Andrew Favorov about the TV series "Sviy Gaz": we filmed for Netflix

My memories in FB about how the series "Sviy Gas" appeared caused a violent reaction and many questions. I decided not to scatter the comments and answer all at once since the author's column format allows it.

People often ask: how did it happen that I agreed not to shoot "corporate sh ...” with reports in ties and branded presentations. Of course, a director is a creative person, but nothing in Naftogaz disposed to violate corporate foundations. And yet the series turned out to be much closer in spirit to the popular science films of Discovery and the BBC than to the usual glossy videos of large corporations.

It was not that I consciously aspired to be a revolutionist, but rather it was an attempt to unite two worlds, interaction with which plunged me into deep dissonance. On the one hand, the world of Kyiv offices and TV broadcasts shone with a polished screen. If you believe what was said there, to get gas in Ukraine, it is enough to stick in the ground, and billions of cubic meters will immediately be pulled out of there. And the evil Naftogaz does not specifically want to develop the subsoil that belongs to the people.

On the other side, the three days just spent at the rig were drifting in a grey fog. Shifts of 12 hours, living in cramped sheds in the middle of the field, working in freezing rain in the absence of a hot shower. And at the same time, powerful and graceful silhouettes of drilling rigs, harsh industrial beauty. But everything beautiful and powerful is expensive, and you have to pay for the quality. And if we want to extract, we need market prices.

As a manager, I understood that it would be impossible to convey this idea from the drilling rig to the capital through the usual communication channels. Another way had to be found. And we decided to go through the real-life of real people: to live with the guys on a watch, talk to geologists, look into their homes and families. The show, as opposed to a condescending discussion on talk shows, hard work in the cold, away from home.

At the same time, we did our best to avoid the usual overlay of politicization for the gas theme. In our country, after all, any discussion immediately turns into a flurry of mutual accusations. And behind this useless noise, the main questions are lost: what is gas, who produces it and how much, and how much it should cost. And I wanted a civilized discussion to begin, without labelling, insults. This is possible only if people clearly understand what they are discussing. And "Sviy Gas" became an attempt to outline the boundaries of the problem, to clear its essence from political layers, to explain to a wide audience what is happening in our gas industry. After watching this mini-series, people ask the question - do we appreciate this hard work enough?

Technically, they were guided by the best - Netflix standards. They have certain requirements for the video's quality for the platform to accept it for consideration. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made its own adjustments; we could not film many things due to movement restrictions. But the product that has turned out, it seems to me, looks good. Through it, you can talk at a decent level about Ukrainian gas both with our viewers and the world audience.

Tags: gas, Naftogaz, gas production

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