Catch up: Josef Wladyka

14 07 2011

We first featured Tisch film student Josef Wladyka in a December post for his soccer spec spot played out and about in Wall Street and now here is his follow-up work called One Shot Stories. Good to know a newbie director can be consistently inventive.

How did the stories come about? Did someone commission you or is it a private project?
I came up with the idea for the first one when I traveled with my mother to Japan last year. I had just got a 7D and I knew I wanted to shoot something in Tokyo. We got to talking about the last time she was in Japan, which was 35 years ago. As she told her story and expressed the thoughts and feelings she was experiencing, I began to picture a single shot in my mind. We went to a congested subway station and with the help of my two brothers and aunt, we shot my mother walking through a crowd of people towards the camera. The image was so powerful; I knew we captured something special. Originally, I planned to interview her when we got back to the States and use that audio over the shot. Instead, my mother wrote a little story on a napkin on the flight home articulating the flooded mix of emotions running through her throughout our journey. She read it to me and it sounded perfect. We recorded it in a closet and I put that audio over the visual. My good friend scored it and the first One Shot Story was complete.
It proved such a rich experience making the first one that I knew I had to make more.

The one shot works very well with the narratives – did you have to do endless takes?
We did about four takes for each one except for the one we shot in Colombia. We only had one chance to catch that shot and it just so happened that all the kids were coming home from school in that moment.

They are beautifully told. Did you direct the films to the audio narrative? Or did the stories evolve as you were shooting?
With the exception of my mother’s story, the audio comes from two-hour interviews with the storyteller. Based off of the information I get from the interviews, I edit the audio down to about three minutes. After that is done, we come up with a shot that will match the story and we go and shoot it.

Did you actually travel to the places of these people?
The first one-shot story was when I traveled to Japan with my family. The second story was shot in NYC where I live, and the third one was shot on the Pacific Coast of Colombia, where I was researching for a feature-length film I am developing.

Each story is very positive and uplifting – was this what you wanted to portray?
There wasn’t a set formula for what I was trying to accomplish – what was most important to me was that each of the stories were honest and personal.

What camera kit did you use? Digital or film?
All of them are shot with a Canon 7D. The sound is recorded with a Zoom H4N.

You were at Tisch – where are you now? Have you signed to a company?
I am currently working on my graduate thesis film at NYU Tisch, and I am not signed to any company yet.

Sign me up: Josef Wladyka

18 12 2010

No, we’re so not over football commercials yet, especially when it’s top of the class work like NYU student Josef Wladyka’s spot shot on the streets of Manhattan.

You wrote the script yourself – what led to the idea and how did it evolve?
The idea for the spot came from my growing anticipation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It was November of last year and I was in my third year of coursework taking a commercial directing class at the New York University Tisch School of Arts. We had to come up with a few different ideas and I knew I wanted to do something with soccer. My friend plays in a soccer league and told me about a field where a lot of great players go to in the Lower East Side. I began going to watch the games every Saturday and started getting to know some of the guys. It turned out a lot of them played college-level soccer and now work as investment bankers or in the business world down on Wall Street. That’s when I thought it would be interesting to make a spot about a guy who is being chased through the Financial District, but is actually dreaming it all in his office because the World Cup is only a few months away.

The location looks like prime time New York city – how was it shooting in the middle of Manhattan?
Shooting in Manhattan proved a challenge, especially if you’re shooting in a crowded area. Luckily, Wall Street is typically not congested on the weekends so we thought it would be perfect to shoot there then. We showed up for our first shot only to find giant film trucks and people were scattered all over the area where we planned to shoot.

Oliver Stone was shooting Wall Street 2. People were coming up to us and asking where base camp was and where the craft service table was located. It was a disaster! We had to improvise and looked for new streets to shoot which put us a couple hours behind schedule. In the end, it turned out fine because everyone thought we were a second unit crew of Wall Street 2 so we went wherever we wanted and nobody bothered us.

What were the challenges on the shoot?
We were only allotted one day to shoot our spots, so the greatest challenge was getting everything we needed before the sun set. It was a constant race against the clock for daylight, but we managed to squeeze everything in just in the nick of time.

