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Exploring Poland's Film Industry with “The Film Place”

GPN recently had the pleasure to speak with member Kasia Krynska from Poland’s “The Film Place” about Poland as a film location and the cast and crew that make up The Film Place.

The Film Place, GPN’s service production company in Poland, is an arm of Film Produkcja, a studio and production company in Warsaw, and was established under this name about four years ago. Film Produkcja has been around for almost twenty years and is well-known in the film industry in Poland & EUROPE. The Film Place is dedicated to servicing commercials- hence the name division and separate corporate identities. Another reason for the name change is that it was simply much easier to remember and pronounce.

The Film Place works solely on international productions while Film Produkcja focuses both on local and international productions. Their clients come from all over the globe. The Film Place consists of Kasia Krynska, the business development executive, Tom Komorowski, Head of International Production, Konrad Mikołajczyk, Head of Production and Vice CEO, and Grażyna Bastek, the Executive Producer and GPN contact - all supported by fa antastic and extremely experienced production team.

One of The Film Place’s main fortes is their location manager, Daniel Krajewski. “He has been around for many, many years and has an archive of locations that are unbeatable. He has the most documented material, is extremely good at what he does, and is able to get permits where no one else can.”, says Kasia. She describes him as fun, trustworthy and crafty, and one of the biggest assets that they have. With him, they have their own in-house location department, which is gold. “I did a lot of challenging projects with Daniel, I trust him endlessly. He proved his skills many times – especially when Directors had a last-minute change of mind” says Konrad HoP.

Poland has a lot to offer on the production side of things. They have incredible set designers who offer extraordinary high-quality set production, amazing builders, and marvelous artists, all of whom help make Poland a desirable location to shoot. They have a superb film school and a strong DOP heritage. When filming from abroad, companies often no longer need to bring their own DOP’s due to Poland having such a high-class variety of local DOP’s. Poland is now becoming more and more known for this aspect of production. “The Film Place highly recommends Clients using local DOP’s as one of main production benefits”, says Konrad HoP.

The one thing, though, that people are most impressed with when they come to Poland to film, are the crews. Poland itself is a very cinema-driven country and because of this, there is a wealth of well-trained crews. According to Kasia, “film is in our DNA.” The Film Place has a roster of vetted crews, most of whom have worked on feature films, and with whom they regularly work.

Another asset that Poland has is its casting. It has a very rich acting community and there is an incredible diversity of actors in Warsaw. One misconception about Poland is that everyone is blond hair and blue eyed, which is true to an extent, but there are a multitude of different cultures living within the country. Due to this, there is a large casting pool from professional actors to extras and productions, more often than not, do not need to bring over their own actors.

When it comes to Film Produkcja/ The Film Place, Kasia describes the company culture to be one of just really good people. They don’t have producers who overpromise, they are very transparent and prefer to have regular clients rather than continually working with new ones. Above all else, it’s important for them to have loyal relationships with their partners. The majority of their clients continue to come back due to the trust, and professionalism that The Film Place offers.

Within the company itself, people are good to each other, help each other out and stick up for their crews; the human factor is a main aspect of their company. They understand that although this is film, and the hours are long, it is important to treat the crews as people rather than machines. The office is a fun place to work, there are youngsters with fresh energy, sometimes more dogs than people, and it’s a very vibrant and lovely environment. She attributes much of this to Konrad Mikołajczyk, the Head of Production and vice ceo who likes to see his team well taken care of.

Film Produkcja / The Film Place has hosted stellar directors such as Seb Edwards, Martin Werner, Nathan Price, Rollo Jackson, and Vincent Lobelle, amongst many others. However, they also like working with young directors who are just starting out.

The film world is now doing its part to become more sustainable. GPN itself is drafting a sustainability policy so that each country in the network can measure their own progress and work out how they can better manage this within their own companies. We are interested in how each country works with the resources they have available. The Film Place recycles and gives each client their own cups upon arrival, with the intention to use only that one on set instead of having single use plastics. They adhere to the standards that Ad Green has set out and follow them to
the best of their ability.

When it comes to GPN, The Film Place loves the community that has been created
and established. Knowing that when you reach out to another member of the network, you don’t have anything to worry about, is a big relief. Kasia describes it, as most people within the network do, as a family. She loves the kindness and support she receives from the other members whenever they see each other. Since The Film Place recently became part of the GPN network, her contact has been mostly with Julia rather than Harry. She is impressed with the amount of talent that Julia has collected around her. She describes Julia as “a unique powerhouse who is a lot of fun, very kind, has a fantastic sense of humor, and is simply amazing.”

We all love a good film story and Kasia’s does not disappoint. She recalls a story that was told to her by the location manager, Daniel Krajewski. They were filming a commercial in the mountains and had a man dressed up in a bear suit hiding behind a rock waiting for his cue to jump into the open. The crew ended up going on lunch
break and forgot to tell the bear. After a while, due to the radio silence, he wondered what was happening and decided to find out. As it was lunch break, the crew had again opened the hiking trail to visitors. When he stepped out from behind his rock, a group of tourists were coming down the path. They saw him and completely FREAKED out assuming that a grizzly had just woken from his winter sleep. More surprised than them was the actor himsef😉

As for the future of The Film Place, Kasia says that they will continue to provide the best quality and reliable service possible. They are going into new territories with the onset of virtual studios and AI. They are also working with young producers who know the lingo in this area because the world, and the film industry, are changing so quickly. Their vision is to keep up with the trends and consistently offer the very best quality for their clients.

Learn more about shooting in Poland with The Film Place