FilmCourage: Where did you grow up?
Valeriy Borovinskiy: I grew up in a small town in the middle of Ukraine called Svetlovodsk. This is the kind of place you won’t find on a 3D Google map, if you find it at all. My home town didn’t have much to offer, except for 4 high schools, 2 restaurants and 1 public pool.
FilmCourage: What were you like as a small child?
Valeriy: I was a very busy child, commuting all day long between dance, piano lessons and classes at school. That kind of hustle and bustle suited me because I was a very active kid. Teachers never liked me because I was a whole lot to handle. They did admire my creativity though. I have my parents to thank for that.
Although my parents were engineers, my upbringing was always full of creativity and the arts.
When a shy, New Jersey transplant moves to NYC, a new group of bitchy friends help her navigate surviving the concrete jungle. It’s a learn to be bitchy or die – Watch it here!
FilmCourage: Who is the most important person in your life today?
Valeriy: I would say that most important person in my life today is myself. And I don’t mean that to sound selfish but I sacrificed a lot in life in order to be able to provide for my family by making money from my brand and my talent. That is why I try to put myself first in most of situations even though I’m a very caring person, I tend to focus toward other people I care about very often.
FilmCourage: How would you describe yourself?
Valeriy: I am ambitious, romantic, naive and an over-thinker. Most things I’m grateful for today happened because I didn’t think much about them and just took a risk. I take life very easy and make a lot of decisions based on my emotions, very rarely logical. I see my life as a movie and myself as a writer that can direct script to any direction.
FilmCourage: Did you go to film school?
Valeriy: Yes, I went to a film school to study film directing and acting back in Kiev, Ukraine. I think that school played a big part of who I am today.
FilmCourage: When did you move to the States?
Valeriy: I moved to the States in 2012.
FilmCourage: What was your first impression of NYC?
Valeriy: Loud, tough and exciting.
FilmCourage: Do you ever miss the Ukraine? Have you ever been tempted to move home?
Valeriy: I had upside and downs since I moved to NYC, but moving back would mean giving up on my dreams. I miss my friends and family, but I think it’s pretty normal feeling.
FilmCourage: What was the first cliché New Yorker outing you went on and where?
Valeriy: My first night in NYC I got lost in Harlem searching for my hotel. I stopped my McDonalds to ask a random guy to use his lap top for a second so I could find where to go. In the Ukraine I’ve been always told that Americans very friendly people and will always help you when you need them. The stranger, not even turning his head out of a screen told me “Sorry, I’m handling very important business tight now and am only wasting my time speaking to you”
After that night my impression of NYC changed forever.
FilmCourage: How long ago did you begin your Youtube channel?
Valeriy: I started YouTube about a year ago filming web-series “Love.Sex.Manhattan.” I always shoot about two things, about what I know or want to learn. A lot of my work is based on my own experience. And it’s not necessarily a full story, but maybe a character, situation, or attitude. I get inspired by everyday life a lot. As I mentioned before, my life is a movie. So I film the most interesting parts of it.
FilmCourage: What inspired the story for your latest video, ‘Mean Girls of New York?’
Valeriy: New Yorkers have way too much attitude and opinion about everything. When you go to restaurant, a pretentious hostess could make you wait for 40-minutes to sit by the bar you even thought there is 6 tables available. Security at the club would call some innocent Romanian girl names just because she didn’t wear heels to the club and still tying to get in. People who never read anything but US weekly or the latest Kim Kardashian post would try to talk politics to me. I find that side of NYC very entertaining and I wanted to show that in my “Mean Girls of New York” video. It’s go bitchy or die.
FilmCourage: How long was the idea floating around in your head before you started writing ‘Mean Girls of New York?’
Valeriy: About 4 months. But then one day I called few numbers and scheduled a shoot. My ideas are like my babies. When it’s time to give birth I can’t say “I’d rather wait for tomorrow ” If I want it to see the world, I can’t stop it.
FilmCourage: What’s your definition of a “mean girl?” Why are you intrigued by them?
Valeriy: A Mean Girl is someone who talks behind your back and you know it. You are not happy about it, but somehow you manage to stay friends with her.
I wouldn’t say I’m intrigued by Mean Girls but it’s an exciting type of personality that deserves to be portrayed.
FilmCourage: What’s the most important aspect of building a great character?
Valeriy: Every character should have an intention. No intention, no character.
FilmCourage: What camera, lens package, sound and other items do you shoot your videos with? How long does it take to produce one?
Valeriy: I use mostly DSLR cameras. It’s amazing how available filmmaking is these days. Mostly I work with what I have. Depends on a video but producing a video like “Mean Girls of New York” took me at least two months. Mostly because I was handling too many parts of it myself, like writing, directing, producing and editing. Luckily I have an amazing crew of people now that help me a lot.
FilmCourage: Where did you find your cast?
Valeriy: I walk down the streets of NYC and pick up desperate actors who want to act. Joking. At this point I have a big data based actors on my own but mostly from online advertisement followed by auditions.
FilmCourage: How difficult or easy is it to find locations for you to shoot your Youtube videos?
Valeriy: Finding locations is not the most challenging part since we shoot outside most of the time. As long as NYPD doesn’t see your tripod, you’re good.
FilmCourage: What is the one mistake you see most filmmakers make, regardless of experience?
Valeriy: They try to copy someone. I think there is a big difference between “being inspired by” and “copying.”
FilmCourage: Favorite New York cliché that is true and why?
Valeriy: They will only be your friend if you have something to offer back. Because people who move to NYC move here for a reason and can’t afford to have their time wasted.
FilmCourage: What are some tips you can share about creating a Youtube channel?
Valeriy: Thanks for this question. At this point I am confident and I’ve been making this mistake for a while. You should do it for yourself and don’t be scared to be different, weird or unapologetic. Last thing you should think about is “what people want to see” At this point every idea been done so do what you have fun with, don’t take is a job. Do something that you can do for hours without trying. Do it like you don’t even care about attention.
FilmCourage: What’s the most difficult: getting started making content or being able to keep going?
Valeriy: It’s difficult to understand what your channel should be about. And you should definitely try to find a unique concept. If you not lazy and enjoy what you do, you will keep going.
FilmCourage: List ten or more keywords to describe your Youtube Channel as a whole?
Valeriy: 10 keywords:romantic, weird, sassy, foreign, NYC, love life, personality, sex, dance, expression.
FilmCourage: How long does it take you to make a YouTube video?
Valeriy: Depends on the video. From 1 hour to 4 months.
FilmCourage: Do you only make videos for YouTube?
Valeriy: Youtube is my favorite video streaming page! So mostly, yes.
FilmCourage: Do you plan to submit your work to film festivals?
Valeriy: Film festivals is so 2009. While submitting one short I could do 10 more for Youtube. I like to create, create, create. You never know though, I might do it again one day.
FilmCourage: Do you think you will ever get to sing with Beyonce?
Valeriy: Yes, I thing we will look good together.
FilmCourage: What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?
FilmCourage: What’s next for you creatively?
Valeriy: I am actually changing direction of my Youtube channel now toward music. My next move would be recording my first album. Come back soon, it won’t take that long.
WATCH “Valeriy – Sex (official music video)” here.
PRODUCT LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Atomos ATOMNJA003 Ninja-2 10-Bit HDMI DSLR Video Hard Disk Field Recorder http://amzn.to/1TdAHZE
Canon EOS 60D