Interview with Aleksei Shamin of VZ Agency

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Aleksei Shamin

Aleksei Shamin, the co-founder and producer of VZ Agency, is actively engaged in video production, specializing primarily in motion design and computer graphics (CGI). Approximately a decade ago, this venture was founded in collaboration with a close high school friend, Anton Posokhin.

Interview with the 2023 NYX Awards Winner -
Aleksei Shamin

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your background.

My name is Aleksei Shamin and I’m the co-founder and the producer of VZ Agency and we do video production, mostly with motion design and computer graphics (CGI). I established this company with a good friend of mine from high school, Anton Posokhin around 10 years ago.

Video production and building the company has been the one and the only thing I’ve been working on and it is something I am very passionate about!

2What led you to become a 3d Artist professional?

I believe there are three main reasons for that. First, I’m from a family of cultural and musical workers. My father is a brass band conductor and a musician. My mother is a cellist and a jazz event organizer.

The second reason is my enduring love for computer games, which I've been playing since I was a child. This interest was further fueled by watching my older brother engage in 3D modeling as a hobby.

Third, I’m a visual person myself so cinematography and films with imaginative fantasy worlds have always fascinated me because these worlds seemed more exciting than my actual life in the real world!

3What is your role in the agency, and what traits should a 3D Artist professional possess to be successful in their role?

My current role in the agency consists mostly of video projects production and management, business development, and some marketing & PR activities.

In my opinion, videography professionals should emphasize their strengths and strive for continuous improvement in those areas to achieve success. Some excel as directors, while others may thrive as producers, and there are those who shine in scriptwriting, ideation, or creative management.

This specific role isn't the primary concern; what truly matters is executing your responsibilities to the best of your abilities and effectively delegating other aspects of the job to your colleagues.

4Tell us more about your agency / company.

VZ Agency is a small video production company with a talented team of thirteen senior specialists in motion design and CGI. There are two co-founders and producers, including myself, an art director, a production director, a creative director, another CG producer, five motion designers, and two illustrators. Sometimes we get bigger by hiring staff with reliable and verified freelancers due to the volume of the projects.

We work remotely most of the time with clients from 15 countries. Our team has completed more than seven hundred projects in the span of 10 years. We have done a great deal of cool projects!

Once, we helped a petrochemical company attract $20 million in investment for their new factory project by creating a three-minute high-end video presentation. Another time, our jewelry promo video of a famous British brand was watched more than one hundred thousand times on Instagram.

We have more than 150 positive reviews from our clients, and we’re thrilled to offer the best possible service as an agency in the videography market.

5What is your own definition of great videography?
In any professional field of endeavor, the devil is in the details. It’s essential to manage the viewer's attention every second of screen time. That is why you need to become nuts about the image. The image is everything in videography.
6Describe your videography style/flair and its main characteristics.

One of our main know-how is the camera in 3D videos. We adjust the camera in such way that it is constantly moving and changing. Fall in depths, logo and product overflights, all that in broadcast design style.

Another thing would be the cinematography style. We compose scenes as in movies you see on a screen. It’s all about adjusting the right camera angle and building the scene from scratch from the right perspective.

7Tell us more about your ideation process.

Generating cool ideas is the crucial step of the pre-production process. You need to create a beautiful idea – it’s 100% of your result and you also need to execute the creative correctly – it’s another 100%. Combining an ideation and its execution together, you will get the perfect 200% result on screens.

We don’t come up with an idea from some abstract background. It’s a step-by-step technology. The first thing we do is compile all the necessary information by interviewing a client and doing marketing and market research. Then, we brainstorm by connecting the client’s background and our best associations. And then we try to create a unique idea that is counterintuitive and disruptive in some sense. We believe that the most brilliant ideas always contain a paradox.

8Congratulations! As the winner of the NYX Video Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
Most importantly, this means we have to stick to our creative vision more passionately than ever. We should believe in ourselves more strongly and continually enhance our projects. It's not just about making money; it's about achieving "synesthesia," which involves triggering all sorts of sensations in the viewer, like smells, sounds, emotions, and personal memories.
9How has winning an international award help to promote your agency and works?
We believe this achievement will move us one step further to bigger clients and even more complex projects. And it also gives us leverage as a studio to negotiate with clients, closing the deals more efficiently.
10How has the country you are based in helped during your ideation process?

I have been living in Indonesia for about a year recently and it was an amazing experience. It’s one of the most magnificent countries in terms of its culture’s visual representation.

No matter where you visit, you'll encounter stunning scenery, charming homes, temple exteriors, captivating wildlife, and all of this has rejuvenated our creative thinking, leading to fresh ideas. It's an absolute must-visit place for any videography expert.

11What are the current trends in the videography industry that you are most excited about?

Speaking about motion design, for example, we love this thing called “glass morphism”. This originated from Microsoft rebranding promo videos and it looks fantastic on the screen.

There are also FPV drones that allows you to take your videography to another level, showing viewers unbelievable high-speed shots. Even Michael Bay used them in his “Ambulance” movie in 2022.

And last, but not least, is XR production, which is basically studio shooting, but with a usage of virtual, mixed and augmented reality. Some colleagues of ours have been doing these shots in commercials for big brands and it looks astonishing.

12What are the top three (3) favorite things about the videography industry?
  • Creative people. The amount of interesting, diverse, unusual and highly intelligent both IQ and EQ creative professionals with different backgrounds is incredibly diverse that I realized that I’ve chosen the best job in the world.
  • Freedom to express yourself the way you see it. You may create everything you want and reveal your inner potential.
  • Constantly evolving. The videography industry allows you to challenge yourself and your team every time you have a new project.
13What resources would you recommend to someone who is searching to improve their videography ideas and skills?
I would recommend doing more research and spending more time on sites and resources, websites like the NYX Video Awards would be great! It will your sense of beauty in creativity.
14Where do you see the evolution of the videography in the next 5-10 years?
I believe that there will be more unusual combinations of videography and CGI. Also, artificial intelligence will give much more freedom to artists, so that they could spend more time making something even more creative, unique and timeless.
15Who has inspired you in your life, and why?

As I said before, the main references in my life have been my parents who loved what they did and who were striving to achieve the best results in their careers even during tough times. Not forgetting my older brother, he is someone I have always looked up to because he is one of the smartest people I’ve ever known.

And of course all these guys from the American advertisement, business and film industry. Ogilvy, Bruce Barton (BBDO), John Hegarty (BBH), Christopher Nolan, and others, what great minds they are!

16What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Do interesting things and interesting things will happen to you!
17Do you have anything else you would like to add for the interview?
Thank you for providing a platform for us to show off our work! Your recognition is really important for us videography professionals, long live the NYX Video Awards!

Winning Entries

Aleksei Shamin

VZ Agency

Aleksei Shamin, the co-founder and producer of VZ Agency, is actively engaged in video production, specializing primarily in motion design and computer graphics (CGI). Approximately a decade ago, this venture was founded in collaboration with a close high school friend, Anton Posokhin.

Read more about this interview with Vitaly Shytnev from the United States, the Grand Winner of the 2023 NYX Video Awards.