26 Aralık 2009 Cumartesi

The Verdict: A Collaboration of David Mamet and Sidney Lumet

I was once asked during an interview about Eisenstein Montage Theory whether it has changed during the history of cinema or not? I responded without hesitation. No!
Of course, cinema is a form of art that is very much related to technology, and every new invention brings something to the craft, but essentials don't go away. When, in the fifties, American film producers chose to go with a wider and deeper screen called CinemaScope in order to make a difference against television, Andre Bazin called it "fin du montage". Of course, that wasn't true. When we think about dominant cinema, we still tell our stories within the cuts.
Here's what Mamet, the scriptwriter of "The Verdict" says about visual storytelling and montage.
There's another way to make a movie, which is the way that Eisenstein suggested a movie should be made. This method has nothing to do with following the protagonist around but rather is a succession of images juxtaposed so that the contrast between these images moves the story forward in the mind of the audience. This is a very succinct rendition of Eisenstein's theory of montage; it is also the first thing I know about film directing, virtually the only thing I know about film directing.
You always want to tell the story in cuts. Which is to say, through a juxtaposition of images that are basically uninflected image. A shot of a teacup. A shot of a spoon. A shot of a fork. A shot of a door. Let the cut tell the story. Because otherwise you have not got dramatic action, you have narration. If you slip into narration, you are saying "you'll never guess why what I just told you is important to the story." It's important that the audience should guess why it is important to the story. It is important simply to tell the story. Let the audience be surprised.
The movie, finally, is much closer than the play to simple storytelling. If you listen to the way people tell stories, you will hear that they tell them cinematically. They jump from one thing to the next, and the story is moved along by the juxtaposition of images - which is to say, by the cut.
People say, "I'm standing on the corner. It's a foggy day. A bunch of people are running around crazy. Might have been the full moon. All of a sudden, a car comes up and the guy next to me says..."
If you think about it, that's a shot list: (1) a guy standing on the corner; (2) shot of a fog; (3) a full moon shining above; (4) a man says, "I think people get wacky this time of year"; (5) a car approaching.
This is good filmmaking, to juxtapose images. Now you are following the story. What, you wonder, is going to happen next?

In that case, my shot list would be as following:
1. I leave the glass with the liquid in it in my room.
2. I have lunch in the restaurant.
3. I come back to my room.
4. A close up of the glass. Melted.
5. The expression of my face.
6. I enter in the studio, he is painting.

Well, I think that looks premising. But it can be better.
Now what Mamet argues here is interesting:
The truth is, you never have to establish the character. In the first place, there is no such thing as character other than the habitual action, as Mr. Aristotle told us two thousands years ago. It just doesn't exits...
...As long as the protagonist wants something, the audience will want something. As long as the protagonist is clearly going out and attempting to get that something, the audience will wonder whether or not he is going to succeed...
Now, after having red this, I will try to make a shot list of the very first scene of "The Verdict".

1. A working class funeral. There are about thirty people.
2. A man (Funeral Director) with a black suit fills the screen.
3. Second man (Galvin) puts discreetly folded ten dollar into director's pocket.
4. They all walk to the funeral parlor.
5. Widow is crying.
6. These two men approaches her.
7. Funeral Director: "Mrs. Dee, This is Joe Galvin, a very good friends of ours and a very fine attorney."
8. Widow nods.
9. Galvin: "I knew him vaguely through the Lodge. He was a wonderful man. It is a crime what happened to him. A crime. If there is anything I could do to help..."
10. Galvin removes his business card from his pocket and hands it to her as he was giving her money. (i.e., "Take it, I want you to have it...")
11. She takes the card.