Tell us a bit about what you’re up to now and what led to where you are now.
I have just finished up my three years of course work at the NYU Tisch graduate directing program and I am currently working on my thesis film. It is a feature film about a young man from a fishing village off the Pacific Coast of Colombia who undertakes a dangerous job aboard a homemade submarine transporting $200 million of cocaine in the hope of providing a better life for his family. I’m currently in the rewriting process of the script and hope to start preproduction within the next year.

And what’s the five-year plan?
In a perfect world, my five year plan would be to shoot my first feature and begin the process of making my second film. That said, I understand this is more than likely wishful thinking since the film industry isn’t exactly a stable work environment, especially for directors. So to be honest, I don’t have much of a set plan. I’m going to do everything I can to make my first film and in the meantime, continue to direct spec commercials and work various odd jobs to support myself. As long as I get to make films, I’m happy.

Porsche International Student Advertising Film Award

1 12 2010

Some years are good, some years are not so hot, but this year was certainly up there as a cracking good year for student directing talent at the Porsche International Student Advertising Film Award held in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
Out of such a brilliant shortlist how do you choose a handful of winners? For the jury this year it was difficult. Agonizing even. As YDA’s president Francois Chilot who was also this year’s Porsche Award jury chairman said: “Absolutely everyone in this shortlist is a winner.”
Not only are all the shortlist films superbly executed but most of these student directors wrote their own idea / screenplay.

Say cheesey. The shortlist directors and producers, back row: Christian Hergenröther, Andreas Roth, Isabel Prahl, Josef Kubota Wladyka, Johnny Cullen. Front row: Marie Dvorakova, Alain Friedrichs, Paul Martinsson, Hugo Lilja.

And the winners are:

First prize: Director: Marie Dvorakova
Steenbeck story
School: Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, USA

Second prize: Director: Simon Ritzler
Hornbach: Hero
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany
See interview with Simon earlier this month:

Third prize: Director: Isabel Prahl
Poverty Tells Many Stories
School: Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Germany

Special prizes:

Director: Johnny Cullen
Kodak: Happy Birthday Timmy
School: Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design & Technology, Ireland

Director: Alain Friedrichs
Cinestud 2010
School: Netherlands Film and Television Academy, Netherlands


Director: Justus Becker
Rimowa: Hotel
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Director: Hugo Lilja
Amnesty International
Idea/Screenplay: Paul Martinsson
School: Dramatiska Institutet, Sweden

Director: Stephanie Wagner
Hallmark: Closer
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka
The Dream is Coming
New York University, Graduate Film, USA

Director: Andreas Roth
Idea/Screenplay: Norman Scholl, Andreas Roth
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany


23 06 2010

The winners of the 2010 Young Director Award have been announced at an industry-packed show in Cannes.

A sign of the growing diversity of the industry and the fact that directors increasingly have to stretch themselves beyond the standard 30 second TV spot, this year’s shortlist saw fashion films and interactive YouTube experiences sit alongside the more traditional fare of test commercials and viral films.

Winners included Adam Bonke of Danish production company Nobody CPH took top prize in European Broadcast while Samir Mallal took the prize in the equivalent non-European Broadcast category. Isabel Prahl  won top honour in European FIlmschool for her moving film Poverty Tells Many Stories. Meanwhile Simon Ellis of UK production company Mad Cow took the European Web Film top prize for his innovative interactive anti-knife crime film.

An audience of shortlisted directors and insiders from the worlds of advertising and commercials production gathered at the Palais Stephanie at Cannes. Winners shared thousands of metres of 35mm film courtesy of main sponsor Kodak, and are set to be profiled in media partner shots magazine.  And after the winners were announced, there was a chance for the directors and audience to hob nob on the beach outside.

Despite the talent on display, no special jury prize was awarded this year as the jury were keen to maintain the standard of exceptional excellence associated with the prize. Moreover there was no shortlist announced for the non-European test commercial category, and no award given in the European test commercial category.

For a full list of shortlisted films and winners see below. And keep posted for interviews and insight from winning directors.


European Broadcast

1st prize:

Title: Interruption

Director: Adam Bonke

Production Company: Nobody CPH

Country: Denmark

2nd prize:

Title: Orange – magic Numbers

Director: Megaforce

Production Company: Irene

Country: France

Title: Dementia – “?”

