Piotr Woźniak-Starak, a film producer, the founder of Watchout Studio, and a true friend and husband of Agnieszka Woźniak-Starak, died in a tragic accident on 18 August 2019. A warm, open-hearted, and truly remarkable man, Piotr was also a professional filmmaker capable of achieving his artistic visions and capturing the imagination of millions of viewers. He developed his own, original model of film production characterised by precise fulfilment of goals and unique cooperation of the entire team. He left a permanent mark in the history of Polish and world cinema as the producer of award-winning films, such as “Gods” and “The Art of Love: the Story of Michalina Wisłocka”, which enjoyed a higher box office success in Poland than Hollywood productions and enabled repayment of the financing obtained from the state. He said: Religa’s story [Gods] is something I can identify with: it is worth fighting for something in your life and pursuing your own way. You can do extraordinary things under difficult and not always favourable conditions… The reward is tears in the audience and, naturally, the Golden Lions at the Gdynia Film Festival – the biggest surprise of my life. “The Coldest Game” – the embodiment of Piotr’s vision of international production with a global cast – is coming out soon. He was getting ready to fulfil his artistic ambitions and was soon supposed to stand on the other side of the camera as the director of Watchout Studio’s next production. Piotr will remain in everyone’s memory as a true filmmaker, a special man with an exceptional, sensitive, artistic personality – a caring, devoted artist, friend, and husband. We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with him.

Watchout Studio Management Board and Team

Piotr Woźniak-Starak’s biography

Piotr Woźniak-Starak

Piotr was born on 10 July 1980. He always found support in his family and parents who were his true mentors. Even though he came from a family with an established position in international business – he chose a path that is not always easy: to go his own way…

He graduated from Aiglon College in Villars, Switzerland in 1999 and then studied Economics and Art at prestigious American universities: Emmerson College in Boston and Parson School of Design in New York. Next he worked at McCann Eriksson WorldWide in New York as an assistant to Creative Director Michel Gentile in the production of advertising campaigns for the U.S. ARMY, CapitalOne, Ortho-McNeil, and BlockBuster, followed by a stint at Young & Rubicam.

On his return to Poland, he took up film production, gaining expertise and practical skills in cooperation with such renowned filmmakers as Andrzej Wajda (assistant producer and then assistant director of “Katyń”), Maciej Dejczer (“Oficerowie” TV series), Christopher Doyle (co-producer of “Warsaw Dark”), Volker Schloendorf (assistant producer of “Strike”), as well as Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze (production assistant of “Saviour Square”).

In 2008, he founded Watchout Productions and started to forge his own path in the film industry: first he managed advertising and marketing projects and then produced documentaries and feature films, while building a dedicated team. The documentary “Mazurek” (Julia Kolberger’s short and debut as a director) won 10 awards at seven festivals, while his first feature “Big Love” (2012) was among the 10 best-selling films of the year.

Piotr was a real precursor of a new film production model in Poland. He created his own original recipe for building the entire film as a team effort, which incorporated the actors’ and director’s input in the screenplay and marked a departure from the generally accepted canons of film production. His operational precision and effectiveness, keeping a tight schedule that eliminated any production delays or higher number of shooting days, all gave rise to notable productions that became blockbusters and generated business success. The film “Gods” (2014), which attracted over 2 million viewers, was an unprecedented validation of his strategy. It was followed by “The Art of Love. The Story of Michalina Wisłocka” (2017). His productions were honoured with the Golden Lions at the Gdynia Film Festival, the Eagles – Polish Film Academy Awards, the best producer awards at the 2015 PKO Off Camera festival, as well as the Golden Reel Award from the Polish Filmmakers Association.

Piotr’s last production was “The Coldest Game” (Polish title: “Ukryta gra”). This is an extraordinary thriller that can fall under the political fiction category, as the plot is set in the context of the real events of the Cuban crisis. “The Coldest Game” is the first film made by a Polish producer for international audiences, featuring a world-class cast with international distribution. The premiere will be a tribute to this extraordinary man who left an indelible mark in the history of cinema – Piotr Woźniak-Starak.

Piotr had a special gift for telling stories that everyone would listen to… This is how he described it: My job is to tell stories (something that I’m good at, which I realised many years ago) that will captivate the director, actors, and my business partners. I want them to fall in love with my vision, live my vision and turn this “infatuation” into new, interesting and top-quality film projects.

