Nikolay Lupanov was born in 1989 in the city of Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod). In 2010 he graduated from the College of Culture and Art in Vladimir, and in 2021 he graduated from the directing department of the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography named after S. A. Gerasimov. The film “Mechanica” is the debut short film by Nikolay Lupanov.
Q & A
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
I think that in a way I am close in spirit to the "Losers Club" from Stephen King's novel "It". I grew up in a small Russian town called Kosterevo. The main attraction of the city was the old abandoned Soviet combine, in which almost the entire population of Kosterevo used to work, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the combine closed and many lost their jobs. My childhood was a little deserted, I had few friends and I drowned and ran away into the reality created by Stephen King, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, Ray Bradbury and other writers. They were my real friends. Since childhood, I loved science fiction and mysticism. This is how I see the world ever since.
You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
There is no need to pass by bad ideas, I think that you need to face them and closely study and analyze their structure. Sincerely, bad ideas don't come to my mind - I think I'm not getting enough into them.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Frankly, I have not yet filmed a single canonical, pure horror film and until I have proved my involvement with the community myself. I have shot three short films, but only two of them can be classified as horror. My films are multi-genre, but I would definitely like to develop as an artist in the horror genre.
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
First of all, I look for inspiration in myself. I think this is a banal answer. But I am really inspired by my fears, my imperfection, my dark, sometimes perverted fantasies, which are only a reflection of my traumas and hopes, desires and memories.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
This is a great question! I think I tried to study this world and in the process would have thought how much I want to leave it. I suspect that perhaps I would like to stay and live there. Despite everything.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
It would definitely be Victor Frankenstein, Jack the Ripper and the cause of Dyatlov Pass Incident. Perhaps I would have taken Covid-19, the Tunguska Meteorite, the Bermuda Triangle and, as well, Vladimir Putin into the team (this is a joke!)
Lightning round: Freddie or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post-Apocalypse or Pre-Apocalypse?
Freddie! Stephen King (Howard, forgive me, I love u too!) Practical 100% Pre-apocalypse!
How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
Most often it is SFX and the smallest droplet of computer graphics. As for objects, I try to look for such locations that almost do not require visual changes or changes.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
As I wrote above, my fears and worries are one of the main sources of inspiration for my films. The nature of all my fears is more existential than that of some other people. But if you need very specific, real, factual fears, then I am very afraid of attractions, I am afraid of flying in airplanes, darkness and some insects.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
God, this is too long a list! "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari", Luca Guadagnino's "Suspiria", "The Shining", "The VVitch: A New- England Folktale" and "The Lighthouse", "The Conjuring" by James Wan, "Darkness" by Jaume Balagueró, "The Others" by Alejandro Amenábar, "The Devil's Backbone" and "Pan's Labyrinth", "The Village" of M. Night Shyamalan, with all that, I really like"The Cabin in the Woods" by Drew Goddard!