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On 15th December 2016 we successfully raised £4,073 with 60 supporters in 28 days

A fictional short film about a soviet spy who is coerced into assassinating Joseph Stalin

by Nikita Shevchenko in Dorset, England, United Kingdom


This is a fictional espionage drama set in 1953 about a Russian spy who has been coerced into assassinating Joseph Stalin. The story follows Khrustalev- as he works in the shadows to assassinate the Soviet leader, who can he trust? Will he risk his family to save his country from tyranny? Or will he be caught?

The film will be a suspenseful, slick and compelling spy drama which we would love to make a reality. Will you accept the mission and back us?


Drawing inspiration from classic espionage thrillers, the visual world of Khrustalev will be heavily stylized. The biggest cinematic inspiration for Khrustalev is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but we will be drawing from a wide range of influences in order to create the most visually expressive film we can.

  • Similar to most spy films, the majority of the film will be shot using long lenses, in order to create a sense of voyeurism. Along with the tightly claustrophobic framing, the constantly creeping camera will heighten the feeling of dread and suspense. Dim lighting will be utilized to enhance the mystery in the thriller.

  • Continuing with the theme of realism, we have decided on a colour palette that accurately reflects the time period of the film. The colours of the film will mainly consist of cool, monochromatic colours, with an emphasis on white and wooden rustic colours.


  • In order to create a realistic portrayal of Russia, we will use a combination of carefully selected locations and set builds. The New Forest will serve as the Russian wilderness where Khrustalev meets to discuss his highly secretive plans. It has the right landscape and flora to double as the countryside around Moscow.

For Khrustalev’s Luxury Stalinist apartment, we will build a large composite set, due to the restrictions any location would put on us, both practically and aesthetically. These apartments had a very specific design, so in order to create a realistic portrayal, a set build is our only option. Through years of service to Stalin, Khrustalev can afford his own large apartment, something that very few Russians at the time were capable of, with most living in cramped communal housing. Khrustalev’s high end living and all the comforts it affords him will be sacrificed if he goes through with his orders.


The character concepts for this film have been very much based around the small details and idiosyncrasies of the characters. We will use simple but detailed colour concepts to complement the surrounding sets and exteriors of the Cold War Russian theme.

  • We will be using the budget to create clean tailored looks for each character. We have been heavily inspired by Russian artwork and impressionism from Russian artists themselves, the use of palette in the works of Igor Grabar for instance. The use of texture and simple colours will reflect character and emotion. The backstory of each character will be informed by films such as Her (Spike Jonze, 2013), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011), and the work of directors such as David Fincher.

  • The use of colour across the cinematography and production design will support and encompass the use of semiotics within the costumes- colours such a burgundy, maroon, mustard yellows and reds, which will be layered in browns and blacks. Uniforms in moss green, as shown below, will reflect the clean lines and uniformity of the Soviet Union, and will accurately embed the costumes well within the period and setting.


Now allow us to introduce our AMAZING crew! We are all excited to be a part of such a big and inspirational project! 

                                                                         Director-Reuben Esson-Parkes 

                                                                            Producer-Nikita Shevchenko  

                                                                    Director of Photography-Sam Glazier 

                                                                          Editor-Maxwell Harris-Tharp

                                                                   Production Designer-Freddie Burrows 

                                                                      Costume Designer-Beth Wootton

                                                              Production Sound Mixer-Mehmet Ali Balioglu

                                                                      Sound Designer-Miguel Cartaxana 

                                                                 Production Assistant-Andrey Kudryashov 

We're sure you'll meet the rest of our crew along the way so make sure to follow us on our social media pages.  


The money you pledge to our cause will be spent in key area's of the film, like: 

  • Set builds (very important) 
  • Costumes (very important as well) 
  • Cast wages and their accommodation
  • Location Hire 
  • Transportation Hire
  • Props 
  • Make-up


  • We as filmmakers have a passion to create something truly unique but in order to do so, we need your help! To make the best film that we can we aim to create a visual world which enhances and reinforces the narrative. This requires good locations and very specific props, set builds and costumes. Furthermore, we plan to employ professional actors so that the script is translated into the very best performances.

  • Also, we do understand that some people just can't make a contribution, but that doesn't mean you still can't help US! If you DO want to see this film come to life, then a simple SHARE of our campaign could be all it takes for us to reach our goal! And don't forget to visit our social media pages on the links above for more amazing content. Thank you for your support!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A thank you for believing in my project! You will receive a public thank you on our social media pages including Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

£10 or more

£10 Reward

For your generosity, our editor will include your name in the credits of our film!

£25 or more

£25 Reward

We will send you a Postcard Sized Poster of the OFFICIAL poster when it's complete with a thank you note & all of the above!

£50 or more

£50 Reward

As a sign of our appreciation we will send you a digital link to view the film and all of the above!

£75 or more

£75 Reward

As well as a link to the film you will also receive a HIGH QUALITY A2 Poster signed by the crew and cast!

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Because we appreciate your interest in our film, we will give you an EXCLUSIVE access pass to Behind the Scenes updates of our progress AND a visit to the set during the shoot if you are within a reasonable distance.

£350 or more

£350 Reward

For your contribution you will receive an Associate Producer credit and an Invitation to a screening where you can meet the makers PLUS a DVD hard copy of the film!

£500 or more

£500 Reward

At this level, you will receive a Co-Executive Producer credit – meaning YOUR name will appear FIRST in the credits and also on the IMDb page, AS WELL as an invitation to the screening at the BFI in Southbank, London where you can meet the makers personally AND be given a Blu-Ray copy of the film which includes Behind the Scenes and/or Interviews.

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