Jensen Noen — alias Eugene Nagejkina. This is a simple Ukrainian guy hails from Poltava, who realized his American dream. His life has always been connected with music. He played in the band, and then began to remove the clips. Created videos for the representatives of Ukraine at “Eurovision” of the group O. Torvald, the famous Russian group “Hands up” and “Leningrad”. In 2014, Eugene moved to Los Angeles, where his career developed rapidly. I managed to work in the company, removing the clips for American rapper Jay-Z and singer Ariana Grande. In the US he founded a company Scissor Films Studios with partner Sam Malko. In 2016, started filming the first full-length feature film, starring Eric Roberts. In the psychological Thriller also played hunk Nick Bateman, sandy Gardiner, John Wright. In December, the film “Perception” is published in Ukrainian rental. It is worth noting that the picture has already passed the path of the festival, having won 14 international awards, including “Best film”, “Best Director” and “Best Thriller.”
Now Jensen, who became a member of the Union of cinematographers of Ukraine, has begun the work in US. About how he started his career in America, the Director said in an interview with “FACTS.”
— Initially you wanted to be a musician. As retrained in the Directors?
— At the age of 14 I decided that I would be a musician, is the only purpose in my life. It was a passion that devoted their time and effort. I played in several bands, the most solid of which Down&Dirty. In this project, we worked with Denis Shaforostov, who later became the frontman of the American band.
Music affected me as a person, in my imagination, because I listened to it a lot and carefully. Playing, thoughts came to places where have never been, experiencing emotions, which have never been experienced.
When at the age of 19 I got my first camera, began filming clips for their groups. Success brought video for the band Down&Dirty on the track Move It, which quickly gained millions of views. He noticed, and we were offered a contract with American label Sumerian Records. At first I dangled from Ukraine to the USA, and then decided to stay in America. After moving to Los Angeles, did not know in this town not a person. The money runs out quickly, it was necessary to urgently do something.
It turned out very difficult to find housing. In the U.S. everything works differently — so from the street you cannot come and rent an apartment. We need to prove that you can pay. For me it was a quest. Now I understand that everything is correctly and wisely arranged. Just need to work hard, and then all dreams can be realized.
The last year has been quite difficult for me. I’m seriously undermined the health. All previously earned funds invested in the film and was very worried. Only now beginning to rebound and recover.
— You’ve always led a healthy lifestyle and doing sports.
— Yes, but that was too much work, totally immersed in the filming process that sports do not have much time left. Ate is also something like that was brought to the set, and then eat. Now switched to vegan diet, doing crossfit. It is great that Los Angeles promotes healthy lifestyle. Here every morning you can see running a lot of people, including celebrities. In the city plenty of shops offering organic food. However, it is not cheap. For example, the average quality of bread will cost six dollars.
See also: Inna Goncharenko: “In London I was able to realize the most daring dreams”
— How you moved from music videos to movies?
— First, I was entrusted with shooting for young rock artists who have just started to spin. After some time I realized that we are on the same level, you need to move on. Because in Ukraine and Russia shot music videos for famous artists and groups (“Hands up”, “Leningrad”). To bring American stars, must become his in America, you could spend twenty years. To approach the stars of the first magnitude is not so easy, even if you’re talented. I always wanted to make a movie, and now decided to own first film.
— A very risky undertaking for an unknown Director-foreigner.
— In America, in another not. If you want to achieve something big, be prepared to pay for it. Relying only on own sensations, without any experience, he directed his first short film. With “Oceans” and began my passion for directing. Decided not dangle from side to side and focus on one thing.
For the painting “Perception” I paid two years of his life, nerves and poor health. But we did it. The film was released in America, has collected many awards at festivals, and I am happy that it will show in the Ukrainian box office. This is a psychological Thriller about a writer who suffers from depression, suspects his young wife of infidelity. To follow her, the hero hires a personal trainer, whose task is to seduce a woman. And then a terrible thing happened: his wife in an attempt of self-defense accidentally killed the coach. Around this and develop the events in the film.
