Interview with director Natasza Parzymies

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

Quite early on, back in primary school, I started making little videos with my phone. Then it continued through secondary school leading to my decision to go the the Warsaw Film High School. There I started making more serious and thought-through projects. Currently I’m studying film directing at the Warsaw Film School. So I don’t think there ever was a particular event.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

It’s very very helpful but I don’t think it’s essential.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

To get started. Once I get started I’m unstoppable.

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

That editing is everything. It can fix a mediocre film or utterly destroy a masterpiece. The editing process for Dreamland was very long and painful but eventually it payed off!

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

The most exciting and scariest part of making Dreamland was that we shot it at an actual amusement park – Rabkoland . Above all, it was located almost 6 hours away from Warsaw. We had to get the whole cast and crew there and only had 3 days at Rabkoland. So a lot of compromises had to be made. Some scenes were cut out of the script due to lack of time. Finally, it rained like crazy for a day! Somehow, magically we pulled through it.

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

I had to get rid of a character in the editing process once. It was quite heartbreaking as it was my favorite character when I was writing the script. It just didn’t work well in the final version of the film.

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

I know all my crew members from school. We’ve been working together since the beginning of our education process at the Warsaw Film School. As well as being coworkers, we are all good friends in real life too. We party together, we travel together, we hang out all the time.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

Audiences want to feel things. They want to go on an emotional journey. I feel as though it is our duty to know and remember that when making a film.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

I find film festivals absolutely thrilling. One learns so much from watching other people’s works. I think you get most out of them by attending as much as possible and meeting new people who are all in love with filmmaking.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

Fresh!! We need new things to happen in today’s cinema. I believe that not everything has been shown yet.