Misha’s path to today’s profession started in a remote corner of Russia where there were no professional cameras for a long time. The development of an action movie production was extremely slow and everything was based on pure enthusiasm. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Kamchatka by people who love surfing and snowboarding Misha has managed to become successful and popular in demand cameraman in the field of extreme cinematography. Today Misha is a part of Helipro studio crew, works as a heliskiing cameraman in Snow Valley lodge, takes part in the most popular Russian and international projects and also shoots, develops surfing in Kamchatka very actively.
Ksenia: Tell us something about yourself? How did your career as a cameraman begin? When did you take a camera for the first time?
Misha: In the begging I just liked to take photos and dreamed to become a photographer. Every time I saw something interesting, beautiful or unusual, I couldn’t just pass by; I wanted to take a picture of it to admire it later, to show the picture to people. I tried to take pictures on soviet photocameras like FED or Zenit. My friend used New School skis then and one time he bought a video camera. And as we always skied together I had to shoot him on this camera. We were always searching for interesting places for skiing and tricks. And then my brother Alex Moroz once said: “We have a half-professional video camera that no one uses. Take it, learn, shoot!” At that moment I was a bit acquainted with Kamchatka snowboarders Alexey Osovitskiy, Shasha Bragin and Slava Korovin. So I called Osovitskiy and said that I wanted to film them. Then I gradually joined their snowboard crew and soon I began to shoot the guys everywhere I can. Most part of the tricks that were made by local riders that year became a part of the first movie of Pasha Karykhalin. As far as I remember it was named “Feel Good”. But photography attracts me nowadays.
Ksenia: Who and what inspires you?
Misha: The opportunity to create something beautiful and to understand that a movie is unique and was made with my own hands of course. Journeys and nature also inspire me. It’s not even like work because you see breathtaking things, you’re ready to run kilometers, go further to a steep mountain and feel neither tiredness nor laziness. And of course people’s reaction inspires when you present your movie in front of a large audience.
Ksenia: What kind of cameras did you shoot on? What are the advantages of these models?
Misha: Of course, there is no great opportunity in Kamchatka to shoot on different cams except if you don't work on television. Panasonic HVX 200 is a good camera, I used it a lot of times. When it just came out it was a very good camera with a capacity of shooting 50fps. It was very cool for sports documentary films and given that I filmed on it in many different extreme for conditions. It still works well. I also film a lot on photo cameras. They give a good picture due to optics. But it is not so useful in a mode of extreme report. I have also worked with RED EPIC. It is one of the best cameras that a modern movie industry can offer. But it’s made for large movie production and staged shooting. This camera is the best of its kind if you want to shoot a stunning picture and have a large camera crew. It's not suitable for a small production, especially for one person. The camera and its accessories are very expensive.
Now I use Sony FS7. I consider it's the best camera for snowboard shooting in mountains, different outdoor activities and generally documentary movies, especially sports. It gives a very good picture with many opportunities for “coloring”. Setup of cinema optics and rapid of 150fps in 4K resolution lead your production to a new level. This camera is very often used with RED EPIC in one project. But the coolest advantage is that the cost of Sony FS7 is comparatively low for such shooting quality. It’s the best in the row of similar cameras. And of course besides professional cameras I also use GoPro. Only that camera can give an action effect for a movie.
Ksenia: How long have you been snowboarding and how do you feel with a camera in the mountains?
Misha: I began snowboarding when I was at school, and it was long time ago. And I feel very comfortable with a camera in the mountains. It’s most likely that I would feel uncomfortable without camera. When people see my huge backpack they wonder how I can even move. But you can get used to anything.
Ksenia: What work are you most proud of?
Misha: It’s not probably an exact work itself, but the after-effects of my work in general. The most important thing is what we are doing for the development of surfing in Kamchatka. After all without our video projects there would be no such progress not only in Kamchatka but also in Russia in general. We were among the first who showed the possibility of winter surfing. It will become something very usual soon. Back then it was kind of a feat for us and especially for everyone else. Photo and video projects have always been a powerful engine for surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding.
Ksenia: What impresses you most at home in Kamchatka?
Misha: During those trips, which happened to be in Kamchatka, I was the most impressed by the eruption of the volcano Tolbachik, also known as "Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption", which occurred in 2013. People can watch endlessly how the fire burns and how the water flows and here we have observed both at the same time. The river of lava and "lavafalls" - they could be watched for hours and it’s once in a lifetime experience, even if you become incredibly rich. Another great experience is the heliskiing on the Kurile Islands. Something unbelievable! The islands are formed by volcanoes, they stay in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The sights are breathtaking. But more impressive is a huge territory, vast and desolate wilderness. Distance from the mainland, and difficulties with transport, allow it to remain for many years the wild virgin area, where for a long time it will be possible to admire the untouched nature. Go far and get lost among the hills, forests, endless rivers and volcanoes!
Ksenia: Who do you have to work with? Who are the stars of snowboarding, cameramen / photographers in the industry you've worked with?
Misha: There was a good project from the DCP which is called Balance and some shooting took place in Kamchatka. On this project I managed to work with the legends of snowboarding, such as Terje Haakonsen, JP Solberg and awesome photographer Jussi Grznar. It was fun to watch as they snowboard, shoot them, and in general, to communicate with people who have changed the world of snowboarding, and continue to do this everyday. I have a lot of fun, when it is possible to work with Russian riders, such as Andrey Moskvin, Artem Teymurov, Evgeniy Ivanov, Jura Chemodurov and others. It's always nice to shoot people who are truly passionate.
Ksenia: Were there any extreme situations during the filming?
Misha: I can't say that I got in very extreme situations, but stirring moments happen when avalanches come. There were cases when people tear down the ice, then, of course, no time for the shooting - you have to take part in the rescue operations.
Ksenia: What do you prefer more shooting itself or editing? Please, tell me about both actions.
Misha: I’m a bit more into shooting. Editing can be exciting, especially when you see a footage, a plot; it can be hard to entrust someone you materials, but stay in one place for me is tedious. I prefer activities when you need to think quickly and make decisions, think of where to stay to take a good picture, and there should be safe as well. If you make a mistake, nobody will drug you up the slope. Look ahead and anticipate what optics you’ll need. It’s all very thrilling.
Ksenia: You pick up soundtrack by yourself, aren’t you? What are you preferences?
Misha: Music is a very significant component of the editing and you always have to sort through tons of different tracks to find the most suitable. You don’t speak about preferences, because editing is such a thing that you can rotate it, as you like. The same material can be edited with the classical or punk rock. It all depends on what mood you want to create or, as they say in scientific terms, what artistic idea.
Ksenia: What advice would you give to a novice operator, who dreams of working in the mountains?
Misha: First of all have at least theoretically knowledge about avalanche safety and behavior in the mountains, ride well, to be ok with physical activities, even when it is unbearable never to be lazy!
Ksenia: What are your favorite snowboard movies?
Misha: “Made in China” but nobody knows it, young snowboarders especially.
Ksenia: What are your favorite art movies?
Misha: Paper Soldier, Ashes and Snow, Dancer in the Dark, City of God
Ksenia: What is your next project?
Misha: Shooting the Silkway Rally!
And this is our favorite movie, filmed and edited by Misha. Enjoy!