The first viewing we staged the house — my good friend Shane black. His film “Iron man 3” earned in hire more than billion dollars, he also wrote the screenplays for the films “the Last boy scout” and “Lethal weapon”. After watching, I asked his opinion, and Shane suggested that the film’s budget is approximately $ 5 million. But when I admitted that we spent much less money, he said, “I had some comments, but I can’t believe you made the film for such little money. Don’t tell anyone how much it cost. First sell him and then tell the story of success”. I really hope that the film will pay off.
* The film “Perception” has won more than ten international awards
— The main role is played by Eric Roberts?
— No, she went to actor John Wright, and Eric Roberts plays his best friend and agent.
— How do you, a young filmmaker for a foreigner, managed to get nominated for an Oscar?
— It was very difficult. First you need to prove that the project meets the level of the actor. We shot the first part of the film showed Eric his presentation. The important role played by the fact that the film is a famous canadian actor and model Nick Bateman, whose popularity is rapidly gaining momentum. He is really cool dude. Nick was my housemate, we quickly found a common language, and we developed a friendly relationship. Nick first removed the short film “Gambit”, looked each other in the work. But it is not expected that the film will be so popular. This short film shot in one night under a bridge in Los Angeles — without a single permit. Just wanted to make a funny video, and received a great response. We are so cool work, I suggested to nick role in a feature film. He agreed without hesitation.
— How did you get acquainted with Roberts and persuaded him to take part in your project?
— First, we talked with his agent, sent the script, then met. By the way, Eric’s wife’s Ukrainian roots. It probably also played a role. Warned Roberts that this is not a high-budget project. But after the presentation, the actor was pleased and said that picture is worth millions of dollars. Us and now nobody believes that everything is done on their own, having very modest budget.
Hollywood stars naughty on the Playground?
— They have level requirements created in the site conditions. But Eric and Nick are surprisingly easy and comfortable to work with, no star whims and demands they put forward. It’s great actors who skillfully cope with the tasks, everything is clear and on schedule.
In my personal observations, I can say that Hollywood actors are dedicated to their work, without pathos, does not strive to demonstrate star status and confirm its exclusively. The higher the status of the actor, the more and more self-sacrificing he is working. For example, nick during filming, I had to lie on the cold concrete floor, but he never rebelled, never said tired, cold or something else.
Eric Roberts was only one requirement: that there was an assistant. He is responsible for operation and ensures that all clearly and on time.
See also: “Disney, I thought I was in a crazy house!”
— His beautiful wife Elina highlighted the role?
— Not yet, but she helped a lot during filming, and was a stylist and costume designer. To make movies in the U.S., you need to know the language to speak without an accent and a lot of work. To compete with the Hollywood actors is not so easy. We moved to the US, but his wife was so much harder than me. I immediately plunged into work, and she had to completely change his world, to rebuild. Elina now has achieved good results, an advertisement, blogging, which has become quite popular.
* Jensen Noen (Eugene Nozhechkin): “To become famous in Hollywood, you need to remove here is a good movie”
— Some famous Ukrainian Directors were trying to make a career in Hollywood, but did not always succeed. What you need to succeed?
In America no matter what the Director was shot in his homeland. You can be a superstar in the Ukraine, but in Hollywood you’re nobody, if your work has not caused interest. To become famous in Hollywood, you need to remove here is a good movie. And to take it, conditionally speaking, for one dollar and sell for ten. If you managed to do it, so you can do business — this approach investors. Can you take a film that can’t be sold. Even in Hollywood it is very important not only to work but to be a get-together. How do you know how to communicate sometimes solves more than talent. Although I don’t like this kind of event and try to visit them only as needed.
— Whom you dream to work?
— There are lots of actors in Hollywood. But I would like to work with Charlize Theron, Daniel Craig, Sean Penn, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey… They played legendary characters in my favorite movies. Their acting abilities are unique. I hope we will have the opportunity to work together in my new projects. Perhaps even a joint with Ukraine.
Photo from Facebook
We read in the Telegram channel, Facebook and Twitter