Gromala, Damian

Damian Gromala
Polish videocreator

Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I consider myself as ‘artistic soul’ and pro-active person. I always try to do something independent – create my own vision of reality. I play the piano since I was 8. Later I’ve discovered passion to photography which turned into filmmaking. Then unexpectedly came interests in visual and performance arts. I haven’t got any formal film education (I’m an IT technician), but I really want to get it. Besides I’m going to study marketing.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I started filming in 2010. Main reason was to create my own music video. Self-recorded and edited material with me as main character, singing (only lips-sync, cause it was lip-dub music video) and dancing was my first ‘artwork’.

3. What kinds of topics have your films?

My artwork is pretty various. I’ve already made i. e. adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, documentary about Roma minority or my most recent experimental movie about movement theatre. It proves that there is no barriers for me – I’m not afraid of ‘challenging topics’ and stand up to mainstream.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I think that my process of production isn’t different than typical, but I try to combine different styles creating multi-genre works. Sometimes I break ‘principles of cinematography’ and give them new meaning (experimental approach) even in feature films or documentaries.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

At the beginning I’ve recorded videos by simple camera and then camcorder without parameters changes option (or there were very limited). Sometime later I’ve bought DSLR which I have till today. Now I have possibility to expand my equipment (lenses, accessories). Recently I’ve purchased flycam which enable me to create more ‘cinematic look’ films. Sometimes I use DIY equipment (i. e. camera crane).

6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?

Development of digital technology gives me opportunity to ‘manipulate’ time and space in film. Effects added in post-production (such as slow-motion, time-lapse, multiple exposure, mirror reflexes etc.) make my works ‘unreal’ and abstract. Maybe in future productions I implement video-mapping and make them more ‘interactive’. I like to experiment with form and content, so digital technology helps me a lot.

7. How do you finance your films?

My films are very low-budget (I can say that budget is zero). I try to cooperate with culture centres / companies or engaging people in frames of barter. Sometimes I propose special mention in credits. Probably in future I may apply for film production financial grants, residencies for video artists or initiate fundraising campaigns (such as crowdfunding).

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

In my local community there are very few people interested in filmmaking (or create films only for utility purposes) so I must work individually. It’s hard, but I prove that is possible. By going through all steps of production I have wide knowledge. I’ve also worked in team. All seems to be simpler, but on the other hand, my leading features impedes me to subordinate. So I prefer work alone and perfect ‘configuration’ is me as director and crew who follow my instructions.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

I don’t have favourite artists. My imagination impacts a lot on what I’m doing – simple sound, image or gesture can be main theme of my film. Moreover, participation in theatrical workshops in 2013 widen my interests in performance. In conjunction with that, by translating it into film language, I’ve discovered power of experimental cinema (especially video art , video performance and video dance). I can say that avant-garde art and opportunity of creating ‘different worlds’ is that I would like to follow.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

My dream is to study film directing and create new generation of filmmakers – implement ‘new quality’ based on innovative visual as well as conceptual content. Be recognizable worldwide and have feeling that my works provide to the audience unforgettable impressions, fascination and inspiration.
Referring to plans – now I have in mind two films which I would like to make in following time. First (in preparation) is short dance film about contemporary and modern dance (titled ‘Run! (Dance Steps Come!’). Second is dance documentary about Georgian dance. I was in Georgia in the end of 2014 and I was very impressed of its cultural heritage, architecture and custom.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF/artvideoKOELN platform? Where?
List some links & resources

My works can be viewed online on my YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamianGromala