Warsaw, 22 September 2016 – The study visit of American location managers invited by Film Commission Poland finished in min September. The aim of the visit was to familiarise American filmmakers with the potential of Polish locations and Polish film infrastructure.
The participants of the FAM Tour (familiarization tour) were experienced location managers who have been working in the American film industry for many years and have participated in such productions as: Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, The Aviator, Shutter Island, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, There Will Be Blood, Moneyball, Sleepless in Seattle, Sicario or The Hunger Games.
'We were aiming at inviting to Poland professionals who are collaborating with big and medium-sized film studios in the USA, but who are also involved in productions that can be adapted to Polish location and production conditions,' explains Tomasz Dąbrowski, head of Film Commission Poland, which organised the tour.
During the week spent in Poland, the group of seven professionals – Lori Balton, Becky Brake, Robin Citrin, Todd Christensen, Dow Griffith, John Hutchinson and a journalist of trade magazine The Location Guide, Thomas Deehan – viewed locations in Warsaw, Łodz, Wroclaw and its vicinity, Katowice and Krakow. Thanks to co-operation with ATM Group, they were able to visit the film studio near Wroclaw and fly over locations in Lower Silesia – the Owls Mountains, the Ksiaz castle, the palace in Kamieniec Zabkowicki, Walbrzych and Fortress Silver Mountain, to name a few.
'From the depths of the underground river in Lodz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines, to soaring above forests, farmland, castles and forts - Poland offers an amazingly diverse selection of unique locations. Add the acres of period industrial locations, factories repurposed as cutting edge hotels, streets with nineteen-century apartment buildings. The sense of history and wonder around every corner was daunting,' described her impressions Lori Balton, the former LMGI president and AMPAS member.
American filmmakers also had a chance to meet representatives of the Polish film industry – producers, location managers, and representatives of national and regional film institutions.
'I would not hesitate to recommend Poland for future projects. It has great looks and a wonderfully responsive, resourceful film commission. My only regret is that I could not stay longer,' adds Balton.
'I believe we accomplished our mission and gained not only new friends but also effective ambassadors of our country who thanks to the acquired knowledge and their connections will be able to arouse interest and, more importantly, attract serious American productions to Poland,' sums up Dąbrowski.
The tour was funded by the Polish Film Institute and organised with the co-operation of Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission, Łódź Film Commission, Wroclaw Film Commission and Krakow Film Commission.