PhD student at the Polish National Film School in Łódź, Jan Bujnowski set himself the challenge of shooting his last film THE DEVIL on film while recreating the past. We caught up with the 29-year-old to find out more.
Tell us about yourself
I’m 29 years old and I’m currently a PhD student. In the next few months I will try to finish two projects: writing a script for a short film and converting my car into a micro camper.
While working on the film, where did you draw your inspiration from?
In case of THE DEVIL I was mainly inspired by non-fiction books about the 90s in Poland.
Tell us a bit about THE DEVIL and the filmmaking process – what were your main insights?
My main insight from this process is that shooting on film forces you to be better prepared as there is no room for indecision on the set. We managed to buy only 10 rolls of 16mm film, so we knew we could run the camera only when we were 100% sure about it. I would love to shoot my next short film this way and to be much better prepared than in case of THE DEVIL.
What were the biggest challenges you encountered during making your film?
For me the biggest challenge when making a film is always facing my own doubts and trying to stay motivated enough to finish the project.
How was it to collaborate with your cast and crew? Have you formed any particular meaningful connection from someone from the crew you would like to share?
I was lucky to have a quite small but great crew. I was also lucky to work with really good actors, especially with Sebastian Pawlak who played the main character. He brought a new level of quality to that role.
What type of score did you use?
We composed original music for this film along with Bogdan Klat, sound engineer. We had a lot of fun doing it, as we are both self-taught music composers and we were just experimenting with different sounds to find the best solution.
What were your main goals and techniques in creating the visual style of your film?
As this film is rather story-driven, we decided that the camera should serve the story and make it more believable. We decided to shoot on a daylight 16mm film to achieve a warmer colour palette and to recreate the feel of the 90s in Poland.
Did you have a specific strategy for promoting your film?
I was just trying to submit my film to the most important film festivals in the first place and later to those, which didn’t require any type of premiere. It costs a lot of money to submit the film to so many festivals and it wasn’t easy for me as I didn’t have any financial support.
Next to filmmaking, what do you consider as your passions in life?
I’m a big fan of football, trying to play two or three times a week. I also like reading, especially short fiction forms.
Do these passions influence your filmmaking?
In order to maintain good mental health I’m trying to keep my interest in football as far as possible from my filmmaking hobby.
What is the best thing you recently watched or experienced?
“Pacifiction” by Albert Serra
Which film do you find overrated, and why?
To decide which film is overrated I had to check the ratings on imdb. “Seven” by David Fincher is rated 8.6 and in my opinion it should be rated 7.0. We have enough problems with inflation.
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