1) How did you get into directing?
I’ve wanted to direct since I was 10, but what really helped open the doors for me was my “Grand Theft Auto: Rise” short film based on the popular video game series. The film went almost viral immediately and to date has collected over 13 million views. It led me to being signed and begin my career.
2) What is your most recent project?
A TVC for Nissan that is currently in postproduction.
3) What is the best part of being a director?
I would say it’s the moment when you look at the finished work and realize what was sketched on paper with a pen has now been created, transcended into something real. It’s a very profound moment, like the birth of a child.
4) What is the worst part of being a director?
Like anything, it has its own flaws, but you get to love every single one of them.
5) What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
Commercials and branded content. I’m also currently developing a feature film. I’m naturally attracted to creating conceptual and visual work, whether that’s commercials, games, or films. For me the idea is the most important part, while I’m receptive and open to different genres—except comedy, it’s just not my cup of tea.
6) Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates with you?
Sometimes a question means a lot more than an answer. Those very questions have always resonated with me and contributed to numerous lessons simply by searching for the answers.
7) Who is your favorite director and why?
Do I have to pick only one?
8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
“The future Mr. Gitts, the future.”
9) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I was born in Russia and had wanted to do film since I was 10. My grandparents explained that I should pick something more realistic and I made a logical conclusion to become a surgeon. I began to study and memorized the name of every bone in the human body. After I moved to Los Angeles when I was 14, I chose to pursue my true passion; film. So I checked in to the library and started learning English.