EFM Spotlight: Alvernia Studios (Poland) – movieScope
EFM Spotlight: Alvernia Studios (Poland)
Europe’s most modern and complete full-service studio aims high with state-of-the-art facilities plus a new service-based investment scheme that promises growth.
Located about half an hour’s drive from Krakow, Alvernia Studios is a huge cluster of interconnected, domed buildings that look more at home on an arid lunar surface than in the southern Polish countryside.
The brainchild of Stanislaw Tyczynski, one of the country’s foremost entrepreneurs and former owner of Poland’s first private commercial radio broadcaster RMF FM, the studio is a unique yet functional mix of art nouveau meets HR Giger. Tyczynski designed all aspects of the complex, and the result is exceptional attention to detail, both architecturally and in the extent of facilities and technology on offer.
Touted as a filmmaking one-stop-shop, the facility is able to combine cutting-edge film services with financial investment in selected domestic and international co-productions, including the 2012 Nicholas Jarecki helmed US-Polish co-production Arbitrage, and the announced team-up with US producer Brett Ratner for Alvernia’s in-house production, Magnitude 9. Indeed, Alvernia’s involvement on over 50 features and more than 200 commercials, video games and music projects since opening in 2010, is indicative of both the studio’s aspirations and breadth of on-site facilities and talent offered.
The studio holds two main dome-shaped sound stages each measuring approximately 21,500 sq. ft. in size and 52.5 ft. in height, with one offering the world’s largest shadeless spherical blue screen. By opting, amongst others, for a mobile 24 x 16 megapixel Vicon camera set-up, Alvernia showcases its focus on investing heavily in ultra-modern technology.
I have produced films in several countries but when I visited Alvernia Studios, I was very pleasantly surprised about the quality and it’s one-stop character. After speaking to Mt Tyczynski I realised the unique opportunities it could offer to international co-productions. – San Fu Maltha, Fu Works Productions
While the whole complex is equipped with the latest digital technology, the studio is also uniquely able to accommodate 16mm and 35mm celluloid shoots through their on-site Kodak Imagecare certified processing laboratory—one of Europe’s most modern—and digital intermediate studio, with Truelight Theatre Certification, which is capable of processing film of 4K resolution in real time.
On the audio side, Alvernia offers world-class facilities that include a music scoring studio large enough for a 100-piece orchestra and a Dolby Premier Studio certified final mix studio, with full audio post-production facilities, including ADR. Thanks to the application of Source Connect Pro technology, the studio is able to work remotely. The studio has recently completed recording the final compositions of the late pianist and celebrated Polish composer, Wojciech Kilar (The Pianist, Bram Stoker’s Dracula).
Other on-site post-production services include colour correction, visual effects and all kinds of deliverables. All post-production services are connected to each other and the rest of the studio via a secure, high-speed network.
For exterior shoots, the studio also offers a substantial wooded backlot supported by fully equipped mobile units including cameras, lighting, grip, location sound, motion control rigs and catering. For location shoots, the studios can additionally source access to a diverse range of locations and landscapes across Poland depending on each production’s needs.
To help feed its growing post-production business, the studio recently announced the launch of a new services-based investment scheme with leading Dutch production company Fu Works Productions. The scheme, which aims to bring between two to three low-budget genre films to the studio each year, is able to provide productions, which commit to using either of Alvernia’s production or post-production facilities, with up to 50 per cent of the budget.
With on-site expansion currently underway, a newly opened office in India, and work on the recently released Bollywood blockbuster Bhaag Milkha Bhaag under its belt, Alvernia’s steady progress as Poland’s international production hub confirms the country’s confidence and ability to compete alongside more established destinations on the global production stage. •