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A former Berry Brow man is making it big in TV in Russia.

Chris Maris’s career dates back to 1993 when his Swedish wife Anna pointed out a postage stamp sized ad to study film and cinematography in Moscow.

It was a dream come true for the 31-year-old who successfully applied and spent a year at the VGIK film school. It was the era of President Yeltsin, curfews and a huge period of dramatic social change.

Born in Berry Brow Chris went to the village school, followed by spells at Newsome High School, Greenhead College, Huddersfield Polytechnic, North Staffs Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art in London. His parents live in Hade Edge.

Chris, a father-of-three, who lives in southern Sweden, said: “It was quite an exciting time to be in Moscow. One of the people I met was a Swedish chap called Anders Banke who was on the directors course.

“We stayed friends and gradually started working together on music videos and commercials and then, in 2005, we worked on Frostbitten, a very successful Swedish vampire movie.

“On the back of its success we were asked to shoot an action movie in Moscow based on the Hong Kong film Break News. Our was called Newsmakers. It did pretty well and we made a name for ourselves in Russia shooting high energy action films.

“I was also asked to shoot the first Hammer Horror film when the company rebooted. It was called Wake Wood.

“It garnered a lot of praise particularly from the top film critic Mark Kermode and film reviewer Robbie Collin at the News of the World who called it an “instant folk horror classic” and gave it five stars.”

Despite not speaking fluent Russian Chris’s career as a cinematographer has flourished and in the summer of 2012 he was asked to shoot a pilot episode of Chernobyl. It is in 16 parts and was made for Russian TV station TNT.

It has gone on to become one of the most successful and popular Russian TV series since the fall of the Soviet Union and has been watched by millions.

Chris added: “Most of the series takes place in and around Chernobyl, or to be more precise, Pripyat. Much of the former Soviet Union looks the same architecturally and so it wasn’t difficult to find swimming baths and Ferris wheels and derelict buildings that looked similar.

“However, we needed something to actually say: ‘This is filmed in Chernobyl’ to the cynical Russian viewer so I was packed off, on my own, to film in the town for a day to get background plates and specific shots of the town to cut into the other other footage.

“One of the scenes in the series takes place in the old swimming baths so I filmed a complete 360 degree panorama there that was stitched together and then combined with footage from a modern baths we filmed with the actors in central Moscow.

“The series was for TV and shown in Russia and all over the former Soviet Union. We do hope it gets screened in the West. The story is very strong and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last episodes which brilliantly turns everything around. They are already planning a second series.”