It all started when I came at Metropol hotel in Moscow in an early hour to a film set of the movie Foreign Body that Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi was shooting at that time to make his portrait.

I was asked to come early because it was unclear when he would have a break to devote some time to me. My work is not as laborious as shooting films, but it also requires preparation.

I went to a manager with whom I preliminary agreed upon the photoshoot. And there I was told that all I had to do is wait, Krzysztof Zanussi would definitely have some free time. I did not really need much time, having prepared everything in advance to not lose time when the moment comes.

After a few hours of waiting, he finally decided to take a short break. I approached Krzysztof, introduced myself, and told him about the purpose of my visit. He listened to me attentively and said:

First go to the costume designer. Let him select some clothes for you. You should first appear as an extra in the next scene of my film. And then, when everyone will go to dinner, I’ll be at your service. Ok?
It seems I have no choice, doesn’t it?

Krzysztof Zanussi, film director and Chulpan Khamatova, actress © Sasha Krasnov Photography

Krzysztof Zanussi and Chulpan Khamatova

Yes, my hours-long wait paid off as I was invited to “star” in a crowd scene. And then we really had a few minutes together, resulting in a very interesting conversation and a photo shoot.

Sometime later I also got a chance to make backstage photos, which I had to take through a thick glass separating me from the shooting location. I had to lean the lens tightly to this glass wall to avoid reflections from the interior.

During the lunch break, I had another opportunity to take a portrait of Krzysztof Zanussi while he was working on the next scene of the film, starring famous Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova.


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© Sasha Krasnov