Žaneta works in production for the Bumerang film company and in their portfolio, you could recently see an advertisement for Sportisimo Spring in Motion with actress Sandra Černodrinská, or a spot for Tomas Bata University. The Bumerang company noticed Žaneta during our Design Zlin Design, where she worked as a fundraiser at the time. Žaneta Stránská, the production and former fundraiser of Zlin Design Week, told us what was the most difficult thing in the field at the beginning and why she took a job position that no one else wanted.
You work as a production and project manager for the Bumerang film – so for readers unfamiliar with the film industry – what all do you do?
My work involves an awfully big amount of activities, which is awesome because I never get bored. However, the main task is project management. I communicate with clients about what they need and how much it will cost, with the team we create the concept, and then I make sure the staff films it and the client receives the best quality output at a given time.
What makes production work the most difficult?
Even if you plan everything to the last detail, you already know at that moment that it won’t happen that way. The production is very unpredictable, which bothers me sometimes, on the other hand, it keeps me focused. Well and then there are days when people want you to get a shark…
Wait a moment…a shark?
I apologize to everyone who has heard this story for the tenth time (laughs). At Bumerang, we were filming for a company, whose slogan was “wake up the shark inside you” and there was supposed to be a scene where a shark swims in an aquarium. At first, we were looking for a fish that would look as similar as possible to a little shark, but we understood that we probably can’t fake it… So I started looking for a real shark, I wrote everywhere, I did what I could, I was quite desperate… And suddenly I received a message request, and now watch out, from Karlos Vémola! I have no idea how he heard about me but he wrote: “I’ve heard you’re looking for a shark!” It turned out that he has a luxurious aquarium in his villa and a shark in it, and he let us shoot there…Everyone at work called me a goddess (laughs).
What is the most interesting shooting you have ever worked on with Bumerang?
This is a very difficult question because each shooting is something unique. But if I should mention something current, it was definitely the filming of a spring campaign for Sportisimo. We changed the weather as we pleased. It rained for a moment, then came a thick fog, then after a storm again. Filmmaking is unbelievable magic.
Bumerang shoots commercials, series, or even documentaries. You graduated from marketing, but still, which of these genres is the closest to you?
Maybe thanks to what I’m studying, I’m more inclined to advertisements. I prefer dynamic projects, in which you can let your imagination run wild and you can do more of them at once.
What are you most proud of in Bumerang so far?
I’m most proud of the Bumerang team. I am proud of what kind of team I have and what people I have around me. I’m not going to lie, production is a stressful thing to do, but having these people by your side is just a great ride! So far, I’m still the only girl at Bumerang, so I’m proud that I still keep up with my boys (laughs). Guys, thanks for you!
Do you think that generally, we can produce good advertising in the Czech Republic? What have you personally found interesting from Czech advertising production lately?
I don’t think so, I know it! And it’s not just about what kind of advertising is created in the Czech Republic, but when you look abroad, quite often you see people from the Czech Republic because it’s the golden Czech hands. Anyway, if we look at the work here, I really like the commercials from Lentiamo. Simple, funny, and the fact that I’m logically quite immune to ads, I still bought this from them. This was not a sponsored ad (laughs). Among other things, the spot was directed by the great Pavel Soukup. We also had the honor to work with Pavel and moreover, he holds an Emmy for the internet series #martyisdead. In cooperation with Brain One agency, Pavel was working with us on a campaign for KetoDiet.
At Zlin Design Week, you did fundraising for three years. What was the hardest part of this job?
It was very difficult at the beginning, I was afraid of failure, and that I will disappoint the team. Zlín Design Week is the largest project within the Communication Agency, so the budget is a bit at different heights. In the beginning, the hardest part was accepting rejection by potential partners, then, of course, those crazy contract processes. At first, nothing is simple, but there is no shame in not knowing, and when I look back I see it as a great life experience.
Is there anything you would do differently in retrospect?
I can’t think of anything fundamental, everything happens for a reason, I gradually figured out everything and learned a lot from all my mistakes.
Do you benefit from what you have learned at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications in your current work? Or did you have to gain experience elsewhere?
I had to learn a lot of things because the field is different, but I draw both from the experience gained at the faculty as such, and from the experience gained at Zlin Design Week. After all, Bumerand reached out to me thanks to my work at Zlin Design Week! It is not for nothing that it is said that our faculty will really prepare you for practice, and it is true.
If you had to say something to people who will find themselves at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications in September, what would it be?
Don’t do what everyone does!
I remember myself exactly in freshman year, I was terribly scared that I have so many great and clever people in my classes, with fresh ideas and unbelievable imagination. So no one will notice me here, I thought. Well then came the presentation of Zlin Design Week, where everyone wanted to do PR, promos, parties, and so on, but there was not even a manager in the fundraising team. So I thought I’d go do exactly what no one else wants to do. I’m not saying let’s all do fundraising, of course, if you’re doing PR and you enjoy it, keep doing it. However, in freshman year when no one really knows much, it’s better to just take the risk! And most importantly, no one will bite you at the Institute of Marketing Communications, the school is great precisely because you have so many opportunities to find out what you enjoy and what you want to do. Don’t worry about it at all!