Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Ebert present/mubi/sounds,image interviews the documentary/fiction film maker, Sergei Loznitsa
LOZNITSA: The cinematographer, Pavel Kostomarov, and I happened upon this train station by accident. We were travelling by elektrichka from Moscow to St. Petersburg. In Malaya Vishera, which is about 150 km before Petersburg, the elektrichka service ended. We had to go out on to this snow-covered platform in 30 below weather. There was nowhere to go—the town is tiny. A path on the platform lead us to this little building with one door and no windows. That was, at the moment, the station. In the “waiting hall,” which was about five meters by five meters, there was a lot of people. There were sitting on the benches, on the floor, standing. We found our place on the floor in a corner. And that’s where the film began. It’s a very strange feeling, to be around this big mass of sleeping bodies. The trains would fly past—roaring—and then there would be silence. That moment, and the feeling of it, was what I wanted to recreate. Then we would come back there every two months for three-five nights at a time. It would have been possible to shoot all sorts of the different movies there, but that’s the one I ended up shooting.
VISHNEVETSKY: How did the people react?
LOZNITSA: The people—well, what about the people? Sometimes they showed interest. Mostly they were too worn down by life to care about crap like a camera. Criminals, when we they’d show up, would ask us not to film them. The rest were calm and understanding. We’d show up in the waiting hall in the evening and set up the camera right away. That way everybody had time to get used to it.
VISHNEVETSKY: Did all of your documentaries take that long to shoot?
LOZNITSA: Not all of them. Some movies took a month to shoot. Others took three months. It changes. You can make a film in one day. It depends on the subject or the idea. Settlement took 2 months. Factory took two weeks.
VISHNEVETSKY: A location—specifically the character of a location—is that a subject that interests you?
LOZNITSA: What interest me is the possibility of realizing thoughts with the resources that make up cinema. The rest is secondary.
VISHNEVETSKY: First the thought, then the film?
LOZNITSA: First an impression, then reflection, then realization.
VISHNEVETSKY: And when you’re not shooting a documentary, when you’re working on a screenplay—do you work the same way?
LOZNITSA: Well of course. Everything starts with an impression. How can you think about something you have no impression of?
Found here: http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/2322