Krystyna came to California in 1987. She was born the eldest daughter
of a Polish immigrant and RCA factory worker and was brought up with
old fashioned solid work ethics and a business tool her father impressed
upon her, which was ‘make what you want from others easy for them to
After one short year and losing her corporate job during the dot com
bust, and with nothing more than a telephone and an idea to create a
company, Krystyna and her future husband launched one of the early U.S.
visual effects studios, Matte World, being the second visual effects
company serving motion pictures based in Marin County. In the
male-dominated movie industry and with Industrial Light & Magic as
her neighbor, this was gutsy. She was gutsy and unwavering in her vision
to create this company and sustain it. She was the heart of the company
often referred to as "The Mother of Matte World".
Matte World began its legacy of producing images of lasting
significance for film, against the odds of competing with local giant
Industrial Light & Magic for a particular type of visual effect,
when it made contact with HBO and secured it's first contract for the
seedling company. Within one year of establishing her new company,
Krystyna won her first Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects for an HBO
Krystyna became the first woman in Marin County, and possibly the
first woman in the United States, to own a visual effects company,
producing special effects for film. She is among the very first women to
be a credited Visual Effects Producer in film as well. She is unique in
having created, owned and operated a company – while being its producer
of visual effects at the same time. This from a woman who re-invented
herself to fulfill a financial need while having no prior background in
the 'biz' or the production of visual effects.
As an entrepreneur, Krystyna ran her company for 19 years as a Visual
Effects Producer and Executive Producer and has shown excellence in the
field through her contributions to 84 films, numerous commercials, a
Michael Jackson video and projects for The National Park System and The
New York American Museum of Natural History.
Krystyna’s company was the first in the film industry to apply
radiosity rendering (a certain computer software based technique of
lighting objects in an architectural model) to motion picture film, in
Martin Scorsese's "Casino".
Krystyna has worked on such notable films as Tim Burton's "Batman
Returns", Francis Ford Coppola's "Braum Stoker's Dracula", Martin
Scorsese's "Casino", James Cameron's "Titanic" and David Fincher's
She leaves a legacy that will last for generations to come, immortalized by film and digital medias.
FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS and NOMINATIONS:
- Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects - "By Dawn’s Early Light", 1990
- Nominated for Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and
BAFTA Awards for Achievement in Visual effects - "Batman Returns", 1992.
- Gold Plaque for Best Special Effects, Chicago International Film Festival - "The Utilizer", 1996.
- Nominated for BAFTA for Achievement In Special Visual Effects for "The Truman Show", 1999.
- Nominated for Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding
Visual Effects In A Special Venue Project For "Greece: Secrets of the
- Nominated for Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Visual Effects In A Motion Picture for "Zodiac", 2007.
In addition to visual effects work, Krystyna produced the
televised science fiction film, "The Utilizer," which won “Best Visual
Effects” at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Krystyna contributed to the production, research and licensing of
images for a comprehensive book about visual effects matte paintings
authored by her former husband and Mark Cotta Vaz, 2002, called, “The
Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Painting.” The book received
the ‘Outstanding Book on Film’ Award from the Theatre Library
Association of New York and ‘Golden Pen Book Award’ from Theatre
Krystyna was also a featured contributor to the book, “The Power of
Miracle Thinking”, by Randy Peyser 2008, endorsed by 3 New York Times
best selling authors, Marci Shimoff from “The Secret,” Caroline Myss,
and Terry Cole-Whittaker.