Together with his team, Piotr built Watchout Studio, which in recent years, apart from film production, has continued to produce commercials and offers executive production services to foreign entities with a capacity to manage international co-productions.

Piotr was the husband of Agnieszka Woźniak-Starak (nee Szulim) for almost 3 years. Outside of married life, they were true friends.

Production
House

About Us

See what we do:

About Us

Who we are?

Watchout Studio is a young, creative team that approaches each task with passion and deep commitment.

What we do?

Our core business is the production of feature films, advertising, and promotional films. We also launch standard and non-standard marketing campaigns. We offer support at all stages of production.

What makes us stand out?

We undertake difficult, almost impossible tasks. We organize each production comprehensively and treat each individually, never devolving into cliché. This means that our clients are always satisfied with the outcome of our work.

What we have done?

Films: The Coldest Game (post-production), My Name is Sara (post-production), The Art of Loving: Bogowie (Gods), Mazurek, Big Love.

Advertisements: RedBull, Polpharma, UPC, Circle K, Ursus, Rage Team, Come On, Bet Click, Hemopharm.





"The secret of success of that film is its never-fading rhythm, the energy driving the story of the great doctor and his success for which he paid with drinking vodka. But this is also a film about a country having strange inclination to inertia, regardless of the political system. A film about breaking though inertia."

– Tadeusz Sobolewski, Gazeta Wyborcza


Our Works

Our selected productions are described in detail below:



Offer

See what we do:

Original Film Production

We see to each stage of film production: script selection and development, location scouting, budgeting and scheduling, fundraising, cast and crew hiring, shooting, the post-production process, and film promotion.

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Film Service

We offer complete film production services for foreign producers. Our production team is at your disposal. We also provide executive services for TV stations and any other entities that hold tenders for audiovisual productions.

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Advertising production

We create ads and promotional films based on a brief provided by the client, or on a concept developed by our creative team. We implement all ideas in a comprehensive manner, delivering a ready-to-broadcast product. Our ambition is to enhance production values within the available budget.

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International co-productions

Our team's extensive experience in international productions, cooperation with the Polish Film Institute, regional funds, Euroimage, and Creative Europe, makes us a great candidate for co-production.

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Service &
co-production


Incentives for Film Production in Poland

In February 2019 Poland launched a cash rebate of up to 30%. That is more than any other European country offers. The program is run by the Polish Film Institute, meaning you will need a trusted service representative. Watchout Studio is the only Polish company that has twice returned a film subsidy to the Polish Film Institute. Yup, that makes us their favorite.

Download Watchout Studio’s quick Polish Incentives Guide

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Location

Poland’s temperate climate allows shooting in all four seasons. Our rich and long history offers a range of diverse architecture – medieval castles, renaissance palaces, Word War II-era military weaponry and streets, socialist housing estates, as well as industrial buildings and any modern architecture that you can imagine. We co-operate with the best award-winning production designers to breathe life into the unique world of your movie.

Download the Polish Film Commission’s Location Guide

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Co-production

The Polish Film Institute offers funding for international co-productions, with a top subsidy of €470,000. The application process is more complicated than with the Film Incentives program, but don’t worry – you are in good hands.

Find out more about the Polish Film Institute's co-productions program

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Cast, Crew & Equipment

Poland is famous for its acclaimed filmmakers and film schools. Now with Polish film incentives you get convenient access to the top European HoDs. What is more, Polish costs are lower than in western and central Europe. Watchout Studio works with all top talent, both cast and crew. We will coordinate with rental companies and sound stages, making sure you find all you need for reasonable price.

Contact us to find out more about Polish talent and our rates

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Portfolio

The most important information about our projects

The Coldest Game

The Coldest Game

My name is Sara

My name is Sara

PKO BANK POLSKI 100-lecie

PKO BANK POLSKI 100-lecie

Help4Skin

Help4Skin

Starazolin – czerwony

Starazolin – czerwony

Heviran Comfort

Heviran Comfort

Xylogel

Xylogel

Circle K – Circlozaury

Circle K – Circlozaury

UPC – Kosmos

UPC – Kosmos

Etopiryna Surfing

Etopiryna Surfing

Pyralgina Karetka

Pyralgina Karetka

Mediqskin

Mediqskin

BIOTEBAL

BIOTEBAL

Starazolin Complete

Starazolin Complete

Starazolin – Łąka

Starazolin – Łąka

DAX Perfecta Fenomen C

DAX Perfecta Fenomen C

Ranigast Górnik

Ranigast Górnik

Ranigast Białowieża

Ranigast Białowieża

Starazolin – Czerwony

Starazolin – Czerwony

BigActiv

BigActiv

Starazolin “Łzowy”

Starazolin “Łzowy”

Starazolin “Intro”

Starazolin “Intro”

Red Bull

Red Bull

The Art of Love

The Art of Love

Ranigast MAX

Ranigast MAX

URSUS

URSUS

Acard

Acard

Come On!

