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The 2014 Ukraine Coup and the Demonization of Russia

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In bk.: Russiagate Revisited: The Aftermath of a Hoax. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023. P. 225-247.

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Haastatteluaineisto Yves Montand Neuvostoliitossa, lähdemateriaali. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:lb-2020081502. The Language Bank of Finland, 2021

What goes on behind the scenes? Master class by Konstantin Muchnik

On February 18, a master class was held at the Media Institute's media centre by Konstantin Muchnik, chief cameraman of the Russian State TV company. The event was attended by his colleagues, who are also practitioners. The experts talked about the peculiarities of cameraman work and what they will teach at their practical course, "The Mastery of Videographer in the Modern Media Environment," which starts on March 22.

What goes on behind the scenes? Master class by Konstantin Muchnik

,Vladimir Volkov

At the beginning of the master class, Konstantin Muchnik answered questions from Ivan Raspopov, moderator, TV presenter for the Moscow 24 channel. "The cameraman is the only profession without which it is impossible to create video content. You can do without a director, without a correspondent, but without the person who controls the camera, it is impossible," said the speaker. Konstantin Muchnik also spoke about the aims of the course and the skills the students will acquire on it: "We are not going to torture you with theory for a long time. Our task is to recruit fresh personnel. We want you to know the laws of composition, work with light, know how to mount at least an elementary work, and master the skills of a sound engineer."

Konstantin Muchnik, Chief Operator, the Russian State TV company

"The viewer really doesn't know the laws of composition. He is not interested in it, he doesn't want to know it and doesn't need to know it. But he has a very subtle feel for the product's design. A cameraman who knows about composition, knows how to mount and set the light, the viewer will always feel it".

The practical part of the master class was conducted by Pyotr Basov, Deputy Head of the Department of  Cameramen of the Rossiya TV Channel. He gave the audience an opportunity to work with a real TV camera and try their hand at being a sound technician. In addition, the speaker explained the importance of choosing the right video camera depending on the weather conditions and type of shooting. "For a cameraman, the equipment is paramount, not the skill," he stressed.

Konstantin Morozov, the Russian State TV company cameraman, elaborated on how to use the equipment in everyday life. He also noted that the cameraman must take responsibility for his work because not all mistakes can be corrected during editing: "Every 'yeah yeah' on set turns into a 'yeah yeah!' in post-production". The speaker showed how to record sound correctly and which recorder is the best for that. He stressed the importance of patience: "In our profession of cameramen, we do not have the concept of "inconvenience", we have the concept of "must". If you want it to be beautiful, you have to be patient".

Kirill Malykhin, Deputy Head of the VESTI  News Department, told the audience about the subtleties of working with light. "The specifics of my work are that you have to improvise all the time. You are constantly looking for something new in the most beaten up things," the expert clarified.  He also shared some professional tricks that can be used in everyday life as well, like shooting from the window, placing light from above, and working during the "golden hour", i.e., the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. "Clouds are a cameraman's best friend," laughed Kirill Malykhin, referring to the difficulties of shooting on sunny days.

We asked the speakers what benefits they saw in their work.

Konstantin Muchnik: "We have travelled all over the world. There are a few countries where we have not been. An operator constantly faces something new: new impressions, new people, new correspondents, and new speakers. This is very interesting".

Peter Basov: "Every now and then you find yourself in very interesting places at very interesting times. You could say that you take part in historical events. It is very cool, and few professions provide such an opportunity. Besides, you don't have to work solely in one field, an operator is an interdisciplinary profession.

Konstantin Morozov: "It's a constant development. Whether you like it or not, you always have to be at the cutting edge of the profession. Our whole life is, in fact, a profession".

Kirill Malykhin: "There is no sense of monotony. All the days are different".

Attention! Enrollment is open for Konstantin Muchnik's course, "Mastery of Videographer in the Modern Media Environment." Starts on March 22, 2023. 

To learn more and apply for the course, please click here.

Author: Anastasiya Zhaliy, a second-year student of "Journalism" programme of the Media Institute

Translation: Polina Semenova, a first-year student of Master's programme "Contemporary Journalism"