Interview with Anna Troyanskaya | director of ‘Circle Drums In the Backyard’

Please introduce yourself .

This week we have a talk with Anna Troyanskaya, Russian actress and independent filmmaker. “Circle drums in the backyard”, short film hosted , but because my acting career is not very successful, I decided to make my own movies where I can get interesting, non-usual roles. So now, I am an independent filmmaker.  And “Circle drums in the back yard” is my third short film, first in fiction-documentary style. 

When did you start your career?

I have been acting for more than 10 years now.  In 2010 I decided to make movies myself where I would play and be also movie director. I had a good feeling about a script and I wanted to play very much the role of the main character. So I started to think how to make this short film. This was my first short movie: “Fear and tremble”.

Can you describe us the reasoning behind “Circle Drums in the Backyard (2012)”?

I had been in a Russian country side music festival and I was very much inspired by the atmosphere and the creativity of the people around: Everybody was singing, dancing; everybody was happy, just to see the beauty of their surroundings with no need for comfort, no need for money, forgetting the hassles of the day-to-day life, just enjoying life. Before I went to this festival, I thought such a spirit would float in the air only in India. But after, I realized it could be also in Russia and actually anywhere in the world, providing we take time to more carefully look around and observe the natural beauty of Earth. However, I was also shocked and confused about adult people behaving as children. I wanted to show it in a movie and thought it could be interesting to play and to watch. So, I have the idea to make a movie, a kind of adventure where some young guys go into a miracle world in the deep country side without understanding what is happening to them.

How long did the development of your film take?

I work on the idea and the script for 2 years. I also thought a lot about the unreal vision of girl’s appearance to the young heroes and how to shoot these dreamy flashes. I prepared my crew for 2 months before going 300 km away from Moscow with no-budget. I had the equivalent of 100€ for all expenses during the entire time of the shooting. It took us 3 days of traveling to Kaluga country side and shooting the movie. Afterwards, I have realized that I was poorly prepared in terms of budget. I am not a “business” orientated lady and look more at the artistic part of our world. I am convinced that this project might be of good interest for a large audience but I struggle to find ways to demonstrate it and promote the movie.

Can you describe what was most   challenging about shooting your film?

We lived in tents when we shoot “Circle drums in the back yard” and I had the responsibility of 2 video cameras, 2 Canon photo cameras and all kind of hardware of precious value. I was very worried that it could be stolen. Fortunately nothing wrong happened! All these hippies around us were very nice, friendly and trusty. I felt very safe to make the shooting during the festival. I just regret that I could not make all the scenes I had planned because of money constraint and that the movie could not be a full and real fiction movie. I realized, at the beginning of the movie during the scenes in the train, that I could not follow completely the script. But because I am a responsible person who likes to go to the end of the projects that I undertake, I decided to mix the fiction story with a documentary about the festival. I was sure that the editing would allow me to assemble a fiction story in the surroundings of a music festival, and therefore the movie to exist.

According to your artistic point, who or what is the main inspiration for representing the concept of your story?

The key word is “Atmosphere”: During the festival, people don’t mind about the lack of comfort; they are ready to share food or space in their tents; they enjoy singing and dancing, distant from the music star system. It is a kind of parenthesis in their life, being in the nature, singing, dancing, behaving as children would do.  When the festival is over they will return to their life of adults and this parenthesis of the festival was the main inspiration of my movie.

How do you see the role of an independent artist nowadays?

There is, and fortunately there will always be the need for drivers on the path to Beauty, helping people to open their senses and their mind. These drivers can be musicians, painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, singers, writers, in a word the Artists.  They are the essential link between the fury of our world of war, angriness, coldness of business and the peaceful environment of what is beautiful to see, to hear or to think. Artists can be this link if they are fully independent with the freedom of performing their Art without the exigency of financial return but only with the exigency of creativity in genre, in style and in thoughts within the circle of the 7 Arts.

What’s next? Are there any other projects that you are currently working at?

I have finished my first documentary film, but I start to think that it is probably too long. It is about an hour and half long. It depicts a simple person moving on this earth in a very lonely manner. I am thinking about reducing the length of the movie. Also, I work on a new script of a feature film based on the Novel of Anton Chekhov. I think Chekhov is expressing fears and wishes of people in a very contemporary manner.

  Screening films online – what are your thoughts about that? What do you think is the future of web and films?

It’s quite difficult for independent artists to get their movies screened and to get large audience without a good producer or famous actors and actresses. So, online screening is helpful in that respect. For the spectators, it is also easy to select good movies if you have access to a reputable web site with reliable comments from users.

And finally, what do you think about EuroIFC?

I think EuroIFC does provide young filmmakers great opportunities to show their movies, to meet with their peers, discuss their future projects, their common problems and to make valuable contacts with the community.

Watch Circle Drums in the Backyard here>>here