Boundaries, they exist but there are those who exist to shatter them. In terms of a producer, Sholpan Murabuldayeva is pleased to do this in her profession. The lines separating feature films, television, and commercials were previously demarcated for those in front of and behind the camera. In present day we see that all but eviscerated by actors as well as professionals behind the camera. The rule in the 2000’s is that talent goes where the good work is found. Murabuldayeva vacillates between big budget films, indie films, commercials, and music videos, contributing her expertise to the projects that interest and intrigue her. You’ll find her name on the silver screen in China, at your local arthouse theater, or as the credits roll on a YouTube video; the unexpectedness of it all appeals to her.
Staying in one’s “lane” may be comfortable but rarely leads to wisdom and growth. Producing projects which are presented in varying formats has given Sholpan a great deal of respect for creatives across the board. Of course, this also gives her many more opportunities to utilize her talents. Working with director Mimi Masters on a Haerbin Beer commercial was Murabuldayeva first experience on an animated project. She regards this as essential for a producer in the current climate as she explains, “I’ve worked on many films. Both animation and live action filming require a lot of professionals but it’s very different. There’s no crew standing around while filming takes place but there are still a lot of people involved in the animating. When you shoot actors with a camera, what you get is exactly that…what you get; but with animation, it requires more thought and a different kind of creativity. Realistic restrictions are gone. It’s a situation that you don’t truly understand until you’re in it. Animation is so prevalent nowadays; I think it’s an invaluable tool to be comfortable with this kind of production.”
Sholpan is best known for her work in productions such as the feature film Underset, the award-winning Pearl, and Knightfall. 2018’s Bamboleo is a modern day fairytale in which Cinderella Maria struggles to become a dancer and, upon meeting a magical prince, begins to make incredible advances in her ability and career. Producing this indie film is an experience Murabuldayeva refers to as remarkable. She relates, “The independent film scene is inspiring not only because it’s so creative but because those involved work so very hard, often mainly for the opportunity to create something extraordinary. The budgets are typically not that big and the work required by everyone IS big. The cast of Bamboleo was quite small and they worked ceaselessly to hone the dance numbers in the film. For the most part, these are not dancers but rather actors who learned to dance for the roles. What they achieved was inspiring, especially the female star [Malene Ostergaard of Golden Globe winning TV series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”]. She has a lot of difficult movements to complete, such as flipping in the air, etc. The cast and crew of this film worked hard because they believe in always doing their best. It’s wonderful to be in that atmosphere.”
In addition to producing a number of upcoming films including: the Sci-fi/drama Live Me, The Crimson Smile (about a film producer who tries to convince his mistress to murder his wife), and Azhar Taizhan’s Horror film Apparition, Sholpan is working on a music video trilogy for the artist iambugsff. It’s obvious that Sholpan with bring a cinematic sensibility to the trilogy but she’s equally interested in how the music video realm will inform her.