ZHYVY: a short audiovisual film about self-expression and freedom

Ukrainian filmmaker and musician ‘Histibe’ has released a short film that intersects cinematography and poetry with digital art and sound.

The film, entitled ZHYVY, features a medley of scenes focused on sights and sounds of Ukraine’s night life. Despite its dark and moody aesthetic, the video actually seeks to inspire through the characters who come out at night to pursue creative endeavours.

“Life is the most priceless thing. Don’t be afraid to live in your own unusual way,” the director said. We recently caught up with ‘Histibe’ to know more about him and his work. Check it out:

This is a very dark short film. Tell us about the mood you were hoping to convey when you created it.

“The main idea of video is the creation of a format in which modern music, poetry, cinematography and motion graphics are united. Unification in a form where the artist and the creator in one person express himself in different art fields, including video and audio component. I call it audiovisual artist.

“ZHYVY has a dark and extraordinary mood, this is true, and the main goal is to inspire people. I hoped to inspire people to live in their own ways, no matter who they are and where they are from. ZYHVY means ‘live!’ in Ukrainian.

“Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine is the city where the video was shot. They must be free and not scared to live and act as they want, mostly don’t be limited by any stereotypes.”

The focus is on underground characters: are these the types of people that you usually hang out with and how many were based on real life people?

“All of them are real people with real stories. I wanted to focus on emotions and lifestyle of real people and represent them under one roof with a cinematic look, because I wanted to film a little part of modern history of people in form like this.

“What’s more, this is also a part of my own story because I hang out with such characters all the time. The film starts with a city at night and goes forward with elements of life of different characters, mainly at night time, when different thoughts and ideas come into the minds of creative people – the time when you can’t sleep sometimes, when your head overwhelmed of thoughts, ideas, and flashbacks. So you just want to go somewhere, relax and take a break or do something and create!

“Some of the characters in the video are musicians, some are DJs, some club heads, some strangers and underground personalities. They might look odd and different, but it doesn’t matter because the most priceless thing is freedom and self-expression and you should just live. Live in your own way.”

Tell us about the process of creating the video: what tools did you use and how long did it all take?

“It was a kind of street guerrilla video shoot, when we needed video equipment that can be quickly moved from one location to another without extra effort. This project was made in cooperation with ‘Blackmagic Design’ and ‘Steadymaker’ who shared their equipment for the video production process.

“’Steadymaker’ sent their handheld video stabilizer, and you can use it for a long time with just three batteries inside. ‘Blackmagic Design’ sent their field monitor, Video Assist 4K, which is compact and can record amazing video footage in 10-bit quality.

“I think the total time of the video shoot was around four days in four different locations, but editing, motion graphics, and post production took even more. I think I spent around 20 days in total on everything.

“Music (track name Short Films from my album Take the Form) was produced a long time before, because I have years and years of background of electronic music production and sound design.

You also create music. Tell us more about your background and where you’ve taken your creative inspiration from.

“My first official music release under alias ‘Histibe’ was in 2007 on a drum and bass compilation CD album here in Ukraine. Then I had different releases of various electronic indie labels.

“Since then I have released two solo albums, two EP and one compilation album and eight official music videos on my own music label, ‘Mask Movement’, which is also a digital creative agency with focus on video production, graphic design, and motion graphics for artists, labels, and brands who are interested in modern visual art.

“During past years, projects from our portfolio were featured 20 times in the official digital galleries on Behance, uniting like-minded people and passionate content creators from all around the world. Our motto is ‘We create to inspire creation’ and if you are inspired now, this is the best result and inspiration for us as well!”

To know more about ‘Histibe’, head on over here.