While the pandemic paused Hollywood for sometime, now that things are getting a bit better, New York is opening up to allowing shows and movies to film here once again. And recently, director/producer Victor Migalchan brought his hit show My American Family to NYC to film some scenes.
The Levity Ball spoke to Victor more in-depth about filming here in town, the changes happening in the industry and his own career right now!
When did you know that you wanted to go into the entertainment business?
As a leader and a professional martial artist I’ve been leading people, communities since early ages. I knew that the best way to reach people and make a change – is media, hence that was my choice. The world is full of different, sometimes fake stuff and I decided to make a change and an impact, willing to make my home a better place, my community – the better place and the world a better place. My main focus is promotion of education, business development and international business relations. Of course the best way to reach people is through the story, not dry facts or information, therefore I started my path here in Hollywood in 2015.
With so many projects coming up, how do you manage your time? What new projects are you currently working on?
Authentic traditional martial arts give you many benefits, after you practice them for many years non stop. It teaches you discipline, respect, perseverance , to be strong, endure hardships. It builds character and teaches us to focus. With these characteristics, when practiced for many years and after tempering character in the fire of will, you are able to do many great things and become a different type of a human. Time management and focus comes along. When I work I don’t waste a single minute, everything is scheduled in my day, week and month. Yes with Hollywood you gotta be flexible, so if something changes I find a substitution right away and won’t waste time. In my schedule there is no time for clubs or bars or any other things which will waste my time or influence my focus. Currently we are working on the season 2 of My American Family tv series; Season 1 of the new show “Modern Kungfu”; We shot season 1 of the cooking show “Dragon Chef”; We are in pre – production stage of the new feature film “The Sun Also Dies”, written by the EMMY Award winner Nicolas Coster and an educational animation series “Annie & Axie”. Besides we have an interview show for our students, called “The Real Deal of Hollywood”, which helps young adults learn how to communicate, learn from the people who are real deal thing about life, business and development which no school will ever teach you.
You filmed a few scenes of your hit series My American Family in New York. How was that?
Yes we do have a few scenes filmed in New York. It was a great experience. I love New York, I miss it a lot. I used to live in NYC till I moved to LA in 2015. Scenes which we filmed with Mr Edward Cologna were very important in our show. They have very strong and straightforward messages. Very NYC style I’d say.
Did you get to visit any other fun places while here in town?
As a person who fell in love with New York from the 1st sight of course I visited many places. My favorite place thou is the Battery Park in Manhattan. I love spending time there, its very peaceful. Also I love walking around those monuments of the first immigrants. New York has a very special vibe. When you walk on the Wall Street you can feel and tell that This Great Country is “Too Big to Fail”.
COVID-19 has hit us New Yorkers hard since the start. What advice would you give to those struggling during these times, especially in the entertainment business?
I’d say “Adjust, improvise, overcome”. We have to be flexible, whether it’s a virus, or a war or anything else. New Yorkers are strong people, no-one can be weak in NYC I believe. It’s not a city for weak people. As for entertainment, there are so many things that could be done remotely: screenwriting, editing, coloring, VFX, voice over, animation, etc. It’s a good time to learn new things, re – adjust, re – access and analyze. As Chinese philosophy says “one has to be flexible like water and at the same time hard as water”. New York has something that no other cities have, this is the perfect time to find these gems. I always look forward to visiting NYC again.
What new changes in entertainment and film making have you seen happening now?
Right now it’s definitely more stressful for people, with mandatory rules which might not be exactly compiling with the Constitution. However we always have a choice.
I believe that now it’s great time to open up your mind and see what’s going on. Now you don’t have to rely only on auditions. There are so many platforms you could work with, if you are good enough. I always say: start your own business, start producing, educate yourself, improve. This will bring you growth and one day soon a big studio will call you. But you have to be ready and be “hot on the market”. Also we have to remember that a healthy economy relies on small and medium sized businesses, hence when we think about our Country, we have to also remember that. Yes, working with Paramount, or Universal or Netflix is cool, but it’s cooler to start your own company, get a project, give jobs, pay taxes and compete with shows or films produced by giants.
And final question: What do you want to be remembered for overall when people look back at you, you films/shows, and your impact on this world?
An ancient proverb says: It is your choice to take an easy path, join the flow and follow the flow, or you can take a harder path, find out the truth and help it to survive. That is what I do. Through my current shows I bring to people’s attention something old but forgotten: old school values; family values; cultural values; friendship values. My American Family is based more on human and family values (and let’s not be hypocritical, it can be a traditional family or a gay family, it doesn’t matter. Love is Love.) Everyone should remember that family is a gift from above, it’s responsibility, it’s discipline and respect. Family is the basic unit of society, not the individual. “Modern Kungfu” is focused on personal development, such as tempering character in the fire of will, perseverance, being strong, enduring hardships, discipline, respect etc. All these characters you are getting when you go through traditional authentic martial arts training. It helps you to build yourself, build your relationship, career etc. We point out the importance of learning your own culture, whether you are an American born Chinese, or German, or Irish, or Russian. You love, learn and respect the culture you live in and your own, in order to not have this weird void in your soul. We also face social issues, such as depression, anxiety and suicidal attempt among children, sexual assault in foster families etc and most importantly we have calls for action and resolutions. Another side of our projects is the authenticity of cultures. I don’t create casts based on percentage. As for now, as an international person, I want to show many cultures in the real authentic way they really are, how wonderful they are and how we can happily co- exist, collaborate, build businesses and hence a better world.