[Originally posted on October 2008]
Kinga was born in Krakow but her parents immigrated to Australia when she was one. She then moved to London in 2005 and signed with respected film Production Company Partizan of Michel Gondry fame in 2006. Kinga has shot videos for Will Young, The Thrills, The Rakes, The Teenagers, Calvin Harris, Kate Nash, Lady Hawke and recent Billboard No. 1 “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. Kinga was also featured in various magazines and nominated for “Best New Director” at the CAD Awards and for “Best Female Video” at the MTV Music awards as well. She has just completed the new James Blunt’s video “Love Love Love”.
Could you please tell us more about your background and career?
I studied a BA at UNSW in Sydney after quitting working and travelling as a model for two years post high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do except that I was really fascinated by film. For two years I tried unsuccessfully to get a job in the industry as no one would hire me even as a runner. Whilst earning a living (much to my disappointment in fashion) I would make amateur music videos for all my friends in bands. This slightly obsessive hobby allowed me the opportunity to teach myself filmmaking, whilst keeping me sane whilst I worked in a job I hated. Just before I turned 25, I realised I couldn’t stay in Australia any longer and thus flew to London in attempt to pursue greater opportunities available in the industry there.
Was it always your dream to pursue a career as a director?
No, not necessarily. There aren’t enough female directors out there to aspire an insecure 20-something year old girl who went to uni after quitting modelling just to feel like she could fit in with her peers. I also had an awfully critical boyfriend at the time that wasn’t particularly encouraging with me being creative as it was also his thing. I guess it was something I may have secretly wanted to do but I never really admitted it to anyone.
How did you get involved with the well known film production company Partizan?
When I arrived to London in 2005, I was sleeping on a couch of a friend of a friend. I just left my boyfriend, my family and my life behind and I felt invincible, ambitious, free and with nothing to lose. I had no qualms to knock on my dream company Partizan’s door and beg for a job there. They didn’t give me one at first but a few months later, I pitched on my musician flatmates video and won a 10K budget so I went knocking again and this time Partizan produced it for me and signed me onto their books as a Director. It really was a beyond a dream come true.
What are your usual first steps to start shooting a video clip?
It depends what the concept is, how much time, money we have and what it involves. Generally once my treatment has been confirmed, my producer and I begin to work on it ASAP. I work out what I want and my producer will aim to make it happen in the time and budget restraints.
How do you find working in London?
I love London. People are sincere here and they work hard. I haven’t ever worked in the film Industry in Australia but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more relaxed there.
Can you tell us a bit about what’s life there like?
It’s great. I love that it is a multicultural, youthful city with enough hustle and bustle to always keep me busy. With so many art, music and film events, there is so much to do it’d be a challenge to get bored. Having said that, London is so big I rarely travel too far as it takes too long to get home and the winter can be miserable and difficult to get through.
Are there any places you’d definitely recommend to any girl visiting town?
I love going to the ICA for gigs and the extravagant film program they have playing. Dalston’s Rio Art Deco Cinema is my local film hole. They have Sunday Double Bills and still draw a thick red curtain before each film! If you’re into Music Videos, the NFT always hosts BUG – a monthly celebration of recent promos is hosted by Adam Buxton and always a laugh. The Bookshop in the Tate Modern always leaves me wishing I was wealthier while the Design museum by the Tower Bridge on the Thames is lovely when it’s sunny. The cosy lunch spots and cafes such as my local Fernandez & Wells in Soho buzz with excitement during the week. Calumet in Wardour St. for stills film and The Widescreen Centre for 8mm stock. Borough Markets for food on a Friday and Columbia Rd Market for flowers, cream tea and the best roast at The Royal Oak on a Sunday. Bistroteque in Hackney for cocktails, The Griffin in Shoreditch for Beers and Gordon Ramsay at Claridges for a special meal. Yesterday I had a massage at Cowshed in Holland Park. It is amazing there.
What are your personal hobbies and interests?
I love photography. I take a lot of 35mm rolls with my Contax TVS. I bought a Bronica 6×6 Medium format but I prefer point and shoot.
Do you like to collaborate with other artists? Why? Fav collaboration of your dreams?
I haven’t ever collaborated with other artists but video making is pretty collaborative in itself as you are always working with a DP, art-director, stylist, animators in post-production, editors etc. which I guess will always affect the final result.
What is the nicest place you ever visited/travelled to? Why?
I love Tokyo. It’s like being on another planet. The people, the food, the culture, the colours and the energy is just amazing!!! I haven’t been there for years but my boyfriend has been promising to take me there for Christmas.
What would your advice be to any woman director starting up today?
Find your own opportunities and be positive!
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured/interviewed here?
Floria Sigismondi, Sofia Coppola, Ellen Von Unwerth, Chloe Sevigny, Leith Clarke, Kym Ellery, Tamsin Glasson, Claire Edmondson, Nathalie Press.