Come On!

Ranigast

Ranigast

Gods

Gods

Polpharma

Polpharma

Etopiryna

Etopiryna

Fosidal

Fosidal

Come On 4

Come On 4

Come On 3

Come On 3

Mazurek

Mazurek

Come On – Football 2014

Come On – Football 2014

Bet Clic

Bet Clic

Rage

Rage

Our Team

Watchout Studio is a young, creative team that approaches each task with passion and deep commitment. We cooperate with director and creative producer Xawery Żuławski, and director and editor Dobromił Sudak.

    Piotr Wozniak Starak graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in advertising and communications. After moving to New York he attended Parsons University and interned at McCann Worlwide as well as Young & Rubican. In 2005, he returned to Poland and founded Watchout Productions. Even though he is a young producer he has received numerous prestigious awards. These include the Golden Lion in the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, The Eagle from the Polish Film Academy, The Best Producer Award at the PKO Off Camera 2015 and the Golden Tapes by the Polish Filmmakers Association.
    Krzysztof has been with Watchout Studio since March 2012. Among others, he deals with searching new clients, financing film projects, promotion and communication. Before, he worked for PR agency TBT i Wspólnicy, Aloha Productions, TVN Turbo and WB ELECTRONICS. 



    mail: krzysztof@watchoutstudio.pl
    He has been with Watchout Studio since the very beginning. He deals with production of advertisements and feature films.


    mail: adrian@watchoutstudio.pl
    Justyna Pawlak graduated from University of Silesia in Katowice with Master of Arts degree in Film & Tv Production plus Film Academy in Cracow with Film Critic & Lecturer Certificate. She gained her professional experience on each and every position in production department during numerous feature film, tv and commercial productions.



    justyna@watchoutstudio.pl
    For the past years, Anna has been working as Development Executive of Original Production at HBO Poland. At HBO she has both developed and produced a number of original TV series, as well as co-produced documentary films. She has also been responsible for operational management of all non-creative aspects of TV series. Previous to her HBO experience she has worked on a number of TV series, from development to delivery. Her professional experience allowed me to maneuver and network within the various channels of TV industry across Central Europe.
    mail: ania@watchoutstudio.pl
    He graduated from University of Silesia in Film and TV Production. Since 2005 he’s gained his professional experience in advertising agencies, production houses and as a co-producer of TV programs created all over the world.  

    mail: bartosz@watchoutstudio.pl
    Production Manager and Producer. A graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics and Lodz Film School. He has been cooperating with Watchout Studio since 2016, and since 2018 has been permanently employed in the company.

    kuba@watchoutstudio.pl
    Production assistant. He has been with Watchout Studio since May 2012. Before, he worked for JLR Centrum as a sales specialist.


    mail: wiktor@watchoutstudio.pl
    Culture Management graduate (Jagiellonian University). As she left Krakow for Warsaw she swapped music industry for film. At Watchout Studio she supports production of both features and commercials.

    daria@watchoutstudio.pl
    Graduated from The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in War-saw with bachelor's degree in theater studies and with master's degree in film and TV produc-tion organization from Film School in Lodz. Worked as an Assistant Production Manager and Production Coordinator in films such as Alien Body, Summer Solstice, Karbali and The Fugue. Her collaboration with Watchout Studio has began with The Art of Loving: The Story of Michalina Wislocka in 2016.

    kycia@watchoutstudio.pl
    One of the pioneers of Polish graffiti scene, painter, known under a pseudonym Szczerbak. From his passion for art and extreme sports he developed interest in film. In Watchout Studio he is an editor and drone operator.

    k.arszennik@watchoutstudio.pl
Polpharma
Pomarańczowy
Herbapol
Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej
Studio Munka
Astromal
Come On
Bet Click

Contact

We are ready to cooperate with you.
Send us a message via the form below or call us directly.

Call Us

+48 785 801 006

Watchout Studio Sp. z o.o.

ul. Obserwatorów 7, 02-714 Warszawa

Email

info@watchoutstudio.pl