Marko Škop: I like to depict penetration of our microworld with macroworld

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Slovakian director Marko Škop (1974) introduced his feature film debut “ Eva Nová”. Up until now he was predominantly focused at documents for which he got awards at foreign festivals. He established his own production company “Artileria” in order to be independent. Since we don´t know much either about Slovakian cinematography or about Marko Škop himself, we asked him for interview which he duly obliged.

Marko Škop 1

Was film making always your dream so you got via study or journalism onto film academy? What were conditions for young film makers in Slovakia?

When I finished a secondary school I wasn´t really sure what I want to do in my life so I applied to study journalism, since it gave me some time to ponder my future. During study I visited film clubs so when I finish with journalism I thought film academy would be interesting since film is more tractable and built topic will last in it much longer then in daily, weekly or monthly papers.

You started to focus on documentary. Was it your plan to start there, get experience under your belt and then step across to feature film, or from the word go you wanted to do documentary and feature film was never on agenda?

The step from journalism to documentary was kind of natural since both depict reality, really existing people, their problems, stories…..I dunno, all I do in my life I do step by step, explore new things.

As a young artist you started to work for Slovakian TV Markíza and with Italian TV. How did you get to those projects, did they have a project and hired you for that or they liked your style so you were hired to film what you wanted?

I have never worked for TV Markíza apart one documentary which I made instead of my friend who got sick.Someone put that into my CV on internet and I have no time, guts and power to correct those bullshits they have written about me. I worked only once for Italian TV Most of the time I work on my own projects either as producer or director.

Marko Škop 3Where do you find topic for your films? Do you try to find some hot social topics which document would help to get to public?

Every author has his inner topics which he is interested in. For me it usually is the penetration of the one´s world with big world or penetration of our microworld with makroworld.

We remember logos “ Enough of Prague” somewhere in 1991.How did you personally take the break-up of Czechoslovakia and which way went Slovakian cinematography after that?

I was against it, but it happened and it wasn´t in my power and in my control to do anything with it. We keep on going and we are still the closest and the most interesting partners.

How was 20 years ago and how is now supported Slovakian film?Is the co-production with other states necessary or some kind of grant manages to cover the whole film?

There are still produced films that were paid only from one source and that is AudioVisual Fund. I don´t think it is right and I believe that films should be financed from various sources with home or foreign cooperation.

For some time, not much was heard about Slovakian cinematography but now there is a influx of interesting film makers with interesting topics. When and where was that break-up point according to you?

The underlying break up was brought by establishment of AudioVisual Fund and also the fact that co-oproduction was more helped by Radio and TV, at long last.

Marko Škop 2

Now you are director and producer.Did you establish the company Artileria not to have to beg for money and become independent artistically and financially? What was the beginning and did you meet with encouragement or with taunts behind your back from people around you?

Our films are made with support from public money, without that we wouldn´t make any film.The beginng was difficult and up until today we make the films at our knee into which we drill at the same time. But I am reconciled that it will go that way up until the end.

What is the platform for independent film in Slovakia, any official support or festivals?

I have answered that partly above and don´t want to comment the festivals, sorry.

How did you manage to direct a TV serie for Croatin TV? Do you take it as a big learning step where you can get not only experience but also contacts which could lead to bigger co-operation or co-production?

My wife is Croat, she was part of the Croatian production team and with her mates they invited me to help with casting for TV serie. They liked my job so I got the offer to film 10 parts of the Croatian version of Therapy. It was great job with great text and great actors, pure joy.

Marko Skop Eva CsolleovaYour documents won awards on festivals in Karlovy vary, Amsterdam or London.Do you think jury appreciated your film “ Osadné” because of the topic or the way you worked on it?

I think that is the question for jury. With my friends and crew we always wanted to bring the best film testimony.If we succeeded, only viewers will tell.

At FebioFest you introduced your feature film debut “ Eva Nová”. Was it just small sideslip and experiment if you manage to direct feature film or natural evolution and there are more to come and documentary will make their way?

We will see,I am convinced that for some topics the documentary form is more suitable, for some topics the feature form is better. I am at the very beginning of my thinking about new topic and it will take time before I will find out which form will be the best for it.