25 Aralık 2009 Cuma


I experienced something very interesting yesterday. It reminded me ellipsis, transformation, time and change. I had to do a shooting for a project and I needed special liquid for the paint. Therefore, I went to see a painter friend of mine and took some liquid from him. We put it in a plastic glass and I left it in my room. It was early in the morning and he was just recently woke up.
I didn't know anything about the characteristics of the liquid and I thought I didn't have to. He just told me how to apply it to the paint and I didn't ask anymore questions about it.
After leaving the liquid in my room, I thought I might have lunch and I could hopefully do my shootings afterward.
After I came back, I realized that, the liquid melted the glass and was all over the place. The plastic had a strange look. It wasn't solid anymore but became much more into something more organic.
Because I didn't know anything about the liquid, I didn't realize the cause and effect. It reminded me that while I was somewhere else, something occurred in my room without my control but because of me. And this was a strange feeling.
One of the things that I immediately thought was the picture above. It is taken from the book "The Story of Film" written by Mark Cousins. Here, he mentions three filmmakers from different periods, who influenced themselves and changed and manipulated the same shot within the history of Cinema.
How directors learn from each other: Carol Reed has a visual idea, Jean - Luc Godard adapts it and Martin Scorsese modifies it still further.

At the same time, I thought about something completely different. Storytelling and Dramatic Irony.

Dramatic irony is described by Mackendrick as follows:
A situation where one or more of the characters on the screen is ignorant of the circumstances known to us in the audience.
Most stories with a strong plot are built on the tension of cause and effect. Each incident is like a domino that topples forward to collide with the next in a sequence which holds the audience in a grip of anticipation. "So, what happens next?" Each scene presents a small crisis that as it plays out produces a new uncertainty.
And this is a description given by Hitchcock about the relation between dramatic irony and suspense:
Let us suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an explosion. .The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequences. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it... In these conditions this same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen:"You shouldn't be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb underneath you and it is about to explode!"
The American Heritage dictionary defines irony as "The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning."

In my case, if I am the hero in my story and the spectator is following me throughout the whole story therefore their range of knowledge is equal to what I have, than what I experience and feel is the same that the audience has.(We expect the average audience not to have any knowledge about the characteristic of the liquid.) And that creates a certain identification between the reader, audience or spectator and the character.
Because I left the liquid in a plastic glass, it melted. Therefore I had to revisit my painter friend to get another one. And that was the main effect in the story. That I had to visit him again.
What I realized after I went to his studio is that he already started working. I didn't really realize the time has passed and I hadn't done any work until that moment. So, I was stressed. Something also was changed during that time. That he wasn't still hangover like I saw him the last time, but he started working during the time that I experienced all of this.

Some Books I Should Read Before The End of 2009!

Nicholas Ray: An American Journey - Bernard Eisenschitz

I was Interrupted: Nicholas Ray on Making Movies - Nicholas Ray

My Last Sigh: Luis Bunuel

The Interpretation of Dreams: Sigmund Freud

The Uses of Enchantment: Bruno Bettelheim

The Parade's Gone By: Kevin Brownlow

Picture: Lillian Ross

Hitchcock / Truffaut: François Truffaut

An Unspeakable Betrayal: Selected Writings of Luis Bunuel

Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of "Heaven's Gate", The Film That Sank United Artists - Steven Bach

