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Breathless

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A committed synchronized swimmer tries to win the championship and her coach’s heart.

Oleksii Sobolev’s ‘Breathless‘ will leave you screaming from a breath of fresh air. The film’s plot outline is simple: a committed synchronized swimmer tries to win the championship and her coach’s heart. What makes this unique is that the whole story is told from the perspective of the swimmer, who spends most of her life underwater. Movie’s uniqueness is in its idea and execution – it was shot almost entirely underwater. The camera stays beneath the surface ninety-five percent of the running time. Which also means, that there is not one line of dialogue in the whole movie.

Principal photography was done in three days. We cast World Champion Anna Udovik and Olympic Champion Angelika Timanina as our two female leads.

All other girls are professional synchronized swimmers as well. But even for them, it was a very tough shooting. Because it was very physically demanding. And they needed to stay in the water for hours.

The unique perspective is definitely where this film earns its magic. But achieving this submerged angle wouldn’t have been successful without the masterful preparation and glorious production work, from photography to sound design, which help bring this tailored experience to an extreme.

This short would be impossible without very talented underwater DOP Grigorii Yablochkin. He built by himself a lot of the equipment we used to shoot this movie. Nothing fancy. It was heavy, clunky, steampunk-looking equipment The box for the camera was the size of a TV from the 80’s. And it was twice as heavy. But it definitely did its job. He even built an underwater dolly. How cool is that?

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