filming was made on Ivan Firtsak motherland — in Irshavskiy district at Zakarpattya, in the yard and house of Firtsak’s family.
- The scenario was written at Ihor Pysmenniy’summer cottage near Moscow.
- The animation scenes were made by «Sakhaltuev Production Company», the animation format was offered by Viktor Andriyenko.
The movie started its production on August 21, 2012. Shooting had been lasted for three months and a half. During the time the production team visited Tchernivtsi three times, several stages were screened in Kamyanets-Podilsky and in Irshavsky district in Zakarpattya (just there, in the village of Bilky, Ivan Firtsak was born and finished his vital way). The considerable part of the movie was filmed in «Shapito» Kiev circus and all its actors were involved into camera-recording.
More than 4 thousand people participated in crowd scenes — both professional actors and ordinary inhabitants.