Tuesday, September 29, 2009

VIDEO: Georgian Film Posters. By Rupert Wolfe Murray (youtube.com)

I was in Tbilisi (Georgia) recently on a film production training course organised by http://www.traineastfilm.org/ Part of the course involved visiting the state's film studio, which is rather large and well endowed. As my colleagues were shown round the stages and studios I stayed in the corridors and photographed their poster collection -- most of which you can see here.

On the bus back to the hotel I spoke to an old filmmaker who told me that Georgian film was rather successful under the Soviet Union, and it was known as one of the top producers within the Union. The whole film market was closed to outside films back then and a lot of films were made -- in Russia, Ukraine and Georgia in particular. I confirmed this with a Ukranian trainee who said Georgians were particularly appreciated for their comedy.

All of this is a bit sad as today the film industry in the former Soviet space is a pale shadow of its former self. Ukraine are getting into making TV spots for western clients (bargain hunting production companies in search of rock bottom costs), what few films Russia produces were halted by the financial crisis and in Georgia there is almost nothing going on. And we in the west didn't even know that Georgia has a tradition in filmmaking -- and if we had maybe we should have done something to support it. America has been pumping lots of money into Georgia and maybe a few bucks thrown at the film industry could have saved it (as well as Hollywood being given some incentives to locate their next B movies there).

The Georgian Film Studios offer modern filmmaking studio facilities at prices that are about half what Romania (once the cheapest place to produce in Europe) now charges. If you are in the film business you should check them out on www.geofilm.ge

Another good contact in Georgia is the "Independent Filmmakers' Association of South Caucuses". They can be found on www.ifasc.org.ge

If you would like to see more images from Georgia, or Romania, Serbia and Kosovo for that matter you should subscribe to this YouTube page. Don't worry about being inundated; I only put one or two things online every month

I am also a recent convert to Twitter and can be followed @wolfemurray

Hope you enjoy the posters and I would like to hear your feedback.

Regarding the music, you may have noticed that I've credited Martin Medeski and Wood with a blues song I had wanted to use. But those pesky folks at YouTube forbade me to use the song as its not licenced to them, but they have this cool "audio swop" functionj whereby you choose from their list of approved songs -- most of which I've never heard of. I finally chose Mozart.

Rupert Wolfe Murray

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