Zdzislaw Folga and Pawel Jankowsk from HQ Studio in Bialystok, Poland recently shared with us a teaser of their upcoming film, A Piece of Podlasie. It’s self-described as “a journey through [an] extraordinary land where time passes with different pace, and mysticism is intertwined with reality.”
As the teaser demonstrates, the setting is breathtaking and Folga and Pawel capture it in stunning detail.
Kessler University (KU): Tell me a little about your team.
HQ Studio (HQ): We are a group of photography and video enthusiasts. We had an opportunity to get to know each other while working on several smaller projects together. Before each of us tried to do something on our own but we decided to combine our skills and knowledge to try to do something bigger with a higher quality.
(KU) Would love to know a bit more about the film.
(HQ) At the beginning we would like to say a bit about the location where we are making the film. Podlasie district is a geographical region situated in the north-eastern Poland, near the border with Belarus and Ukraine. This place is quite unique in many ways, both natural and culture. It is a land where the preserved fragments of the last in Europe primeval forests, wild rivers and marshes and natural wetlands are. Also this is the place where the three religions alternate: Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim, and even several years ago, the Jewish community lived here. The very fact that even Peter Jackson’s team did some research looking at places around here to film The Hobbit speaks for itself. The idea for the film came up a year ago. We were just having conversation about the area we live in and came to conclusion that it’s quite special place and so far no one made any film production at the appropriate level, to show this magnificent place so that we could show of to other parts of Poland and even the rest of the world. Also we wanted to try ourselves to see if we can manage to work on a larger project. The film will be a journey through this extraordinary land where time passes with different pace, and mysticism is intertwined with reality. Where mosaic kaleidoscope of cultures and the natural world create a unique and unrepeatable image. We are going to show this location that is close to us in a very subjective and modern way.
(KU) There are some stunning shots in this film. How were you able to achieve these shots?
(HQ) The film consists of normal clips and will be linked with traditional techniques of time lapse shots. In terms of the film clips, we were trying to do them in the best weather conditions so that the natural light gave it a mystical atmosphere. When it comes to time lapse footage we were trying to match the current trends. So far the biggest challenge was to make shots from the air balloon, unfortunately, the first attempt failed. We hope that in the future attempts we can achieve the desired effect. Also we found technically difficult to make the scenes on the water but we are slowly getting the hang of it. We hope that in the final film there will be few shots that will surprise the audience with the way they are made.
(KU) Were there any obstacles you had to overcome?
(HQ) Due to the small budget that we have some of the equipment such as our sliders were made by us. The result is that sometimes equipment fails and we have to repeat part of the pictures that we made. At the moment we have very snowy and cold winter and we have to fight against technical and natural aspects. We get temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius. Equipment in these conditions often refuses to work properly or at all. But we believe that our dedication will be rewarded with some interesting shots in the film showing the winter in Podlasie. It is sometimes difficult to reach some places. Traveling by car is not always possible so frequently we have to reach the desired locations on our own feet with a lot of equipment on our back.
(KU) What was it like using the kessler gear? Why Kessler?
(HQ) To give a more cinematic style to our production we wanted to have in our film images taken from the camera crane. We needed something mobile, something that we were able to set up in a short amount of time to do the shots. For many shots the speed was essential for us and it’s because of the crane design we were able to achieve it. The Kessler KC-Lite model we uses was great for this. Its light weight allowed us to travel with it into the forests and swamps. We are pleased with the results we achieved with this piece of equipment, and we are sure that we will use it more than once while making the film.
(KU) What can we expect next from you?
(HQ) Since July last year we continue to work on the film. We hope that the full movie “A Piece of Podlasie” will be ready somewhere around autumn 2013. Before we will release the film, you will be able to see the second trailer, which we will present in September. We are already thinking about our next major project to which perhaps will use more equipment from Kessler.