June 12, 2020
April 30, 2020

Max Balter, Founder of Balter Films Opens Up About Video Production in Ukraine

Maxim Balter: “Video is a very powerful tool”

"Video production is a crazy set of variables that you have to do like a puzzle to make it all happen," says director Maxim Balter.

Maxim Balter is the founder of Bachoo Design Studio and Balter Films. Over the span of 8 short years in the production field, he has implemented more than 200 projects. Maxim has worked as a director and producer and has tried himself in almost every other role on set to help him truly understand production inside out.

Maxim Balter: “I believe in what I’m shooting”

Maxim, was there any specific event that inspired you to get into film?

- Overall, I have tried myself in many crafts. Forty attempts at various jobs (from a cotton candy seller to an assistant director of a construction company) led me to my desired profession. I have two higher education degrees: law and organization management. 

As a student, I was asked to be an administrator on television, then I worked as a second director for a fairly large project. At some point, it was necessary to take the lead on everything myself ... I was so driven that I filmed 2x as many episodes as planned.  I remember how happy I was when I came back home. 

To my demise, at work, I was not praised for my achievement but instead scolded for “cheating” my colleagues out of a full day of paid work. Then I realized that not all people completely devote themselves to their craft, some just punch in the hours and wait to clock out.  This incident turned me away from broadcasting because I try to devote myself 100% to the projects I work on. So, this is where an idea to start my own little production studio came from...

Maxim Balter: “Being a director is a very big responsibility”

How did you become passionate about directing?

- It all started with producing. The producer is responsible for the crew, which is 30-50 sometimes 100 people. While the director is responsible for the audience: he creates what people will see, he puts ideas into their heads, and his audience is endless, there can be millions of viewers. I have enough production experience, but at some point, I realized that I want to share with people that pure and bright vision that I find myself drawn to.

Video production in Ukraine is on its rise now. World-known brands and foreign directors love to shoot here. Over the past couple of years, our technical specialists have grown tremendously and are now working at the highest level. Moreover, almost everyone has good spoken English.

Production crews can always rent the best and latest industry-standard gear. Some of it we even produce here in Ukraine. The telescopic camera cranes manufactured by the Ukrainian company “Filmotechnic” received many “Oscars” and have been used by big Hollywood studios for years. 

Also, the biggest advantage of video production in Ukraine is the accessibility of unusual locations. Imagine how much it would cost to close the railway station in London, for example, but in Kyiv, it was possible to do that to shoot an Apple commercial.

Under quarantine conditions, we have developed a remote tool for shooting commercials for our foreign clients. Pre-production is ‍done online, and a client has access to constant streaming from a shooting. In addition, a client can also control post-production. 

This approach opens up many new opportunities, reduces the budget spent on traveling and accommodation, and saves our clients’ time. 

We are always happy to meet our clients in person and work closely with them, but given the quarantine and closed borders, it seems to be the only available option right now. 


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