Fedir Shchusenko: “I'm up for anything!”
He is the only person with the ability to be in several places at once, to enchant experts of any age, gender and profile, and has time to act in movies. How he manages to do it? Fedir told us in an interview.
- What is the best thing that happened to you during the years of working on the project?
- I have been working for the IVORY films production almost since the foundation of the project “Ukraine Speaks”. And during this period I went through almost the entire career hierarchy - I started as a journalist, and now I am a guest editor and work with experts. As a journalist, I was able to travel around Ukraine, meet a lot of interesting people, although they were not always positive, but also extremely negative ones. Once I had to work with a paedophile for a program. To ensure that he does not change his mind and does not refuse to participate in the program, I had to call him every two hours and show all sorts of friendliness, and still had to walk with him and even pick up clothes in one of the second-hand shops. It was an extremely tense moment.
I still remember a very interesting experience during one of my business trips. We came to investigate a murder in one village while the trail was still hot. The body of a man was found in an abandoned well, but law enforcement agencies did not tell us any certain details, they did not even investigate the crime scene. The operator and I decided that I could get more information only after going down to the well. After all, in such cases, everything is important: The way the body lays, how it could fall, what walls were near the well, how the body fell - backwards or forwards, did it hit its head or broke its spine. The locals helped me to get down with ropes, I explored the well, and when I was there, I did not feel any fear at all, only drive. But in the evening, when we were discussing this, the operator said that the well was old and there was no strengthening at all, if someone came closer and the walls would crumble - I would not be able to get out...
- When was the last time you wanted to cry with joy?
- Now, as a guest editor, I watch what is happening in the studio from the equipment room and I am one of the first to see everything. The most sentimental moments for the whole team are when for the first time after a long separation the heroes meet their relatives, whom they haven't seen for thirty years. Everyone tries not to show their emotions, but, to be honest, the last three times I did not hold back, just cried with joy. With joy for our heroes! At my time of life, I can afford to be honest.
- What do the viewers not know about your project?
- I remember we were filming in one village for the third time. And everyone there already hated me. It turned out that this village was divided into two camps because of the conflict we were covering. And the first two programs were in favour of one part of the village, and, accordingly, the second part acted extremely negative towards our group. And as a journalist I had to walk around the village, speak with people. So they told me directly in the face: “Hyena!”. And at some point I realized that I even like it. We helped some people, and others didn't like it. You can't be good to everyone.
Now that I have become a guest editor, I have to meet people of another level: lawyers, doctors, legal experts, showmen. And it requires a completely different approach. But, to be honest, working here, I feel that I am the principal of the school, and they are my favourite students. I always wonder where they are, how they feel after the program. Sometimes when I ask after the program: “How was it?” - someone can answer: “Fedya, you ruined our whole day! I cried all over the air!”. But I can say that our program includes experts who are very responsible and respectful, they are not indifferent and have a developed sense of empathy, they will not remain indifferent to other person’s grief. Even after a while, they admit that they still communicate with the heroes and help them. I am very glad that such people come to the project “Ukraine Speaks”. After all, they have their own business, career, family, but they find time to help.
- What one should not do, even for the highest ratings?
- Deceive people. We must understand that if we cannot help this person, we should not even start the program. You can refuse at the first stage and not give the hero any false hope. And, in general, as long as I worked, I tried to adhere to this principle. And I always gave the opportunity to the accused side to present the arguments. We help to take into account all the issues that others did not even think of, we give the opportunity to speak in defence, but it all depends on the hero. Let the truth win.
- Who would you be if you did not work on television?
- Since childhood, I wanted to be an archaeologist, I’ve always liked dinosaurs, and I still do. Then I wanted to be a teacher. I really wanted to act in movies and even began to study in an acting school. And I have even acted in the series. I have a medical education, and I loved my job in a psychiatric hospital. But I still think that what I do now is the best! Although, if I could combine the work of a guest editor and an archaeologist - it would be perfect.
- Who among your relatives watches your projects and what do they criticize?
- The whole village where I grew up watches. And my relatives call me a “star”. So they say: “Our star will come soon!”. But sometimes they do criticize. Sometimes people do not like how we helped the hero. Although there are those who do not believe that these are real people, that this can happen in life. Although our heroes live where I grew up.
- What will you do after retirement?
- I plan to work for a very long time. I have always loved to read, I like to read a lot, sometimes even two books at once. Of different genres: for example, an adventure book and classics. Now I buy books, go to the flea market and buy books there. I collect a library that I will be reading in retirement. But I still want to travel. That’s my way to relax. I know for sure that I can’t sit in one place, I’m up for anything! Of course, I would like to work. Nowadays, older people are in great demand in cinema. And if I tighten my belly, I will become a model, I will be a kind of an old-model.
- What do you dream about?
- I want to visit Hollywood, I want to try myself as a make-up artist, make silicone wounds, special makeup for screen. And I went to negotiating with terrorists courses, I really liked it, I could try myself as a crisis manager. Since childhood, I have always strived for drive. I remember back in school my friends and I were filming our movies on the outskirts of the village. Disguised in various costumes, we poured tomato juice on the snow as blood, then in the ravine we made a movie about a dinosaur that woke up. My childhood friends who became tractor drivers still remember it.