By Keisha Martin
Vlad Klimchuk is a First-year MFA student who is hitting the books in America but breaking box office records in Ukraine. Klimchuk’s film Skazhene Vesillya, which roughly translates to ‘‘Crazy Wedding,’’ is a romantic comedy produced by Film UA. Klimchuck has worked with Film UA in the past directing some of their pilot TV episodes.
Crazy Wedding follows the story of Vasyl Seredyuk, who sends his daughter Katya to attend a French University. While in France, she falls in love with a French heart surgeon named François. After finding this out, Vasyl proudly proclaimed "The Seredyuks have made their European choice!" However, to his surprise, his treasured European soon to be son-in-law is a Frenchman of African origin. Less than pleased, Vasyl plots to make sure this wedding will never happen. But true love is in his way and the success of this evil plan is not a given.
Klimchuk, who directed under the name of Dykyi (Wild) for this film, proudly made the film in 32 days of production. Under a strict amount of deadlines that left little room for error, a complete film was created in three months (May through September). The quick filming process included just one month of pre-production and the rough cut of the film was ready two days after the wrap of production. According to Klimchuk, the speedy production was only possible thanks to his amazing production team, including his producers, 1st AD, and DP. Indeed, in one night of shooting, the team was able to tackle 65 shots that included a large number of extras, special effects, stunts, pyrotechnics, and period piece costuming and makeup. The key to this success, Klimchuk says, was the communication of the production team and the acceptance of taking on a challenge and conquering it.
Crazy Wedding had its red carpet debut on October 2nd at the largest film theater in Ukraine, in which it filled all 1000 seats of the theater. After this, Klimchuk’s film hit theaters on October 4th and proceeded to break the old Ukraine box office record making 13,112,491 UAH ($466,305 USD) from 149,423 viewers in its opening weekend. The previous record was set by DZIDZIO Contrabass, which made 7,700,000 UAH ($296684 USD) from 102,000 viewers in its opening weekend. As of this posting, Crazy Wedding is ranked at #9 for Ukraine’s yearly box office, grossing $1,965,898 USD (all figures from boxofficemojo.com) and counting. All other films in the Top 20 on this list are American-made films except #13, the animated Ukraine film The Stolen Princess: Ruslan and Lyudmyla. Klimchuk links the success of his film to that of the Ukraine viewers for believing in the film and Ukrainian cinema.
Klimchuk’s next goal is to make an English feature film which he hopes to have shown in Europe and America, and eventually worldwide. He plans to accomplish this goal by learning about film production here at Ohio University since he has no formal film school education. He wants to see how the US makes films, learn their industry secrets, and make connections to bring back to Ukraine. Kilmchuk’s hardworking attitude and willingness to conquer challenges will surely help him on his filmmaking career.