Written by Shona Smith on Jul 28, 2020. Posted in General Interest

Coronavirus sees local talent take the lead in Poland

With commercial production back in full swing in Poland, collaboration is key to pulling off a smooth production. With travel or budgets posing new problems, production houses are trusting production services companies to step up and share local creatives and crew.

Remik Bartos, Executive producer at Tango Production Poland says “the situation right now makes it possible to shift from production service to production partnership. Service is delivering everything that is asked - a partnership is where we work on finding a solution together. In these cases two sides of a cooperation trust each other and we must take full responsibility on the creative value. It is all about delivering the best screen value to the client”.

A recent commercial production serviced by Tango for the French market saw clients choose to work with a local director while streaming the shoot on a remote system. “They approached us and said they were completely willing to shoot in Warsaw using remote supervision with your local creators. We were asked to present local directors and DPs. From our side we are very open to propose Polish talent. Poland has a huge history for our cinematographers, they are on a very high level globally even though except in a few cases in Hollywood they have not been hugely recognised”.

Coronavirus has upended the usual methods of working meaning that there may be more room for collaboration where needed. “We are in slightly unchartered waters. It does have to be a certain type of project where there is space for the production house to share that sort of solution and a willingness of the client to go in that direction” says Bartos.

DoP Piotr Sobocinski Jr. is an example of a local DoP who has been given a chance to show their full potential. In Dec 2019 Tango worked on three IKEA commercials directed by The Perlorian Brothers for MJZ London.

Another example is DP Monica Lenczewska who worked with Tango in 2018 and has since gone on to win a Gold British Arrow Award for cinematography on Nike Russia Never Ask – Maltzsev campaign directed by Daniel Wolfe.

“Local talent has to be discovered, and we have to work on a daily basis. Sometimes when we get the pitch we know that the budget the client has is not enough, for a production house it is asking about different solutions to fit the budget. This a place where we can step in and suggest local crew and talent” says Bartos.

Now with members of production unable or hesitant to travel, budgets can be stretched further in this regard. “You can either see the value on screen or you might not see it. Our business idea is to see the onscreen value. The advantage of not spending money to travel the agency, client, makeup or hairstylist where we can provide local talent for just 1/5 of the cost who are at the same level”.

“People have to trust you, foreign production houses have to trust their local partners, trust their judgement and trust that when we say we have a good production designer who can do that, it isn’t just empty words. We have to take full responsibility for those we represent and offer. At the same time there has to be a level of trust in us and we want to make it happen in the best quality possible”.

As productions pick up again Tango are working with a mix of international and remote shooting. “I would say it is a hybrid mode, we are using remote shoots and there are advantages to this. Six months ago, if anyone had told me I would have thought it was a weird idea but along came coronavirus. and it works. I see an logistical advantage, for example when you have to move locations during the day. Having a big agency presence on set, setting up space for them to work on set all takes time. With remote you are losing that and the crew moves and immediately tarts shooting takes. I think there are undiscovered advantages of a remote shoot both for agency and production”.

Image credits: Tango Productions post Covid-19 shoots

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