Technique Of Film Editing - Karel Reisz, Gavin Miller

20 Kasım 2009 Cuma

Thank you Nigel Walters BSC

"An early morning hotel breakfast is not the usual time to encounter lively film students. The first to appear with the typical live - in look was Barbaros Gokdemir, the lone Turkish participant, who informed me that he had found the most useful aspect in the previous three days, had been the lectures. Lectures are harder to come by in developing countries such as Turkey. On the bus journey the magnificent Korda Studios the various advantages of this style of "hands on" Master Classes with lectures and analysis carefully choreographed were to be revealed to me by various scholars and participants."
Thank you Nigel Walters for mentioning about me in your article about the Budapest Cinematography Masterclass 2009. It has been quite a long time since the masterclass is over but I just found out about this article and I was very happy. The Masterclass provided me with an invaluable experience of the craft of cinematography, filmmaking, and collaboration. I was able to work with film students from different 16 nationality and a very strong mixture of film schools. To meet and work with film students from UCLA, Nfts, Taik, Lodz, Victorian College of Art, Westminster, FTII and many others put me on the right track in the sense of knowledge and experience and gave me a chance to enhance my skills on cinematography. I believe what I recieved from the masterclass is transferable and marketable in the field and it will help me reach my goals as a filmmaker.
Without the masterclass, I don't know if I would have the experience to work with Panavision cameras under the supervision of a great tutor Benjamin Bergery. Working on Korda Studios and understanding how a sound stage really works and how major productions are being done is very crucial. Having lectures and conversations with great cinematographers like Vilmos Zsigmond and Elemer Ragalyi and great tutors like Nik Powell, and having a chance to meet and hear his experiences on film industry from Anthony Dod Mantle was all a part of the masterclass.
I miss you Budapest and I am very happy to be a part of the masterclass.

10 Kasım 2009 Salı

Filmmaking Has No Boundaries

"Telling stories, communicating through images is what this profession is about. Today the film industry is a global sector and filmmaking has no boundaries. A project may launch in France, the pre- production part may be done in Italy, the production may be handled in Middle East and post - production in England. Within the international working environment I think it is crucial for any young filmmaker to have advanced social skills. I believe studying at the University of **** will provide with an invaluable social experience: to work, collaborate and create with people from different backgrounds who share the same passion for films and filmmaking."

That's what I wrote in my letter of intent last year for my application for graduate degrees. And finally, I am experiencing what I said. A friend of mine from Turkey is about to finish his graduate degree in England, Westminster Film School and he just completed the principal photography of his thesis project in London. He is still there fighting to get a decent post - production company to get the timings and gradings of his picture and I am sitting in my room at Sabanci University, editing his thesis project. It is incredible how technology evolved and became what it became today. It is just extraordinary. I am just editing a short film that was shot by a Turkish director with British actors and actresses and with a British team. I mean of course, we knew that from big productions of Hollywood that we were led to a work flow without the boundaries of space and time but I never imagined that I could be a part of a film project just sitting in my room. If I am lucky and if I am good at what I am doing (first of all you have to know what you are doing, right!) in the future, I may even edit the new film of Tom Cruise that was just shot in L.A. which has to go all over the World within the virtual space to complete the post - production. The future is full of opportunities and it is a god damn fair play!

9 Kasım 2009 Pazartesi

Missing the Reality

Last Friday, I found out that two close friends of mine are getting engaged. I was very surprised by that and of course very happy. The reason why I was very surprised by that is because it is not something that occurs very often in my life. Or because I am just getting older and older (though I am only 24), that kind of event will occur more often that usual because all my friends and I are getting in a period where we can officially work, have a career, get married and have kids.
Actually, that wasn't the only factor that I was affected by this event. That we are getting adults. But I started questioning myself. What am I doing for god's sake. Sometimes you lose yourself in trying to make long terms plans for your life and for your career and you lose the reality and what is happening around you. You forget to be happy. You forget that you can actually love someone, meet someone or even have a conversation with someone. As an individual who always had issues on having intimate relationships with the opposite sex, it gave me a chance to question myself. And I am happy for that.
When I think about my past relationships, I can't stop thinking about the notion space and time. Thought I was always close to my girlfriends in case of in the same city or even sometimes in the same house, the idea of making progress in life, achieving something always destroyed my relationships. And I wasn't always the guilty one. The objectives and our passions in our lives made us so different that our relationship became a conflict for them and it was something that we had to abandon. It always led us to loneliness.
Now, I am scared of having a relationship. One reason for that is because I cannot really trust anybody. You say "Relationship? What for?" You know that it is going to end with a failure again. Does it worth it? I don't know.

8 Kasım 2009 Pazar

How Does One Take an Action as a Filmmaker?

