Sunday, May 1, 2022

PeaceTime for the Ukraine

Over the past year, I have submitted my children's meditation short "PeaceTime: A Royal Frog" to dozens of film festivals all over the world.  In early April, a festival in Moscow accepted it, and wanted me to send a screening copy.   Given how things have gone out there in the last few months, I opted to blow it off.  

While doing yard work a short time later,  it struck me - "I should dub PeaceTime to Ukrainian."

Gardening came to a sudden stop. 


I must do this.  

How do I do this? 

I paced around a bit, as if to coax the details out of hiding.  How do I find a Ukrainian actress?   

I starting texting industry friends - most had no leads.  But good ol' Trace Konerko, who left the industry 15 years ago, connected me with her friend - casting agent Jon Beauregard.  We talked.  Jon loved PeaceTime, totally got what I was trying to do, and offered to put out a casting call - no charge! 

Ukrainian-born actress Natasha Blasick dubs "PeaceTime" at Outloud Audio in Burbank.

 A few days later, 24 auditions came in, from which Ukrainian-born Natasha Blasick was hands-down the pick.  Her voice best matched the gentle, calming quality of Jess Lakin's original performance. 

Last week, we dubbed at Outloud Audio in Burbank.   Natasha read from her own translation, handwritten in a notebook.  Between her being so well prepared and engineer Bobby being so proficient at the control panel, we finished in just an hour.  And since I don't understand a lick of Ukrainian, Natasha was happy to helped pick takes. 

Natasha's hand-written script, translated from English.

Back at the home studio (a.k.a. my bedroom),  I created a new end title card with the Ukrainian flag in place of the sky.  

Composer Ian Rees created a PeaceTime-style instrumental of the Ukrainian national anthem's opening line, "Glorious spirit of Ukraine shines and lives forever." to play over the credits.  Seemed fitting.  

It was fascinating to hear of Natasha's personal connections to the war.  Her parents recently fled Odesa, bringing only what they could pack to La La Land.  She has a friend still in Ukraine who was not a soldier before the war, but is now.  Real, human stakes. 

A day after posting the Ukrainian "PeaceTime" onYouTube, I got an email from Natasha:

 "I sent our meditation to my friend Stas, who is fighting right now in Ukraine. And he said he really loves it and it is relaxing and really needed right now as everybody is super stressed. And he sent it over to some other soldiers. It feels so wonderful to be a little part of making a little difference in those soldiers’ lives right now."


And that's all it's about - there's no money being made here, no studio backing.  I'm totally relying on word-of-mouth to get this seen in the Ukraine, and here's where you come in, dear reader.  When it comes to connections, you never know who might come through big time.  A friend of a friend of a friend might have family over there, so please spread the word about the Ukrainian "PeaceTime".  

Here's the link to copy and paste:



1 comment:

  1. Kudos for peace Steve.
    Students at the Flint Institute School of Art created this animated film
    in solidarity with Ukraine.
    A large Soviet 35mm anamorphic projection lens was adapted for the project.

    Intensive hands-on Animation
    workshop will introduce students
    to animation from the perspective
    of the artist. You will find your own
    voice through the discipline of
    animation as a material-based
    medium for self-expression.
    FR-SU (3days)
    10:00am - 5:00pm

    Gary Schwartz

    Benjamin Strom
    Brianna Rose Haywood
    Noah Hansz

    Sound Design
    Joseph Clarence Krause