Magic First is a non-commercial short film,
which tells about magicians in Russia.
It was created by and for fans
of the work of J. K. Rowling.

Find us on IMDB
The Movie
When we were kids, we dreamt about getting a letter from Hogwarts.
We grew up, our dream stayed the same, but it became clear: to get to in a magical world
we had to build our own Hogwarts.

First and foremost we wanted to show our magical world. Slowly but surely we began to write a story
about Russian magicians. This is how the Supreme Council of Magic and Enchantment, the Council Guard
and the Privy Councillor came about.
In contemporary Russia there exists a hidden world – a world of magic and enchantment.

Magicians have to hide from the nonmag society surrounding them, a society they are disdainful of, some even hostile towards. The Master of the Guard of the Supreme Council of Magic and Enchantment, Bakhrushin, loses his magic abilities and must not only avoid revealing this, but also prevent the war brewing between the magicians and the nonmagi.
Our team is a group of students and recent graduates
of the Gerasimov All-Russia State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), the Moscow Film School
and the Scream School of Computer Graphics.

Magic First is the graduation project of two VGIK students: the director Ekaterina Krasner
and the Director of Photography Sergey Fyodorov.
When I was 8, The Philosopher's Stone came out.

In school I drew "correct" costumes for the characters, and I told everyone non-stop how it should have been. Adults put up with these inspired monologues, until eventually my mum couldn't take it anymore and said: "The film is a director's point of view." this lead me to decide on my future profession early on (in year two of primary school).

In the film we wanted to tell an interesting story about people. In an atmosphere of mystery, where magic is not so much the setting, as a means of expressing drama, a means of narration.

Ekaterina Krasner,
It was very important for me to create a single descriptive line of a world, which we created from scratch.

The Harry Potter films, particularly the earlier ones, stood out for their strictly academic representations. The visual appeal of a world of magic unknown to us, allowed us to almost physically feel every detail. Because of the very elaborate camera work, sound and action, we understood that this world is not restricted by the bounds of the screen, and that further, beyond the horizon, where the famous school of wizardry stands, this world continues, which means that magicians can exist even amongst us, right here.

And I also understand, above all else, that we must not cheapen this style, not copy what has already been created, but to portray a magic world with our own understanding of nature, air, and light, where our characters live, but at the same time remain in the same mould as the creators of the film about the boy with the scar on his forehead.

Sergey Fedorov
The short film was shot in Moscow in the student studios at VGIK in May 2017, and on location in June 2017.
This film is about society, struggle and love.

We have a story which we tell simultaneously on several different levels: the first is universal, social, but secondly there is also the more personal story of two brothers, which reflects our ideas on a closer, more family-orientated level. We have intertwined a kind of children's tale with an adult drama, and we think that is cool.

Evgenia Babina
The film has been presented at Russian
and international festivals:
The largest multi-genre entertainment
and comic convention in the world
San Deigo, USA
July 2018
Annual popular culture event
in Vilnius, Lithuania
– largest in the Baltic States
Vilnius, Lithuania
September 2018
Annual exhibition and fan convention of
computer and video games,
TV series and comic movies
Moscow, Russia
September 2017
October 2018
The oldest and the largest festival of science fiction, fantasy, movie and science in the ex-Soviet countries
Saint Petersburg, Russia
July 2017
June 2018
Science fiction,
and comics festival
Minsk, Belarus
September 2017
November 2018
Largest pop-culture
festival in Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine
September 2018
The most interesting thing for us was to create, from scratch, little by little, our own unique world of Russian magicians. We focused on our story, on the events that were happening in Russia, and how they could have affected the magic society.

And we created our own world, by working together with writers and artists, who not only helped us, but also directed us; the results of our collaboration can be seen in this film.

Lesya Parker,
producer, co-writer
Then a viewer can have an opinion about an image based on their own personal thoughts, which are in turn influenced by their individual values and experiences. Concept art is like a bridge between screenwriter's work and the filmed representation of it which you see on screen. We started with basic impressions of how the characters are written to behave, expanding the narrative with visual aesthetics in order to convey a thorough composition.

Every detail of costume, makeup and props adds a little story to our fictional world. As a concept artist you trigger the process of visualization and then admire the crew's casting choices and their visual flair - there's always some kind of magic in how you turn words into images, making the universe unfold before your eyes as you watch characters come to life at one fell swoop. When a viewer has an opinion about an image based on their personal thoughts. Personal response depends on the viewer's thoughts and values individually. This might be sometimes in conflict with cultural values.

Nastya Stark,
We tried to use various concepts for the space our characters lived in, with the general idea showing an early XX century, pre-revolution Russia. We tried to preserve the style of space and interior.

For example, when designing the Guards' room, we used cold tones and dim lighting, because it is a place where serious decisions are made, affecting the fates of many magicians and people in the world of the nonmagi.

Aleksandra Antonova,
production designer
Making Of
I think for anyone, especially for an actor, the opportunity to be a magician is to fulfil a childhood dream. There are very few films like this in contemporary Russian cinema, so the opportunity to take part in this project is a gift. It is a new thing for us; an unusual experience. We have had to come out of our comfort zone to look for new moves. And it's great. The project was created with enormous interest, pleasure and love.

Ivan Zabelin,
All of us have been working for free, not for the money but for the idea itself – every single person, starting from the director, cinematographer and ending with the actors, all of us wanted to tell an important story that is filled with magic, and to transfer that magic on screen.
We are now raising funds for the English dubbing of the film. We would like our film to reach as many viewers as possible around the world.

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How, Where and When?
Running time – 33 minutes
will be released online
November 19th, 2018

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