I don't know about you but aren't you sick of hearing the same advices from the filmmakers you admire so much? Why is that? Are there some kinds of things that they have to say in interviews of stuff like that in order to promote a certain product? Or may be we are caring to much about what they say and we ideolize them and this is something that we shouldn't be doing!
I was reading another article or interview by Roger Deakins and I am sick of hearing the same phrases.
Here one for exemple:
"A lot of people say it's nicely photographed, and I think it is," he says. "And I think it's the simplicity that makes it well photographed. ... It's not like these are necessarily fantastic images; it's really about the content. It's not about making great images."
"When you move the camera, or you do a shot like the crane down [in Shawshank] with them standing on the edge of the roof, then it's got to mean something," he says. "You've got to know why you're doing it; it's got to be for a reason within the story, and to further the story."
In a way, I am obsessed about reading interviews. But doesn't seem to be improving anything in me. Or may be I am wrong but I just can't make it anything out of it to really understand their choices and of course when I am in action (producing something) doesn't really make it easier for my choices and my dilemmas. For me they are saying to much and at the same time, they are saying anything. It really doesn't answer any of my needing as a person who wants to do that job. I guess you just have to find a way to answer all these questions and that is something that has to come from within. And that's really the point when you really understand the craft and this profession and actually all the answers are already in yourself. You just have to look for it. In that way, I am trying to be as much optimistic as I can.
"There's nothing worse than an ostentatious shot," Deakins argues. "Or some lighting that draws attention to itself, and you might go, 'Oh, wow, that's spectacular.' Or that spectacular shot, a big crane move, or something. But it's not necessarily right for the film — you jump out, you think about the surface, and you don't stay in there with the characters and the story."

24 Ekim 2009 Cumartesi

Missing the Camera

It has been quite a long time since I didn't shot anything. I am dying to shoot something. Anything. Short film, documentary, music videos whatever I can get. The reason why I haven't shot anything for a long time is because recently I have decided to take part in big projects that I could only work as an assistant director or assistant editor. But now, I have the confidence to take full responsibility as a cinematographer or director to realize projects. The other reason why I stopped working as a cameraman is my thesis project that I have mentioned before. After my thesis project, I felt like I lost my ability and I didn't have what was required for this profession. But I was wrong. I am not going to listen any criticize and I will not be afraid of making mistakes. And I will not apologize because I am using the latest camera, sorry middle age old fashioned cinematographers located in Istanbul but this is the future and you are already too behind.

15 Ekim 2009 Perşembe


From now on, I will write all my dreams on my blog. I always thought about writing my dreams somewhere because I usually forget them even the ones that really affects me.
I think I had this dream in 2008 but I am not really sure. But I know it has been more than one year. I am from Izmir but my parents are from Akhisar, Manisa. I lived all my life in Izmir. My grandmother still lives in Akhisar and she lived in the same house I think for more than 30 years. So I only saw the house that she is living now and didn't see the previous ones.
When I was younger or when I was kid, we used to go there every holiday to see my grandparents. It is one of these usual grandparent's houses where every children may feel annoyed when he is there because there is really nothing special about it and there isn't really a decent television.
In the dream, I am at the same age as I am now and I am alone in my grandmother's house which I think never happened before. I have never stayed there by myself, there was always other people, my parents or my grandmother. A knock in the door and I go to check the door. Two middle age men which from their appearances, you can understand that they are local, they may be farmer or something, they enter in the house without asking me anything. I don't understand and I feel stressed about it but they don't tell me anything except pushing me. They go to the living room and I am trying to understand what is going on. One of them sits by the table where there is a laptop. (I have never seen a laptop in this house before because I never took mine there, and of course because my grandmother doesn't have one.) The other one starts to push me by the window. I can remember harsh light coming in from the window, It is in the middle of daytime and I am trying to get these people out of the house. The other one turns on the laptop and he starts to surf on the Internet. The one who was pushing me goes next to him to see what is on the laptop. They are now not talking and watching the screen. I am going close to them to understand what they are watching and I see that they are watching a porn film on the Internet.
That was a very tense dream which I am thinking about it for a very long time to understand why have I dream something like that. Needless to say, for me, it was a nightmare.

