Interview with Max Vitko on ISA award-winning “Risky Boys”

Awarded Silver Best Sound Design and honorable mentions for Best First Time Director and Best Editing, “Risky Boys” directed by Ukrainian Max Vitko illustrates in its best what is being done by new filmmakers from East Europe with low or no budgets. A competent and compelling short film in a “retro wave style”.

Watch below the video of behind the scenes, specially edited for Independent Shorts Awards.

Max Vitko

Max Vitko

Max Vitko is editor, cameraman and film director, born in 1996 in Kremenchuk (Ukraine). From an early age, he was passionate about cinematography. Now, he is 22 and studies journalism at Kremenchuk national university. During his studies, he worked on many training video projects on different topics. One of them took the award at “All-Ukrainian competition of television programs 2016” for the best demonstration of sports life moments. In 2017 he took first place at the Kremenchug festival “Together for good”, for his student’s video project “Honesty”. But the dream to make a movie did not leave him. “Risky Boys” is his debut as writer and film director, a short film that follows the story of a young guy, who has a clear life position to not do any evil. Together with his friends, he messes up a photographer, one of them steals photographer’s bag in which some money turns out to be. Along with that, serious consequences occur making the protagonist feel as if everything done by him is coming back.

ISA: What made you decide to make this film?

Max Vitko: I decided to make this film because I wanted to shoot my first movie, and I liked the “Everything is coming back” topic very much. I thought it would be a good idea to show it in my film.

ISA: What budget did you have and how did it affect the production?

MV: The “Risky Boys” had a very modest budget. We made it only for 300$ and limited our possibilities. But there were advantages. We are still learning how to make something new and show it in an interesting way.

ISA: How long was the shooting and which were the main challenges on the set?

MV: It took us all the Fall, at weekends. It’s my first work at this level, so we don’t have enough experience. Basically, it regards actors and me, being a film director. But the main problem was to find out the free time from each actor.

ISA: Besides the explicit story you tell, what did you want to tell to the audience with “Risky Boys”?

MV: At first, I would like to tell that some of our actions return to you. No matter it’s evil or good. And second, I think that there is still no clear definition of what is good and and what is evil. I mean, the way he will make it, the way he will do it. So be careful.

ISA: What impact do you expect to have with “Risky Boys”?

MV: I guess people will think about consequences before they do something.

ISA: Are you happy with the final result or would you change something?

MV: Yes, I’m really happy with the result. I did it in the way as I wanted to do it. I would not change anything.

Risky Boys

Risky Boys

ISA: What are your overall career goals and what’s next?

MV: Filmmaking is my passion and I want to do it all my life. Right now, I’ve almost finished shooting my next project. It’s a short movie about sports and I’m planning to submit it to ISA as soon as it’s ready.

ISA: What meant for you, as a Ukrainian filmmaker, to be awarded in Independent Shorts Awards, among so many films mainly from US?

MV: It is my dream for a very long time to visit America and especially LA. I was very happy when I found out that my film was chosen for the official selection. For me, this means that I took another step closer to my dream. I think that ISA is an important film festival, which takes place in the very center of world cinematography. It’s time to be a part of this. And at the end, I would like to thank all people who helped me in production: Sergiy Volochin, Yaroslav Lukianets, Volodymyr Mykhaylyk, Zakhar Shevchenko, Viacheslav Pohudin for re-recording voice. Also big thanks to music artist for their nice tracks: Droid Bishop, Race To Polaris, Android Automatic, Orax, Marvel83 and Star Spawn.

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