Name: Evgeny Levin
Home town: Vilnius
Current location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Occupation: Camera operator, editor, photographer
I have not been working for the last three months. In the past I worked for the Lithuanian TV Channel, mostly in the news department. Following this I was a camera operator, also in the news service of Vilnius TV, accredited to the Lithuanian government and the presidency. I participated in such different TV projects as talk-shows, weekly publicity and analytical programs, entertainment and sport programs.
I then worked in several Lithuanian production companies who mostly specialised in shooting TV series films, and TV shows (shooting and editing plus a little bit of lighting). I had some experience shooting different educational seminars and presentations by companies such as Microsoft and Procter & Gamble. I was a member of the video production crew at concerts by Depeche Mode, Patricia Kaas, Simply Red, and Sting.
My last job was in the big Lithuanian and Worldwide investment company, shooting and editing short PR movies for the company’s needs. This included shooting videos about the company’s activity all around the world for internal use as well as shooting videos about events inside the company. At the same time I had an opportunity to travel around the world and shoot art projects using the company’s equipment. That’s how we made some quite interesting documentary films.
Where have you shot?
Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, France, Monaco, Spain, Scotland, India, Israel, Denmark, Latvia
What are your other roles?
What types of productions have you mostly shot?
News reports, TV shows, short PR movies, and full length documentary films that run 20-120 minutes. How do you get around Lithuania? By car.
Are you using DSLRs to shoot HD video?
I would say that using DSLR cameras is the perfect choice to achieve the best quality for low budget projects. I haven’t been working a lot with DSLRs yet, and haven’t as yet done a whole project from the beginning until the end. But I have used DSLR cameras for multi-cam shooting of everal scenes to cover different angles of view.
The pluses of DSLRs are the ability to use the cameras with a wide choice of different lens types for a very economical price. Another advantage is the low weight of the camera. This is further helped by the low weight of additional accessories such as tripods and Steadicams. It’s easy to travel with one bag holding all the accessories to shoot top quality video with a DSLR.
Minuses? There is no zoom option. It’s a more cinematic way of shooting rather than a TV one, which can be a plus as well. There is no rapid shooting mode. You’re limited to shoot mostly static scenes as the rolling shutter may cause unwanted artefacts when shooting fast moving objects. There is also a limited time for continuous recording. It depends on the project; in some cases it’s enough and it’s not a minus.
What was your first ever shooting job?
While serving in the Israeli army I shot my first amateur video. That was a great product that enjoyed great success with my colleagues and our officers. It marked the beginning of my professional and creative activity.
Most recent, interesting assignments?
In 2006 the largest Lithuanian financial and industrial group (which I was working for) purchased a controlling block of shares in the Scottish football club Hearts FC. From that moment a new life of the legendary team started: they became national vice-champions and won the Scottish Cup.
After a successful season the new management decided to carry out another experiment, conducting pre-season training on a luxury ship in the Mediterranean Sea visiting Monte Carlo, Cannes, San Tropez, and the island of Corsica.
We shot a sports documentary film about this preseason training of the FC “Hearts” called To Be Hearts. For me that was one of the most interesting jobs, living and shooting on a cruise ship.
Current equipment you use?
I use mostly a Sony DSR-400P DV professional camera plus a Canon EOS 5D Mark II or Canon EOS 7D. For editing I use Pinnacle Liquid, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects. Recently I’ve started to use Magic Bullet for some special effects and colour correction.
Other gear you have access to?
I don’t have any. Depending on a budget I can rent anything I need.
Equipment “wish list”?
I prefer to shoot with heavy professional cameras. I don’t like semi-pro small HD cameras. But it depends on the particular job you are doing. I would prefer a fully-equipped professional Full HD Camera with cinema quality lenses. I would choose the RED Camera as well. In some cases I would use DSLR cameras, but they should be fully- equipped with the control rig and/or Steadicam.
What piece of gear do you wish someone might make?
It seems like everything is made already that I need.
Best thing about your job?
I think the best thing is that I have never had a feeling of doing the same thing every day. There are a lot of new things to see and learn every time.
Worst thing about your job?
The worst thing about any creative job is losing motivation and faith somewhere in the middle of the project. It’s not a mechanical job that you can simply start and finish.
This kind of job depends on different things like mood or inspiration, for example ...
Dullest assignments and why?
I usually try to avoid dull assignments ...
What country would you most like to shoot in?
I would like to shoot in Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Africa. I have travelled quite a lot in Europe. That’s why I would choose a more exotic country.
I prefer home-made healthy food, fresh vegetables and fruits.
What’s your taste in music?
I like classic rock and alternative rock, jazz, and blues.
Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Jimi Hendrix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Chris Rea, and Miles Davis.