9 Ekim 2009 Cuma

Another Shark in a Suit

Everybody loves you. Pisses me off.

Jerry Maguire: I'm finished, I'm fucked. Twenty four hours ago, man, I was hot! Now... I'm a cautionary tale. You see this jacket I'm wearing, you like it? Because I don't really need it. Because I'm cloaked in failure! I lost the number one draft picked the night before the draft! Why? Let's recap: Because a hockey player's kid made me feel like a superficial jerk. I ate two slices of bad pizza, went to bed and grew a conscious!

Okay. I am going to talk about a film which I think it will give me the opportunity to fully describe what I enjoy seeing and what I intend to do. Actually I am very much interested about male characters fighting for their goals, fighting to earn money, earning respect from the others, get a decent powerful career... If possible conquer the world. I am interested about smart characters who want it all.
The film, Jerry Maguire may seem cheesy to many but I think it is a very powerful film in case of written character and its strong visual storytelling. Jerry is a successful sport agent, he is strong, funny, dependable. He is working in a major company called Sport Management International. "Everybody loves him" is one of the tag lines of the film. But at the age of 35, after a nervous breakdown, he starts writing a mission statement in one night "The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business", proposing "Fewer Clients, Less Money" but a better personal support to the clients. He delivers it to everyone in the company but of course in the next day, he is fired.
Once he is alone, he becomes the boss of himself, Jerry is so frighten that he instinctively tries to get all his clients back with his new company as opposed to his mission statement that he is about to start but like a destiny, he can only convince two of his ex-clients.He is now confronting with his writings, "Less Clients, Less Money" even he doesn't want to because he just wants to get to back to business to get a revenge from his ex-bosses. One of clients is a very young promising football player and the other one is a black, in his mid-thirties who thinks only about money to support his big family.
At the same time, Jerry who was never alone in his life breaks up with his fiancée and another challenge awaits him. Loneliness.
But the main conflict starts when the young promising football player which he was his only savor decides in last moment to make a deal with Sport Management International, Jerry is now with only one client who doesn't promise a potential as a football player, he is difficult to work with, he is aggressive and everybody finds him a pain the ass in the team. But as oppossed to Jerry, he has a very strong respect and caring for family values which Jerry in the end will learn a lot from him.
So Jerry, in his journey, will have to continue with the most difficult football player to get back in the business and will have the chance to really understand and go through all that he wrote before. In a way, now he has the chance to prove whether he was right or wrong to himself and to really understand what really matters in life. Like his mentor would say "Personal relations are the keys to this business."

Jerry Maguire: I will not rest until I have you holding a Coke, wearing your own shoe, playing a Sega game *featuring you*, while singing your own song in a new commercial, *starring you*, broadcast during the Super bowl, in a game that you are winning, and I will not *sleep* until that happens. I'll give you fifteen minutes to call me back.

Now, another thing which I would like to discuss here has got nothing to do with Jerry Maguire, but something that I shot two years ago as an exercise. I love working with maquette, small figures and stuff because it gives me the chance to experiment things that I really can't in real life because it is expensive. Therefore I like to work with actions figures, light them, direct them and creating a living environment for them. I think the most difficult part is creating the environment, for example this saloon doesn't really look to real because there is really no detail, no traces of past, time, doesn't really look like it is living. And to do that, you really have to work really detailed in order to create a living environment. And it is really a craft. It is what production designers do actually.

What I would really like to do as a long term project is actually combine both. A very well written character and a story with a very strong sense of visual storytelling. But isn't that every filmmaker wants to achieve at the end?

