One of the main achievements of the Revolution of Dignity is that creative world of Europe and the United States got interest in Ukraine. Every half a year in YouTube trends appear music videos of mega popular rock and hip-hop bands. They collect millions of views and introduce the viewer the scenery of Troyeshchena, post-Soviet architecture of Kiev and the metro station “Darnytsa”. Opinion found out how Ukrainian clip makers managed to make hyperspace jump from Russian pop to Coldplay, MØ , Nothing but thieves, etc.
About two dozen music videos by Sergey Zverev, Jasmin, Anastasiya Volochkova, “VIA GRA”, etc. – it was the only thing that Ukrainian clip-maker industry could show off up to 2014. Fortunately or not, the thing that we’ve lost after the Revolution of dignity is the Russian pop-stage.
“That time, in Ukraine it wasn’t cheaper to film a music video than in Russia. However here, for the same price, filming was of a good quality. At the same time, in Russia, there was a big risk to have a bad product for the same money. A good video for an artist who can’t afford the video of an average quality can cost more than 40 thousand dollars. The start price is the same in Russia, however in the result, you’ll have a music video of a much poorer quality,” producer Mykhailo Yasynsky explained.
However, the throne can never be vacant and Kyiv clip makers will always have a bread to win. Against the backdrop of the Revolution of Dignity, a lot of foreign bands were attracted by Ukrainian atmosphere. Within every few months, on YouTube, there is a music video from Khreshchatyk or Troyeschyna.
Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky, 2014
“Kyiv is a beautiful city. In a last two years, everyone is just crazy about it. These incredible landscapes, extraordinary scenery: industrial, post-Soviet, modern – and often all of them in one place. Especially European production studios. When you look at their commercials or music videos, it turns out that many of them are filmed in Ukrainian capital. They are looking for inspiration and new locations here. They are looking for something that can impress fans,” director Frank Borin told.
Pink Floyd – Marooned, 2014
Among the places you can see in music videos there is Pripyat. There was filmed video for the song Marooned by legendary Pink Floyd. Video starts from the the space station. From inside of it you can see the panorama of the Earth. And in the second half of the video, viewers fall into abandoned city after Chernobyl disaster.
Coldplay – Up & Up, 2016
Up & Up clip by Coldplay got an incredible 150 million views. Surrealistic video wasn’t filmed in Ukraine; however it was made by Ukrainian studio Radioaktive Film.
“The most interesting and technically complex video is definitely Coldplay’s Up & Up. Directors Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia turned to us with their idea. Together with them, we tried to understand what we need to do, how to technically process materials from archive and who will help us with it, even before the preparation for the shooting itself. It is the process of archives’ selection and drawing up visual solutions and scenes for them for final cut. In general, how to make everything perfectly matched. It was technically and visually the biggest challenge. Of course we were pleased with the result,” executive producer of Radioaktive Film Yevheniia Yatsuta told us about her work with the megapopular group.
DJ Shadow – Nobody Speak feat. Run The Jewels, 2016
At first, there were attempts to make a video for the American hip-hop band Run The Jewels in New York and London. However those videos were rejected. Then they turned to already-mentioned Ukrainian studio Radioaktive Film. It made a video and musicians liked it. The shooting took place in the Ukrainian house. Video of a fight of US and UK representatives made a lot of fuss, as it was released during elections in f the first-country and exit of the other from EU.
MØ – Kamikaze, 2015
Foreign bands usually choose Troyeshchyna wastelands. Among them are the Danish singer MØ and British rockers Nothing But Thieves. The last one liked outskirts of Kiev so much that they made two videos in tranquil suburbs during the summer of 2017. Music video “Amsterdam” was filmed at abandoned tank factory.
Nothing But Thieves – Amsterdam, 2017
“Abandoned city trend” is now dominating the global industry of music videos. To find such a landscape in Europe is unreal. However, locations are always sought for their technical task, that’s why there’s no specific goal of filming Troyeschyna or Kiev train station. In addition, in Ukraine, we have, perhaps, the cheapest production studios. Crowd-scene actors are willing to act here for 10 euros per day, while in Britain and France they will ask for one hundred. And it’s unknown what goes first: Salary or cool atmosphere,” scriptwriter Oleksiy Kovalenko told us.
Hurts – Wings, 2015
Manchester-based Synth-pop band Hurts also excelled by two Kyiv videos. Britons dedicated their songs “Wings” to unhappy love, and “Beautiful Ones” to LGBT issue. Artists themselves consider their work as “a celebration of individuality”. By the way, band gives concerts every year in Ukraine; it was here that they performed on their first European tour. Nowadays they considered to be the newest classics of the Old World’s pop music and the set the trends in the European show business.
Hurts – Beautiful Ones, 2017
It’s worth noticing that music bands, who decided to choose Kyiv’s locations for their videos, are more than two dozen. In this long list are: Rudimental that filmed their video at Darnytsia metro station; Years & Years with song “Shine” filmed in Puscha Vodytsya; video on What Went Down by FOALS was set in Kyiv Sea (large water reservoir); Swedish DJ Avicii’s music clip “Lonely Together” was made on the Rybalsky Bridge and also many other talented performers.
Massive spread of Ukrainian landscapes in videos of foreign musicians can benefit not only to Kiev production studios. After all, the objects that appeared in commercials, often become, let’s say, as famous as locations from the movies. And this is a great opportunity to make Ukraine more popular and closer to the Western world.
Text by Kostyantyn Rul