Script Supervisor Alina Averianova’s Love of Cinema Keeps her in Demand
How much does busy Script Supervisor Alina Averianova love movies?
Well, when she attended Moscow’s VGIK, the world’s oldest film school, Averianova reveled in the film program that indulged her love. The now USA-based Averianova explains: “Every week over the course of four years of the undergrad screenwriting program, we had two screening session four-hour long each when we would watch old movies. We started all the way from The Arrival of the Train, went through The Birth of A Nation and Intolerance to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, then onto Chaplin, Germain Expressionism, French New Wave, Italian neo-realism, spaghetti westerns, Asian Cinema, Neo-Noir, and more. Again, four years in a row, twice a week, four hours at a time.”
She was in film heaven.
Now, after acquiring a BFA in Screenwriting from VGIK and an MFA from New York Film Academy, Averianova has script supervisor credits on Nightingale: A Melody of Life, This Land, Anniversary, O, Daisy, and many more; and, she has writing/directing credits on The Keeping Room, Simply Perfect, Believe Me Not, and Thrown Out.
Always busy and in demand, Averianova is now working on several ongoing projects including: a theatrical musical which is in pre-production and, a wonderful joint venture with film school (NYFA) colleagues, that involves a course of lectures for what hopefully will become the first real film school in Bahrain.
But, growing up in Moscow, Averianova admits she preferred books to movies or TV, explaining: “Funny thing, I don’t remember myself watching TV as a kid. Films and TV, as well as comic books, all entered my life much later. First, when Harry Potter was released, and then when I met the animation love of my life — Studio Ghibli, the famous Japanese animation film studio, co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki who directed one of my all-time faves, Spirited Away.”
But plays, literature and books, and of course an affinity for words, were her first love. She vividly recalls: “My grandparents and parents were brought up around actively promoted libraries and bookstores. So, my generation has been growing in homes full of great stuff to read. My Dad would gulp down stories by Jack London and Arthur Conan Doyle while lying with a temperature in bed. My Mom would explore the poetry of the ‘silver age’ after her gymnastics classes. And that variety has been influenced by my summer ‘to-read’ lists spread out at schools.” She adds joyfully, “Russian culture encourages reading for kids. And, we had the luxury of direct access to lots of books thanks to our home library.”
Now her hands-on experience at NYFA in the USA has widened her love of storytelling to earning on-set credits for script supervisor, along with directing, producing, editing, production design and even acting. She even wrote, directed and produced her own heart-warming short film, The Keeping Room, about which she says, “It’s a story about love. Every day people go through the obstacles in their lives to get to the moment when they are together, sitting at the table with the loved one(s) — true connection.”
Along the way, she’s become enamored of American filmmakers, professing her “love of the mind-breaking logic of Christopher Nolan and the sadness of Scorsese.” She talks further, “My favorite part of American film history are classical noir films. Femmes fatale, murders and friendship all portrayed in the hard lights and black and white color palette — there is something very appealing in it for me. Something inherently cinematic. When I think ‘cinema,’ I think noir films, like my personal favorite, The Third Man, along with Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard, Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder, Bogey in The Maltese Falcon, and others.”
Her NYFA school experience opened the doors to the on-set world, and her present career path, explaining: “As many other students I started the filmmaking course thinking that I wanted to become a director, but that didn’t feel right. So I tried many other on-set areas, DP-ing, AD-ing, working as a Production Designer. But then something struck me — I was asked to help as a Script Supervisor, and have never looked back.”
Gowtham Namasivayam, writer, director, producer of Nightingale: A Melody of Life: “Alina was a pleasure to work with. I look forward to having her on my future projects.”
Now, she enthuses: “Since then I have been drawn to the role, which encompasses almost everything in a production from acting to lighting, production design to props to script coverage and assistant editing. I like the fact that I can talk to every department, that I need to see not a separate scenes or shots in my head, but rather the whole picture. I’m very excited to be part of a couple of bigger budget features coming up in 2021 and 2022.”
Her goal as a Script Supervisor is to “keep helping creative people tell their stories.” As for her strengths, she humbly offers: “After reading so many books and plays at home and university, I know where literature and drama are coming from, how they have been evolving. My instructors from both ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ have dissected the structures of various stories for us, showing how the mechanisms inside them work, how the characters grow, how the circumstances make them act. Therefore, I feel I have a broad theoretical toolkit to utilize on sets.”
And, oh yes, she does love movies.