Łukasz Dzięcioł • Opus Film
by Dorota Hartwich
20/10/2011 - David Lynch’s assistant on Inland Empire, is currently preparing new projects by Paweł Borowski and Greg Zgliński
Łukasz Dzięcioł has worked at Opus Film for ten years. His most prominent productions include Slawomir Fabicki’s Retrieval [+see also:
film profile], which was Poland’s Oscar entry in 2006 and screened the same year at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section. He also produced Adam Guziński’s The Boy on a Galloping Horse [+see also:
film profile], presented out of competition on the Croisette in 2006. Dzięcioł recently worked on Paweł Borowski’s Zero and Marcin Wrona’s My Flesh My Blood. He is currently developing new projects by Wrona, Borowski and Greg Zgliński.
Cineuropa: You studied Film Studies at Łódź University and Production at Los Angeles Film School, and you took part in the International Producing Programme at Cologne Film School. Has this training been useful to you?
Łukasz Dzięcioł: It’s an experience that has obviously meant a great deal to me. My career path isn’t conventional. I went to the United States because I wanted to get to know the American system, which is very different from the European system. The former is based on private money, whereas the latter depends on support and funding awarded by public institutions. In fact, my education still continues. I never stop learning – by taking part in festivals, pitching sessions, and production markets. I think broadening one’s skills is very important in this job.
Weren’t you tempted to stay in the United States to develop your professional career there?
I stayed there for a while, but I always wanted to work in Europe. That’s what I’d planned and I wanted to stick to my plan to come back and work in Łódź, where I started from a much better foundation than in the United States.
You were David Lynch’s assistant on Inland Empire. Did this experience mean a lot to you?
It was an intense but fast-paced experience. The film’s images were shot during the Camerimage festival, in a rather spontaneous way, without a schedule, over a few days and nights. The shoot took place in natural interiors, without specially designed sets, with sometimes only a few pocket torches for lighting... There were no more than 15 people in the team... Lynch kept very calm, he knew exactly what he wanted. He held the camera, a very simple DV device that he had partly made himself. So, for me it was more an adventure than a fundamental experience involving whole months of preparation.
All the films you produce are auteur films. What are the necessary criteria for you to choose a project and decide to produce it?
My choices are subjective and are guided by my taste, but it is essential that the story is universal. Producing obscure films aimed only at Polish audiences makes no sense. The story must move me and touch me, as was the case recently with Greg Zgliński’s Courage. It’s a simple story based on real-life events, it’s a situation that could affect each and every one of us, and pose the same dilemma to anyone. The theme of aggression is very present in today’s world – it’s a subject worthy of exploration. What’s essential in a project is that the screenplay is good. It’s a very important point which we stick to right from the development stage. Without a good text, we don’t even start looking for funding.
What did you gain from your participation in the Producers on the Move programme?
It was a valuable experience for me because, as you well know, the main part of a producer’s work lies in their contacts. So I made the most of it by trying to talk and exchange ideas with all the participants. Moreover, I’ve started to work with three producers I met through Producers on the Move.