1 Ekim 2009 Perşembe

Sweet Smell of Success

I always think about successful people because in a way I don't want to be a loser in life. I want to be appreciated. I want my grandmother to tell her friends that she is proud of me and that in a way I made all the clever choices in life and I always worked hard and I made something out of my life. When I got in a film program in 2004, she didn't tell her friends that I was going to study film. But what is success really? 2008 was the worst year in my life. I mean it was really bad. I was working for my thesis project which was a short film that I wanted to do but I really got unlucky during the production process. Okay, I have to admit, I had a very weak script and I just couldn't make it better. I felt like the main character in Barton Fink, I mean whatever I did just didn't work for that script. My intention was to make a film about characters because that would enable me to really work closely with actors and acting and I was thinking that could sharpen my skills of directing. I think I was right in that way if there is one thing I don't regret, this is it. But the script? It was a nightmare! The other problem was that I just couldn't find a decent professor who would go with me with all the process of scriptwriting. When it came to casting, it just got worst. I mean let tell you something about the young generation actors situated in Istanbul. Of course there may be exceptions but they are really running away from the hard work. I visited all the universities which had theatre program. I mean what are you waiting for? I am an aspiring film student and you want to be an actor, what are you waiting for? Are you waiting an invitation from Spielberg? This is a chance for you to show yourself, to experiment, to know yourself and even if you don't want that, it is an opportunity to know people. I mean what more can I say. Most of the actors in Istanbul, they live in Cihangir, they usually go to tv serial shooting (which I think is a nightmare) for two or three days a week and the rest of the time, they drink tea in the middle of Cihangir doing nothing! They sit there with there huge ego talking about how big they will become as an actor in the future. Let me tell you something. You are not going anywhere and you are not going to leave Cihangir for the rest of your life! But I am sure the second one is what you expect from life. Like I said before, there are some exceptions. For example, the actress which I could find in the last moment was really great and she really wanted to be a part of it. I was very luck to have her.
The day when I was going to show my film to the professors in my university, I was stressed. There were about 40 or 50 people in the screening room and I always feel weird when I watch my work with the audience. After the screening, when I got up in front of everybody, there was an uncomfortable silence for about a minute. Than people started to yell about how bad the film was. I just coulnd't say anything. And I worked hard not to cry there.
I was feeling very bad but I just had to find a way to get over it. After 3 days of screening, I was going to start to work in a feature film as an assistant director which I was waiting eagerly, I was invited there by my professor which I had a great relationship in the school, I wasn't going to get paid but I really liked the director and I was looking forward to it. At the same time, I got an e-mail from the film school that I applied two months before saying that they were interested in my portfolio but wanted to know more about me and I made a schedule with them on the day of my birthday, 2nd of july, for the interview. I had 2 weeks before that day.
People I started to work with on the feature were really mean to me. I think this is something that I will never understand for the rest of my life because I don't know why they acted this way. My professor too, was very hard on me and I just didn't know what to do. I was trying to be positive all the time but everything I said or did was wrong for them. I was already feeling very bad because of my graduation film and this was very hard for me. Every time, I thought about quitting, I said to myself not to give up and every time I wanted to speak to my professor, he never had time for me and everytime I wanted to ask him about something, he would yell at me for no reason. I mean why?
The day before the interview, I told them that I was going to have an interview tomorrow, we had to go to Beykoz for the production, than at some point, I would go back to my house to get online on skype. Tomorrow morning, when I was at Beykoz, my brother who was staying with me called me that there were calling me on skype from the school. I couldn't believe it. I always thought it was going to be in the afternoon but not in the morning. I was working so hard that I just couldn't realize it was going to be in the morning. I called the school, they gave me 15 minutes!! From Beykoz to Sisli?! I arrived home in 45 minutes but it was already too late. I missed the interview with Brian Tufano and I missed my chance. And it was my birthday. And for a very long time, I really felt like a loser. I still do.