Director: Kristoffer Borgli

Production Company: Fantefilm

Country: Norway

Title: Murakami

Director: Dácil Manrique

Production Company: The Brownie Film Company

Country: Spain

Title: Cocaine – Know the score

Director: Mark Jewitt

Production Company: The Gate Films

Country: UK

European Test Commercials (no award)

Title: Wrangler ‘Follow your dreams’

Director: Stevie Russell

Production Company: Stevie Russell

Country: Ireland

Title: Nokia/Bump

Director: Tom Henze

Production Company: Heavyproductions

Country: Germany

Title: Thai Airways “Wanderlust”

Director: Emil Kahr Nilsson

Production Company: Rain or Shine Pictures

Country: Denmark

Title: Swan Lake

Director: Reto Caffi

Production Company: element e filmproduktion gmbh

Country: Germany

European Filmschool

1st prize:

Title: Poverty tells many stories

Director: Isabel Prahl

Production Company: Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Country: Germany

2nd prize:

Title: held

Director: Simon Ritzler

Production Company: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Country: Germany

Title: Cinestud

Director: Alain Friedrichs

Production Company: NFTA

Country: The Netherlands

Title: Typewriter

Director: Andreas Roth

Production Company: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Country: Germany

Title: adidas PARTIZAN+  reclaim your city

Director: HAUKE

Production Company: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Country: Germany

Title: Fly Away

Director: Mario Zozin

Production Company: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Country: Germany

Title: Closer

Director: Stephanie Wagner

Production Company: Filmacademy Baden-Württemberg

Country: Germany

European Web Films

1st prize:

Title: Choose A Different Ending

Director: Simon Ellis

Production Company: Mad Cow Films

Country: England

2nd prize:

Title: graffiti

Director: Yoann Lemoine

Production Company: Wanda

Country: France

Title: pool table game

Director: Mabrouk El Mechri

Production Company: Wanda

Country: France

Title: Life and roll

Director: Marco Gentile

Production Company: DIAVIVA srl

Country: Italy

European Branded Shortfilms

1st prize:

Title: Halston A/W 2009

Director: Nezar Khamal

Production Company: Blink Productions

Country: England

Title: la cucina italiana


Production Company: PIANA FILM

Country: ITALY

Title: Man Made

Director: Fern Berresford

Production Company: Coy! Communications

Country: England


Non-European Broadcast

1st prize:

Title: Arctic Sun

Director: Samir Mallal

Production Company: Radke Film Group

Country: Canada

2nd prize

Title: HYENA

Director: Hernán Bargman

Production Company: HACHIKO FILMS

Country: Argentina

Title: LEGS

Director: Maureen Hufnagel

Production Company: HACHIKO FILMS

Country: Argentina


Director: Maureen Hufnagel

Production Company: HACHIKO FILMS

Country: Argentina

Title: Beds

Director: Maureen Hufnagel

Production Company: HACHIKO FILMS

Country: Argentina

Non-European Film School

2nd prize:

Title: Canon- Trigger Happy

Director: Saman Keshavarz

Production Company: Paydirt Pictures

Country: USA

Title: The Dream is Coming

Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka

Production Company: NYU Graduate

Country: USA

Title: Steenbeckstory

Director: Marie Dvorakova

Production Company: Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, grad. film dept.

Country: USA

Non-European Web Films

2nd prize:

Title: Sony / Make.believe

Director: Jessica Sanders

Production Company: Nonfiction Unlimited

Country: UK

Title: “The Last Advertising Agency on Earth”

Director: Jason Zada

Production Company: Tool of North America

Country: USA

Title: Tofu

Director: Don Ma / Kevin Lee

Production Company: Centro Digital Pictures Ltd / Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai

Country: China

Title: The Happiness Machine

Director: Paul Iannacchino

Production Company: Creative Bubble/Definition 6, NY

Country: USA

Non-European Test Commercials

No Shortlist

Non-European Branded Short Films

1st prize:

Title: Going West

Director: Martin and Line Andersen

Production Company: Broadway Films

Country: UK

Title: Para Fuera: A Portrait of Dr. Richard J. Bing

Director: Nick Jasenovec

Production Company: Nonfiction Unlimited

Country: USA

Title: Hugs

Director: Cal Brunker

Production Company: Red Rover Studios

Country: Canada


Director: Takuma Nakaji

Production Company: WOW Inc.

Country: Japan


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