Basile Filatov
About finding your path in professional career
— Tell us how you came to music and sound design?

— Once I touched the piano keys. And since then the music has not let me go. I started writing music at the age of 4. I have always enjoyed listening to musical instruments and the sound of notes. As a child, I often attended classical music concerts at the city philharmonic with my grandmother. Then, I sorted through the notes on the really old piano, which stood in the living room. Then I gradually moved on to chords and felt how music can create a certain mood. Then I realised that I wanted to become a composer. Of course, at that time no one told me about the existence of sound design.

I started making music seriously when I got my first computer. I installed Scream Tracker from a floppy disk (a music tracker developed by the famous Finnish demo band Future Crew -approx. ed. ) and away we go!
I wrote music day and night. First for myself, and then people began to notice that I was doing something interesting and offered to write for them.

The first commercial order was music for regional television advertisement. I really liked it, because it turned out that my work is not only liked by people, but can also generate income.

— You found yourself and your purpose at a fairly young age. What to do for people who are not so lucky and how to overcome fears?

— It's normal to be afraid, everyone has their fears. By overcoming them we grow.
It takes courage to realise that not everything works out on the first try. It is very important to enjoy even small steps. Try everything: go to the cinema, to theatres, to museums. And, of course, ask yourself questions: “how did this work of art affect you?”, “What emotions did you experience?”. You need to learn how to use these analytical abilities in your work. Look, analyse and look for what really pleases you.

— Your first major project, and how did you manage to get it?

— As I said, my first commercial project was advertising for a small TV channel. What followed was a series of coincidences. I believe that life is a chain of accidents. But, when you have a certain goal, then one way or another you will come to it.

Once in my hometown there was a contest of children's creativity KidSoft, where I won a MIDI keyboard and a printer. We can say the first professional musical equipment. Oddly enough, even the printer helped in creativity: I printed notes on it - wrote down what I needed to study, hung them on the walls in the house. This motivated me to study more.

Some time later, I entered a university at the sound engineering faculty of the directing department. At the university, I went to lectures of other specialties: acting, cinematography, screenwriting, I was there all day for the first two courses.
And after the lectures, I worked at night - wrote music for short films
on a non-commercial basis. When there were more than twenty films in the portfolio, Alexei Uchitel (Soviet and Russian film director, screenwriter - ed. ) called me and, saying that my fellow sound engineers recommended me, he offered to work together on his new film. Of course I agreed! For a third year student this is the road to professional cinema. This is how I made my debut in a big film project as a sound engineer and sound designer.
— What is your time-table? You work very hard and lead several projects, how do you manage to do everything?

— I get up at 8 in the morning, get into a taxi and arrive at the University. Somewhere at 12 o'clock in the morning my working day ends, and by one o'clock I return home. Every evening I try to watch one feature film from Netflix or HBO. Day off is Sunday. Naturally, I give myself a rest and leave the city
or the country. Quite often my rest is connected with work. For example, when I arrive at the international conferences as a lecturer or jury member.

Now most of my life is occupied by the field of education:
working with teachers, optimising, improving courses. We update the program every year, because the market is changing, we introduce interesting lectures and classes: media management, audio programming.
In 2015 we did something that no one in CIS has done before us: Portfolio review for sound engineers.
— Where is the CIS market going, and how can we help it develop?

— Unfortunately, despite the abundance of various media formats, they are used only in favour of monetization. For example, everyone sees an increase in the popularity of casual games. This is due to the prevalence of applications of this type, because everyone has a mobile phone.

I believe that people should strive to make the world a better place, bring something of value and stop chasing short-term gain. Absorb the experience of different generations, be interested in and use modern technologies and respect the roots, as someone can say. Even in simple games of the same type, you can do something interesting.
Take Amanita Design as an example , where every game is a small work of an art. For example, Samorost. There are a large number of films that are made with love, give a good mood or make you think about important life issues. I wish there were more pictures like this.

It so happens historically that we always adopt Western trends. At the same time, we have a lot of talented guys who are not indifferent to the life of the country. They believe in the power of their cultural experience, they want to show that we can have our own way.
Capable guys appear in cities who make films and create games. They don't always have enough technical capabilities, and it would be great if the producers paid attention to them.

— How has teaching influenced your creative path?

— Passing on experience to students. Teaching forces you to structure your knowledge. During classes with students, I also learn from them: sometimes an interesting question from a student makes me look at the familiar object from a different angle.

It is very important to keep practising and improving your skills. I regularly attend interesting international workshops and conventions. In November I went to the master class of Alan Meyerson for the second time in my life (mix engineer for Hans Zimmer , worked on the films Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Kung Fu Panda - ed. ).

As a person who tells students how sound design should sound, I have to be able to do it myself at a high level. Therefore, I continue to write music for computer games, films and advertisements.
Another part is experiments and research in the Laboratory of the Institute. Interesting, bold and unusual projects are born here in the areas of sounding electric transport, the urban landscape, and mobile applications.

—Where did the idea of creating the Institute come from?

— This idea appeared out of nowhere. Initially, I thought of creating a “school”, but the director of a design school said: “What? School? You won't even be able to do courses”.
And I say: “Ok, I won't be able to create a school? Then I will create an Institute.” And, since I called myself the Institute, in for a penny, in for a pound - you need to do not only teaching, but also research.

In 2012, after visiting the MusikMesse in Frankfurt, I saw how cool
everything is organised there and with what love people approach the profession. When I came back I created Sound Sunday. On July 19, 2015 at Sound Sunday we announced the opening of the Institute. There was no turning back.

In my system of values, the Institute is something fundamental. After all, this is not only about learning, but also about research and practice.

— Is it possible to learn the profession of a sound designer in 1 year?

— Knowledge can be obtained quickly enough. Practice is needed.
Learning is a difficult puzzle. In the annual program, you need to fit what usually fits in five years. Sometimes you have to give up something secondary. We do not have the English language, literature, art history to the extent that I would like.
Cultural background is very important. I would love to do a whole year only of theatre and film history, but we only have a year. However, we still fit into the course directing, dramaturgy and even talk about marketing.

— What kind of person would you like to see among the students?

— A person with glowing eyes. I would like to see guys who come to us to devote themselves to this process completely. Who will not be afraid to ask questions during lectures. If something is not clear, we are always ready to tell more, explain and help as much as possible. Students get great opportunities for practical application of skills, because theory without practice does not give anything. It is very important to do your homework.

In general, the main thing is to be open to everything new, there is no such thing as stupid questions, and something new can be discovered only when you yourself are ready for discoveries. Constantly expand your horizons.