Q&A with Under Ski Tower

"Our focus is to create productions that are modern, fresh, and resonate with values close to ours, aimed at like-minded individuals."

By Sponsored Content 18 Jan 2024

Q&A with Under Ski Tower
Under Ski Tower

Under Ski Tower is a film production company specialising in feature films, documentaries, series, as well as TV content. Based in Warsaw, they are a full service production company with an extensive knowledge base, having worked with regional and international productions. 

What is Under Ski Tower's ethos and mission, and what inspired you to start it? 

We are a team of young people, and our focus is to create productions that are modern, fresh, and resonate with values close to ours, aimed at like-minded individuals.

Under Ski Tower originates from OTO Film, one of the oldest and most experienced film production companies in Poland, specialising in advertising production. Jacek Kulczycki, the CEO of the OTO Family holding, decided to establish Under Ski Tower to produce a greater number of films with a production process distinct from advertising. As he claims, this marks a natural progression in the company's development.

What international projects have you been working on recently and any coming up? 

Recently, we have been providing production support for an American film titled Triumph of the Heart about St. Maximillian Kolbe. Also, this year, we provided production services for DB Cargo commercial.

We are currently in the development phase for a very large film, which will be a co-production between Poland, Canada, and the UK. The shooting will take place in Poland, with Under Ski Tower as the Lead Producer.
Additionally, we are preparing to provide services for an American historical film, with shooting scheduled for the last quarter of 2024. Under Ski Tower will serve as the Service Producer.

Which filming locations are proving popular for Under Ski Tower clients at the moment and why? 

Our clients are often interested in locations where modernity intertwines with history, as well as well-preserved industrial areas. Such places can easily be found in larger cities in Poland such as Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, or Katowice.

Other film locations that attract interest are natural landscapes and those typical of Polish countryside from past years like in open-air museums. All of these locations offer vast possibilities in terms of constructing narratives, authentic storytelling, and enable the creation of beautiful, atmospheric shots.

Studios equipped with virtual production or a green screen are also of interest to our clients. These provide immense freedom in post-production and allows for the creation of unique effects through the use of modern technology.

Have there been any new/recent developments with local studios, financial incentives, infrastructure etc that people working with Under Ski Tower should know about? 

In Poland, film production financing avenues offer a diverse range of opportunities. These include a 30% cash rebate program provided by the Polish Film Institute and opportunities for minority co-productions. Additionally, there are private investors in Poland who are willing to invest in film productions. They can help fill the financing gap and ensure the project's cash flow.

Poland has a complete infrastructure for film production, including a wide selection of studios, sound stages, and film equipment rentals. We collaborate with the virtual production studio VuFinder Studios, equipped with state-of-the-art LED screens and Unreal Engine, enabling the realisation of the most demanding creative ideas. We have an A class crew at our disposal.

What should international producers know about filming in Poland and working with Under Ski Tower?

Polish film crews take pride in their professionalism, and Polish filmmakers are regarded as some of the most talented in the world. At Under Ski Tower, we will guide you through the entire production process in Poland, ensuring, among other things, the acquisition of the necessary permits.

Of course, obtaining permission to film in protected areas in Poland, such as National Parks, nature reserves, etc., requires submitting applications to the appropriate authorities. Typically, such applications need to include a detailed action plan, the film's purpose, a list of equipment to be used, or any planned alterations to the area. The procedures for obtaining permission are strictly governed by environmental protection laws and vary depending on the region, with each case being considered individually.

As a team, we assist in the process of obtaining the necessary permissions that enable film production in locations most optimal for a production and client preferences.

What are the biggest differences between feature film, tv, and commercial shoots?

Our specialisation is the production of feature films, documentaries and TV content, although we originated from an advertising production company, giving us experience in both production processes. The main difference lies in the duration of each stage of production: from development to post-production.

In advertising production, once the ad idea is ready, everything else typically proceeds swiftly. The production team works fast, intensifying the workload. The whole process may close in a few weeks.

However, in feature film, series, and TV production, the development phase is considerably longer. In most cases, securing funding and refining the script require a substantial amount of time. Furthermore, the shooting duration in feature films and series is significantly extended, varying from several weeks to even a few months. On the other hand, a typical 30-second ad shoot generally spans just a few days.

The client's presence in the process is also not insignificant. The process of planning, accepting, and making revisions differs when it comes to advertising, sponsored TV programs, or, for example, a micro-budget film where there is no client.

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