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Aleksandra Czenczek

Visual Effects Executive Producer

How did you start out in film and TV?

I graduated from film school in France, where I specialized in multimedia and graphic design in my final year. I came to London in 2004 for an internship in a production company. It was supposed to last 5 months, but when it ended, I was lucky to be offered a job as a junior VFX artist in another company.


What was your career path, and how did it lead to your current position?

I started as a VFX artist in motion graphics for TV documentaries and docu-dramas, then gradually transitioned into VFX compositing. The company I worked for was commissioned to work on a series with David Attenborough. My team won an Emmy Award for our work on David Attenborough's First Life series. Later, I joined Goodbye Kansas Studios as a VFX compositor. I was then given the opportunity to go on set as a VFX supervisor for HETV. I got to meet more producers and enlarged my network of connections. After several years, I was offered the role of VFX Executive Producer. Alongside my VFX career, I am also an established independent filmmaker. My experience as a writer/director is a great asset for my new role. I am frequently reading scripts and helping clients understand how the script translates into VFX shots.  


What has/does your current role entail?

I'm primarily responsible for sourcing projects and maintaining relations with producers and production companies. I read scripts that come to us, make VFX breakdowns, and, together with other EPs, oversee the bidding of the shows. I also prepare our pitches for new projects, often including choosing the materials for reels and presentations. I also monitor what productions are shooting and how we can help them as a studio. I still go on sets occasionally to help supervise shoots, so I'm lucky the studio gives me all these opportunities to grow.


What are some of the challenges you've faced, and how have you overcome them?

Working in the film and TV industry always brings new challenges. You have to constantly improve yourself and keep on track with new technologies. The biggest challenge was when I started going on sets as a VFX supervisor. First I was helping the main VFX supervisor and then gradually I was going on my own. I had to prove I was competent enough in front of new directors and DOPs. Very few women work on sets as VFX supervisors, and it can make you a bit self-conscious. But I reminded myself that I worked on hundreds or thousands of shots in my career, so my experience is valuable to getting things right.


What have you been most proud of during your career?

I love learning new skills and really thrive on being challenged. I'm proud that I created new growth and professional development opportunities over the years. I'm also proud that I wasn't afraid to change the course of my career when I felt that I was getting too comfortable in one role.


Are we doing enough to help maintain talent? What are the ways the industry could improve that?  

In the last few years, we have become very aware that we must invest in new talent and be more respectful of the working talent. Some fantastic schemes and programmes help young people enter the industry, and it's great that the industry has become so much more diverse. The work-life balance is still a big topic and needs improvement. The pandemic changed a lot of things. People realized they wanted more flexibility, and many chose hybrid working. But we're in a better place than ever, so I’m positive overall.


What piece of advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Everyone has their own path, and that's the most challenging thing in this industry. What works for some people doesn't work for others. The most important thing is to stay persistent, be willing to constantly learn and be open to all possibilities, even if they're out of your comfort zone. It gets easier and easier as we go along.