KFTV talks to producer Marcin Pośpiech from Oscar-winning Opus Film about the current Covid situation in Poland and how projects are being put together
Can you provide details about your company and the services you provide?
Opus Film has almost 30 years of experience in the production of commercials, TV series, feature films and co-productions. So far our biggest success was winning the best foreign-language film Oscar for Ida. Currently, we focus our potential mainly on advertising productions, including services for foreign clients and the production of series for well-known TV stations.
What is the latest situation with Covid in your country?
The situation is changing almost every week. Now it looks like we are winning again but three weeks ago we were in another full lockdown. Despite this, respecting all the sanitary regulations we were able to continue pending productions and develop new ones.
What local and international productions have you worked on over the past few months?
We continue working for our great regular clients, like beer brand Żywiec Group, McDonald’s, Credit Agricole, trivago and Castorama. But also we got some new work with Vinted and French ALDI. We were shooting both locally and abroad, in studios and real locations, although the pandemic has inevitably had an impact. Luckily our clients understand this and they try to reserve more time for productions.
How have your services/working practices changed in the current Covid climate?
The health and safety of everyone on set is paramount, so all the actions we take are under official government recommendations. We always test the crews before the shoot, medical service is on set at all time, and locations are disinfected before and after we appear. Not to mention masks and social distancing. All to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading and it’s impact on people.
Why is Poland an attractive shooting location?
In Warsaw alone we have access to over 20 high-quality sound studios, combined with experienced construction crews, which means we can shoot all year round no matter what the conditions outside.
Local crews are very experienced and fluent in English. There are plenty of international rental providers available locally with access to all the gear that cinematographers might need, plus many smaller rentals with latest film equipment assuring good competition on the market.
With Poland being part of the EU, travel into the country is also easy and convenient, and for most countries visas are not needed.
And we have the added bonus of a good currency exchange rate, which makes productions here very affordable especially for US and Western European producers who count not only on professional services but also on saving costs.
What does Poland have to offer location-wise?
Poland is quite a big country with a variety of locations from sea to mountains, modern cities to old towns, as well as absolute wilderness. We have snowy winters and hot summers. Thanks to experienced location scouts, producers can easily find suitable places to shoot.
The capital city of Warsaw is the country’s film industry centre, but other big cities like Łódź, Wrocław, Gdańsk and Kraków are also prepared for film-makers, offering beautiful architecture and locations, and quality crew.
How do you see the film, TV and commercials landscape changing over the coming months and what lessons have been learned?
It looks like there’s no better way to survive than be very well prepared. For example, if key people on set go on quarantine, they must be immediately replaced by others to keep the production going. Sometimes it’s impossible when it’s the main talent, but for all the rest we try to have backups.
What we’ve learned is the remote shoot can be successful too. It needs more trust and takes a bit more time, but sometimes it is the only way to proceed.
We believe, like every pandemic, this one must end too. I feel next year at the latest we’ll be fully back to normal.