CTB Film, Vodorod, CTC Media, and CGF with support from CTC preset a movie trailer and an official poster for the sci-fi comedy “The Partner”, from the makers of Attraction and Ghost.
“The Partner” is the first Russian film project featuring a hundred percent CG protagonist.
The protagonist is a CG toddler, whose voice and facial expressions come from actor Sergey Garmash, and body movements from Alexander Petrov. For the first time in film history, two popular actors combined their effort to play a single computer-generated character. They will be sharing the screen with Liza Arzamasova (Daddy’s Daughters), Ksenia Lavrova-Glinka (Molodezhka, Ghost), Yan Tsapnik (Gorko!, Ghost), and Andrey Nazimov (The Far Side of the Moon).
After a failed special police operation, Police Force Major Chromov (Sergey Garmash) ends up in the body of a toddler. Damn that fortuneteller and her curse! But even after swapping a police car for a stroller, he is capable of wreaking havoc to the large criminal syndicate in the far east of Russia. The mother of the toddler (Liza Arzamasova) has no idea that her son is capable of interrogating criminals, and the father (Andrey Nazimov) is forced to become Chromov’s unwilling partner. Together they will be finishing the special police operation, which means that father and son must hunt down and capture the dangerous mafia boss.
Alexander Andryushchenko, director and producer, Vodorod: “As soon as we came up with the body-switching idea, we simultaneously thought of the same actor, Sergey Garmash. Why, you ask? Because he’s the least suitable actor for this role, and this alone creates a unique conflict. An experience operative and years of experience and a number of closed cases finds himself in a most unusual situation.”
Sergey Garmash, actor “Major Chromov”: “The Partner” is the beginning of an end. If any actors are reading this, know—if you get a phone call from the young director Alexander Andryushchenko and he offers you to come over for some “facial expression work,” say no. This is the end of your acting career. I’m joking, of course. The film is a breakthrough. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take part in this phenomenal experiment. Trust me, you’ll have a lot to talk about after watching this movie.”
While Sergey Garmash lent his voice and facial expressions to the main character, Alexander Petrov served as the body motion model. With the use of the motion capture technology, the actor had to accommodate not only the script and his character, but also his colleague Sergey Garmash.
Alexander Petrov: “To say I was confused when director Alexander Andryushchenko called me and asked if I wanted to play the body of Sergey Garmash, would be an understatement. So, I donned a black body suit with markers and commenced the running, jumping, and fighting. It’s a unique experience, considering the fact that it hadn’t been done in Russia before.”
Liza Arzamasova, “Katya, Chrome’s Mother”: “For me, everything was very serious. I became a mother for the first time; gave birth to a baby on set. Two babies, in fact, if you take into account my eccentric husband. That made me think that something like that might very well happen to me in real life in the not-so-distant future. I realized that family is about compromise, responsibility, and tolerance—the project made me consider this for the first time in my life. Not much of a comedy, as far as I’m concerned. I had a lot of firsts while filmingThe Partner—first birth on screen, without having real-life experience of giving birth. This was an interesting experience, a rehearsal for what might be happening to me in the future. So, I can’t speak for my son and husband in the film—how much fun they were having—I was dead serious with them.”
Sergey Selyanov, producer, CTB Film Company: “The Partner” is a very ambitious project because never before did we have such a baby on the big screen. So we had to do it. A real challenge. We had to become pioneers in this area. It’s the first film that uses this kind of state-of-the-art technology. Let’s watch the film, and if we feel it deserves it, criticize it. Still, we’re the first to do this. Like Gagarin was the first man in space.”
How to Make Babies the Right Way, or the Making of “The Partner”
Mikhail Vrubel, producer: “Body switching is nothing new in film, but a grown man turning into a toddle—that’s unique. That’s never been done before. Now, that alone is full of comedic potential, but that wasn’t the end goal of our project. The key was to find the perfect balance between the new CG character and the hilarity of the storyline. All our projects aim at creating a great resonance among broad audiences. That’s what’s important to us. We work on different projects in different genres. This one is a comedy.”
Vyacheslav Mugurov, producer, CTC Media: “CTC Media is happy to produce this project. “The Partner” is completely in line with the expectations of CTC audiences. It’s a brilliant, revolutionary film from many perspectives: technology, acting, and directing.”
Visual effects were supervised by CGF (The Day Watch, Very Dangerous, Black Lightning, Metro, He’s a Dragon, Hardcore), the winner of the Golden Eagle Award for Best Special Effects in The Crew. The lead VFX supervisor is Sergey Nevshupov, who worked with the renowned director Peter Jackson. Sergey has worked on such blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and King King.
Alexander Gorokhov, producer CGF: “For CGF “The Partner” was a real technological challenge. The entire project was full of challenges, in fact. It didn’t take us long to think about it and say yes. When would be offered something like this again? When would someone write this kind of script and try to shoot this kind of action movie? We’re basically working on something that’s unprecedented in Russian, maybe even the world’s cinema. For the first time, the characters have been created from the ground up using computers, and the goal is to make him absolutely realistic. In many respects, it’s a great deal harder to do than to create a character from scratch like we did with Ted (Third Wheel), or the Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. Recognizing the body movements of a baby is so ingrained in us, that it’s impossible to invent it like you can with fantasy characters. But, it all became possible because we have such an experience specialist as Sergey Nevshulov working for us at CGF.”
“The Partner” – coming to theatres on September 14!