Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Oscars 2024: Sound creators for “Strefa biznes” about working on a film for Interia

Polish-British co-production “Zone of interests” is a shocking story about the idyllic family life of Rudolf Höss. Johnnie Burn and Tarn Willers, the creators of the sound for “Strefa biznes”, talked about working on the film in an interview with Artur Zaborski for Interia.

“It was a huge responsibility. To accurately capture what the director had in mind through sound. He didn’t want to reproduce time or place, he wanted the sound to be close to reality. Johnnie did a lot of research, looking for sounds that could have been heard in and around Auschwitz at that time. ” says Tarn Willers. “Of course, yes, you’re right. Responsibility for it to play in the film. And responsibility for the victims and survivors. We couldn’t sensationalize it. I focused on using the minimum amount of sound to be able to tell the story properly” – adds Johnnie Burn.

Willers worked on the film while on location in Auschwitz. Burn, on the other hand, created the sound only a year after shooting for “Business Zone”.

“I was there. Of course, we were right next to the camp, which had a huge impact on all of us, on the entire crew. The two of us made two different films. I made the film you see. I recorded the sound in this location. Sound from the life of a family living at home, with children playing in the garden, running around. Everything that happened behind the wall was later created by Johnnie and his team (…)” – he says.

“We were shooting on ‘sacred’ ground and everyone was aware of it. We started creating the sound related to the horror behind the wall only a year after shooting the film,” adds Burn.

The gentlemen are nominated for an Oscar in the best sound category.

“The Zone of Interest” loosely refers to the famous war novel “The Zone of Interest” by Martin Amis from 2014, which describes the love between Rudolf Hösse and his wife Hedwig, with whom he had five children. The film, in which German actors Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller played the main roles, was called by critics “a terrifying look at the banality of evil” (Indiewire) and “terrifying and extremely necessary in modern times” (Vanity Fair).

The production, which was shot in Oświęcim, was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The director is British, Jonathan Glazer, the creator of the films “Sexy Beast” and “Under the Skin”, as well as music videos of the bands Radiohead and Massive Attack. All photos for the film, authored by Łukasz Żal, were taken in Poland, most of them in Oświęcim, in close cooperation with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Its creators conducted extensive, long-term historical research, also based on interviews conducted with the inhabitants of Oświęcim.

Ewa Puszczyńska (Extreme Emotions), who previously had a hand in the successes of “Ida” and “Cold War”, is responsible for the production of the film on the Polish side. Other Polish artists involved in this project include: Joanna Kuś (set design), Waldemar Pokromski (make-up), Małgorzata Karpiuk (costumes) and Małgorzata Bereźnicka (production manager).

Read more: This film is competing for five Oscars. As many as 110 Polish filmmakers worked on it