SHASHKA-SAMORUBKA (THE SELF-FULFILLING SABER)

A fairy tale of the Kotovskaya Stanitsa

Жили были в станице казак с своей бабою. Жили они ни бедно и ни богато, а так себе, середка на половине. Были у них три сына. Старшего звали Петром, середнего Николаем и меньшего Ванюшкой. Первые два старших были умными, а меньшой был не так чтоб совсем глупым, а «малость с придурью» у своих отца с матерью и станичников считался.

   One upon a time, there lived in the stanitsa (Cossack station settlement) a Cossack with his wife and three sons – Peter,  Nicholas and Vanka (Ivan).

The story revolves around the youngest son Vanka, amidst the wish of his father to settle down and have his own family like his older brothers, Vanka refused and asked his father instead to give him freedom and travel the world in search for his happiness and find the treasured Stephan Timofeevich Razin’s Shashka ( Stepan Razin, the famous leader of the 1670-71 insurgency. According to the legend he quotes, Razin stowed the magic shashka away in the mountains.) Along the way, Vanya encountered diferrent challenges to fulfill his quest.

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STORYBOARDS

The Benefits of Black & White Rendering

Black and white images appear to be more timeless than color images. … Humans see the world in color, and a rendition of the world in monochrome makes us pause and look closely. Removing color from images helps the viewer to focus on a subject’s emotional state.

Black-and-white focuses you on the content and the story, and it really concentrates your attention on what’s in the frame. All too often, color can be a distraction — it’s easier to make color look good, but harder to make color service the story. Black-and-white imagery is much more about the balance between the light and shade in the frame, and I think it can help convey story points a lot better with fewer distractions.

Lighting is not only about lighting; it’s also about not lighting, and cutting light off of objects as much as shining light on them. Those kinds of considerations are as important in colour photography as they are in black-and-white, but the sheer beauty of a well-composed and well-lit black-and-white frame is hard to beat, because it’s difficult to produce that type of focus and simplicity when you’re shooting in color. It’s vitally important to be able to separate shapes and surfaces through the use of light and shade, and to focus the audience’s attention on what you want them to see. Color is seductive, but it’s harder to get past the surface gloss to create a truly simple and relevant image. I almost wish every film were in black-and-white.