Interview with Raphael Kryszek On the Business Side of Filmmaking

Wynona Luz

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<p style="font-size:16px; color:#000000; font-family:verdana"><strong>Exclusive Q&A with Raphael Kryszek</strong></p>
<p style="font-size:12px; color:#000000; font-family:verdana"><em><a href="" target="_blank">Raphael Kryszek</a>, who was nominated for an Emmy for his work as a producer on the Fox Movie Channel original program, “Writer's Draft”, has launched three successful companies in the film industry: Proof of Concept, Clifton Post, and Ineffable Pictures. His production company is currently working on a few exciting new projects such as the movie </em>The Late Bloomer<em>, starring Elijah Wood. Here Kryszek discusses the challenges of starting these companies, as well as what it takes to run them.</em></p>
<p style="font-size:12px; color:#000000; font-family:verdana">By Camille Haimet, Contributing Writer, <em>StudentFilmmakers</em> Magazine</p>
<p><a href="" target="_blank"><img src=" " alt="RaphaelK" width="516" height="342" border="0"></a>
<p><span style="font-size:12px; color:#000000; font-family:verdana"><strong>Tell us a little about each of your companies. How are they different?</strong></span><span style="font-size:12px; color:#000000; font-family:verdana"><p><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: Clifton Production Services is a post-production company - we do editing and special effects, along with the actual shooting. Ineffable Pictures is our development company, where we hire writers, turn ideas into screenplays, and turn them into movies. The third one is Proof of Concept, which is a technology company where we do branded applications and handle the marketing side of the business.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>How did you get interested in starting these companies?</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: I started with post-production because I wanted to get interested in the physical act of making movies and TV shows. I felt like I needed to have a comprehensive understanding of that, and make a business out of it. I got into development because I wanted to be at the beginning of the process as well. I wanted to come up with my own ideas and see them through production as opposed to just servicing other people's ideas.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>I would imagine that to start a company like this, you would have to be multi-talented and know how to take on various responsibilities in the film industry. Was that the case for you?</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: Well, I’ve been in this business for several years now and have worked at different companies. I worked in physical production at New Line Cinema, post-production television at the E! Network, and dabbled quite a bit in independent film development. Because of those experiences and others, I was able to learn so much before I actually started my own companies. </p>
I started Clifton Production Services on my own, and managed it from the beginning. In terms of the development [Ineffable Pictures] and tech companies [Proof of Concept], I have enough of an understanding to lead the companies, and I have division leaders that work directly under me, who manage the day-to-day operations.
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Did you have to participate in various roles of production when you first started the companies?</strong></p>
<strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: Oh, yes! I'm involved in all of it from the development side. At one point, when I first started the company, I was doing some editing on my own. As the company grew, I was able to hire more people - and now I sort of just steer the ship, and let the division leaders help run the companies with my help.
<p dir="ltr"><strong>What were some of the challenges of starting these companies, and what are some of the challenges of running them?</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: Well, I think that, like any start up, a big challenge is finding the money to get going. That's always tough because, with the post-production company for example, you have to buy equipment, hire people, and convince someone to invest with you -- it’s really difficult. For the development side, initially the biggest hurdle was convincing somebody to buy into my vision for a movie and getting them to spend money on it. I shopped around my first movie, "Tiger's Curse," to a few different producers and studios, and finally came to a mutual understanding with Paramount. Now, we're doing the same with a bunch of other projects. Convincing people to embrace your vision is the general obstacle that you have to overcome.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>How did you find clients and gain notoriety?</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: The post-production side is the only side that actually has clients. I guess it's mainly about pitching yourself, providing a product and service, over-delivering and under-promising, being competitive, and not compromising on quality. If you can sustain that long enough, then word gets around and people eventually seek you out. The beginning is the hardest part.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>What is your everyday process like?</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: Every day I check in with the three companies, I get reports  from the division leaders. From there I instruct them to take various courses of action or I get involved on various deals when I need to, in order to escalate them to completion. Then the rest of my day is pretty much spent dealing with finances and other business development ventures.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Tell us a little bit about the television program "Writer's Draft", which was nominated for an Emmy.</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: "Writer's Draft" is a program that was on the Fox FX Movie Channel. It was a TV show I produced that was about screenwriters, which is really interesting because my development company hires screenwriters, so it was kind of bringing insight to what we deal with on a day-to-day basis on the development side. It was really enjoyable because it wasn't just normal TV program, it gave people an insight into the process of filmmaking.</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>What are some of your current  projects?</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: We have "Tiger's Curse", which is an adaptation from a young adult book property that I auctioned the rights to -- that's going to be made at Paramount. We hired Julie Plec, the creator and screenplay writer of the "Vampire Diaries" television show. We're also partners with producer, Mary Parent, who produced "Pacific", as well as "Noah" and "Godzilla" -- which are both coming out soon. So, I'm very excited about that!</p>
<p dir="ltr">This summer, I have a movie shooting called "The Late Bloomer". It's starring Elijah Wood, Olivia Thirlby, Melissa Leo, Kal Penn,and JK Simmons. We also have a project I'm very excited about called "Potential", written by Eric Kirsten, who recently appeared on the Black List for one of his scripts, so he’s a really talented guy. That's going to be kind of a Sci-Fi thriller. We have a few other things in development that we can't really talk about yet, but they're going to be big projects!</p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>If you could share your best tips in terms of producing, what would they be?</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><strong>Raphael Kryszek</strong>: You have to really believe in your vision in order to sell it, and do not let naysayers question what you're doing if you really believe in it. Eventually people will come around.</span>

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
This is inspiring. Makes me want to work more than the 12 hours I day I put in already!!