We may not get to see Director Raisa Churina on the START UP screen, but we do get to see her creativity and vision played out in every episode. As director, she has to consider every aspect of the show, from the casting to shooting to editing and more. We were able to speak with Raisa, fresh off her trip to the West Coast where she had been filming Season 4, and learn a little more about her!
Tell us all a little about yourself – maybe something people may not know:
"I’m from Ukraine, and I studied journalism at Crimea University. I have worked in television my whole life; in Ukraine, I used to work as an investigative reporter, and later I worked as the chief editor of a news department in Crimea. This was followed by a move to Kiev and a long standing career in reality television.
I also love to write; I write all the time. My mom found an old notebook recently with a story I wrote as a child about my grandma, my sister, and the rest of my family, which was pretty funny. Now I write a little more seriously; I am currently working on a screenplay for a feature film."
How would you describe your role on the show?
"As the director, I create the show how I envision it to be. When people watch START UP, they are seeing each episode through my eyes. I look for visually interesting spaces, and elements that are different and fast paced when we shoot. Television is a visual media, so that is very important. Therefore, I have to be an active helper in the casting as well, because if our Casting Director found a nice business with a great story, but we can’t show how that business works visually, it doesn’t work for television."
What is your favorite episode of Start-Up?
"My favorite episode is actually an upcoming episode from Season 4. During our West Coast trip, we went to Bandon, Oregon, where we got to talk to cheese makers, which was very fun. I got to eat cheeses and drink very good wine. Also, the scenery in Oregon was fantastic - Bandon is a very beautiful place."
If you were to start a new business right now, what type would it be? Why?
"I really want to start a “Franklin Beer Festival”. There is an empty parking lot at Franklin Cider Mill right by my house which is not used during the summer, and I want to host a beer and bratwurst festival there with live music and just a really fun atmosphere. I love all of the different craft brews that Michigan has to offer and I think that people would really enjoy that."
If someone were to take your phone out of your hand and listen to your music, what is the first song that would play?
"They would probably hear Eva Polna, the Russian pop star. I loved her music as a teenager, and I still love her music today."