30 Eylül 2009 Çarşamba


I hate myself when my answer is "I don't know" when someone older and more experienced than me asks me something about what I want to do in my life and what I expect from the future. I don't think I have ever been lazy in my life. Actually what is lazy? Is it when you are good in your studies in high school or whatever and that makes you a hardworking person? I don't think so. When I was a teenage, I was distracted by many other things. Girls, Stanley Kubrick, Robocop and my grades were average but I was always interested in something. I did theater, acting because I just loved to act and to be on the stage in front of everybody. I was interested in learning other languages, I had additional classes to learn Italian and English at the weekends. But there was one thing that was very obvious. Film. Now people ask me everywhere this question. "What are you going to do?" And I say I don't know. Actually I know it. I know it from the age of 13. But I just don't know how to do it. There is one thing that I cant figure it out that blocks me do it. Or maybe I am just impatient. Or maybe I wasn't lucky enough to find the right companion so far to share my ideas with or to work with all the time. Or maybe I didn't made the right decisions at some point in my life. But that's okay I think. I am in this road now, and I dont have the intention to shy away from the hard work.
I hate when people criticize me because of my choices. Or I hate when people find me not appropriate for my choices. I exactly know what I am doing and believe me, I have thought about it just last night more that you did in your entire life.
I was very lucky to be in a workshop in Budapest last month where I had the chance to meet with film students from different places who share the same passion for films and filmmaking. Anthony Dod Mantle came to visit us and told us he didn't know what to do until the age of thirty but he never stopped trying and forcing himself to find what he is actually looking for in life. It is a path actually and it is a very long path. Last year, he won an Oscar for his work Slumdog Millionaire.
Now, people who know me very well, know that I was trying to get in a school for two years but I was unfortunate because I missed my interview for the application process. God, I worked so hard to get in that film school! Believe me, I did everything. Sometimes things just happens and you cant control it. There is nothing you can do about it.
I am now in a art school and I feel strange. People ask me "Do you want to become an artist or stay in the mainstream?" My answer is obvious. Mainstream!. It was decided before I was born before the time of the Alexander the Great before all the myths were created. But then they ask me this question. "Is there anybody you can work with at this school?" And my answer is I don't know.
Scottish born british director Alexander Mckendrick was a great film director. But in some point in his life he just couldn't work anymore. Because he just didn't like the way film directors had to start to promote themselves in Hollywood to get a job and he just didn't make any films until the day he died for twenty years. But in his second part of his life, he started teaching at the famous film and art school Calarts, in California. His teachings were absolute, sharp, fascinating and inspiring. He taught so many young filmmakers and he inspired them. I wish I could be his student. David Mamet, in some point in his life taught at Columbia. And we all know about Terence Malick who is a very famous professor in Harvard who contributed a lot to the motion picture making business only with his four groundbreaking films. Why do I tell you this? I don't know.
I was also very impressed when I met film students in this workshop. They didn't have any fear or they weren't stressed because of their choices. They were just happy to be in that profession and didn't really care about more than that. I mean how do you do that? Is it only me who thinks about everything to much more and feels stressed and I just can't handle it anymore.
I think I will have to finish this writing some other time but I don't know how to end it. By the way, Mckendrick used to say, if you have a great beginning for a story but don't have an ending, there is probably a problem in the beginning...

What Makes This Shot Believable?

I love production design. Actually, I love production designers. Production designers are the best and sometimes worst friends of cinematographers. Just look at this shot, from Coen's film "No Country For Old Men" which was shot by Roger Deakins ASC, BSC. If you look closely you will see the details of the wall which is dusty, dark and sticky. This kind of work done by production designers makes the visuality of the film much stronger and gives much more space to cinematographers to play with.
This is the first time that I am writing to this blog and I just wanted to share a certain shot from a film which I love and to show why particularly I love it. I will try to share more stills from certain films to discuss certain area of filmmaking and also just to talk and think about it.