Dvořák Origins

From the Classroom to the Set: Speaking with Lukáš Borovička, Class of 2013, TV Producer

Lukáš Borovička, Class of 2013,  found his passion at ISP in our exceptional film programme and knew even back in Upper School that his love for film and TV would shape his career path! 

In this Alumni interview, Lukáš shares the creative journey that took him around the world in pursuit of his dream job, the adventures in Hollywood that got him his “big break,” and the skills that he learned at ISP that played a crucial role in making his aspirations a reality. 

Hi Lukáš. So great to see you here at ISP for the 10-year Reunion of the Class of 2013! Thanks for letting us grab a few minutes with you before the party begins. We’d love to hear about your career in TV and Film and the creative journey that led from ISP to Disney to TV Nova.

First, tell us a little about when you started at ISP and what that was like. 

I came to ISP in Grade 9 from a Czech school. There were a lot of other students in my ISP class with similar interests in film, the arts, and history, all subjects I am passionate about, so that made the transition smooth. Actually, I feel fortunate to have landed in such a great class of students.

What was different about ISP from your Czech education experience?

One of the main differences I noticed was the engagement level and participation of the students at ISP. This stemmed from the second main difference, which was the teachers’ approach in the classroom. Czech school was pretty rigid in the subject matter we were learning, and you either excelled or did poorly, but at ISP, it was much more about finding your own direction and just pushing as far as you could get in your own path.

That was the main benefit of project-based education for me. At ISP, the classes were not just about the subject itself; it was also about how to communicate, debate, research, use technology, work smart, not hard…all the skills that come in handy later in life.

Looking back, what about your experience at ISP stands out as stepping stones to where you are now?

IB Film prepared me so well for university and, ultimately, the career path I’ve pursued in Film and TV. In fact, I actually decided to come to ISP for high school because I heard such amazing things about the film department.  And it was true. I had an awesome experience here, and when I got to university, I couldn’t believe how ahead I was. I had already learned practically everything we did at University in my first two years at ISP.  So I was able to go on set, already confident and experienced from my education at ISP.

That’s awesome. Where did you head after graduating from ISP? 

I went to SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, US, with the encouragement of my ISP college counselor. It was a great choice for me and the perfect transition from Prague to the United States and what would become my next locations: New York and Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is the dream for someone pursuing TV and Film! How did you make that happen?

I had eight months of my OPT (optional practical training) visa left and knew this was probably my last shot at getting to work at the heart of the industry.

So I packed my bags, and as I was driving from the East Coast to the West, I only had one lead: an internship program at Disney a friend told me about. I went full force. I actually applied for all of their posted openings (about 20), from positions as an assistant to the guy who gets the coffee all the way up to the position I really wanted.

I knew how tiny the chance of getting it was, so I also kept applying for other jobs and opportunities to get started. 

By the time I got to LA, I knew zero people and had tens of rejections, even for the most simple, unpaid, entry-level jobs. But about two weeks in, I got a call. My crazy application approach impressed the recruiter so much that I got an interview and ultimately got the position that I really wanted! It was amazing and all I could have hoped for in terms of my profession and being able to grow from there. It’s a game-changer to have Disney on the resume. 

That’s amazing! What are you doing now?

After working for a few independent production companies when I came back from the US, I wanted to return to a more established company with opportunities for professional growth. I landed at TV Nova, the leading commercial network in Prague. TV Nova’s Voyo is number two as a local streaming service, right behind Netflix. I’m really happy to be back in Prague and working for a company with so much growth potential. 

Thinking back to your school experience, what are the skills that you learned at ISP that have helped you achieve your goals?

Social Studies, IB History, and academic writing helped me develop the skills to be an effective communicator, both written and verbal. The language classes at ISP were always fantastic. A whole new world opened up for me in LA when I realized I could connect to people because of my IB Spanish experience.

ISP was amazing in that way. You learn little snippets from all these different cultures, and then when you meet someone, you can draw on that. You immediately have something you can connect about, something in common. It’s an incredible skill and advantage in life, especially if you work internationally or in diverse industries.

Do you have any advice for ISP students interested in a career in TV or film?

Work it out backwards. Ask yourself what you want to make, and then be shameless about reaching out to people who can help you make it. Email your favorite DP (Director of Photography) offering to assist them. If they don’t respond, email their camera assistant. I know plenty of people who just walked by the set and asked the production assistant if they’d have a job for them.  Prague is a fantastic place for students interested in getting into film. There are lots of opportunities with many big American production companies coming here to create content.

Also, they can always reach out to me. I’d be happy to connect with any young aspiring filmmakers and glad to chat or answer questions.  There are so many ways to get a foot in the door – applying to film festivals, writing spec scripts, etc. – and some are way more effective than others, so it can be helpful to know someone in the industry who can give advice or answer questions. 

Finally, while it’s easy always to do projects with your good friends, it’s important to experience working with lots of different people.  Not only does this refine your skills in negotiation, creative collaboration, and teamwork, but it also builds your network, which is important after graduation.  

Any personal insights or takeaways from your creative journey?  

It was important for me to learn to recognize my unique skills and strengths and learn to concentrate on those areas.

I wanted to be a screenwriter, then I wanted to be a director, and now I’m a producer, and I’m super happy.

In college, I remember seeing people struggle because they were really attached to one particular ambition, like acting, but actually, they had the skills to be a fantastic producer. Keeping an open mind and being real about your unique talents and skills is essential.  When you find what suits you and go for it, you will get those positions.