Haunted house: what do conceal storages of FILM.UA

• 08.06.2012

Wardrobe and property-rooms are a special world that lives by its laws and holds many secrets. 

At FILM.UA costume and props storages are living by the law of energy conservation - nothing disappears: things that have been purchased for a specific project are kept on the shelves of warehouses and begin to live their own life, wandering from project to project. Along with "hostesses" of all these riches, I tried to trace the cycle of props in the projects and have a look, what has the film studio got hold of for nearly 10 years of existence.

I got a little confused as I looked at the warehouse of props - a hangar with a subdued light, crammed with furniture, housewares, appliances and lots of devices, purpose of which is known only to God and art director. And therefore I asked the Chief of the warehouse of props Natalia Veselka to start with the most interesting:

- Here is old furniture, which we got from the projects «Moscow saga» and «Heavy sand». No one else has such. 

- When it was made?

- 40’s, 50’s. Furniture is indeed exclusive – one won’t find something like this, and we look after it carefully, trying not to damage it. It is real wood, which is unfortunately is prone to destruction. 

- Does it require special storage conditions? 

- It would be nice to have it restored - it would be great if we had a workshop or some kind of department. Well, now that Oleg Tsos appeared who jack-of-all-trades, but one can’t cope - the amount is very large.

-It’s already 50’s - says Natalia pointing on the sideboard with glass doors. - Typical Soviet furniture. We have three such sideboards, which we treat with care, because they are very important, and look good in the frame. We have yet another rarity - rotating mirror, though it is now at the shooting area.

And here's one more thing «working» all the time – cast-iron bath on golden legs. However, I do not know how you will take a picture of it - there are dead bodies.

Don’t pay attention to the «dead» - look at the golden legs

- The thing is modern, but very expensive and heavy, so it is easier to rent from us, rather than buy or rent in the store - scratches are inevitable, even under the most careful treatment. So it is rented for series, television projects, and even videos.

- Here is a clock that is often shot - it was almost in all our military projects: «Werewolf Hunt», «Black Sheep», «Special Dispatch» ... And not just in ours. They were made in Soviet times, but when exactly, it’s hard to find out – it was well camouflaged under antique. You see, the style of 40-50s, but I think it’s not that old.

- And here we have storage of suitcases, we also got them from the «Moscow Saga» and «Heavy Sand». They are more than 130 of them, all rare, war-time. Our warehouse is generally started with these suitcases and the furniture. They told how they brought three trucks from Shchors and «temporarily» attached to this room. When I came, I did not realize what was here: the top of the cupboard, for example, could be in one place, and the bottom - in another. There was only one rack, so we had to jury-rig, bring from the bomb shelter and buy. We collected it piece by piece. 

- Here we have modern dishes. We also got it from different projects, starting with «Lawless Heart»

- A lot of broken dishes are broken at the shooting area?

- About 10%, which are not only broken props. But as a rule, our projects restore it, or make a worthy replacement.

Making sure that the store has made an indelible impression on me, Natalia Veselka invited to take a look at the second part of their possessions - lighter and not so similar to the movies with ghosts.

There is constant movement in the storages: if the place gets vacant, it’s immediately filled with things from the project. 

- We have a lot of medical equipment of Soviet times - also a great value, which arrived from the project «Dr. Baby Dust».  Art designer Inga Zhytnaya promised to tell how it works, because there are many operating techniques.

- What projects used rarity furniture?

- Almost all objects (maybe except for a couple of cupboards) were used in our projects. In addition, it’s rented: recently, for example, Star Media was filming project «Anna German» - they rented a lot of furniture and weapons.

Here is the weapon  

- A lot of things are currently out of stock. For example, for the «Waiting list» we have purchased a nice couch, but now it is used on the set of sitcom «Taxi».

- Why do you need a separate warehouse?

- Soft stuff gathers lots of dust, and that place is quiet dusty, it used to be a cement plant. The dust is still flying over the territory.

I went to look at the costume rooms.

- And here we have medical clothes, which were used in projects «Dr. Baby Dust», «Waiting list» and «Territory of Beauty»

According to Irina, more than 18 thousand items are kept in stock. And it is - only women's clothing. There are also 6 stores with male clothing, theatrical, military, outwear and shoes. 

- Where did you get greatcoat from?

- From the project «Chapay». Uniform of Austrian soldiers – jodhpurs and single-breasted military, and greatcoats. 

- And here I have Hitler’s cloths. He was played by Misha Efremov in «Werewolf hunt»: full dress, coat and service cap.

- How do you manage to figure out in which project it was used? 

- I don’t have to. Soon we’re going to build another storage. 

I was really impressed by these storages. Here one can shoot a detective or a magic story, in general a very interesting place. And the keepers of it all are just like members of a secret order who know too much…