27 Aralık 2011 Salı

Interview with Duygu Sağıroğlu

This is an interview that I did with Duygu Sagiroglu in 29. 05. 2010. He is a filmmaker that I truly admire and he was really kind to give me his time in his office. Here, he talks about John Huston's relationship with his father and how he helped him to relaunch his career.

20 Aralık 2011 Salı

I am a Smoker

"The money is not in offline editing." says the digital artist on the video prepared to promote the Smoke in Mac. I still believe that editing requires a great deal of sensitivity and classical montage has a lot to do with what we are trying to accomplish today whether it is an art project, commercial film or any kind of broadcast. Yet I am aware that most clients nowadays prefer to finish their offline edit at home before starting to work with digital artists who are specialised in post production tools. I also believe that it is now a good time to enchance my skills in post-production and start learning some of the Alias softwares step by step. Smoke could be a good way to start.
I think for students and semi professional filmmakers, videography not only became an opportunity but also the only choice. I have kept myself away from this fact for the last couple of years and I tried to improve myself in other areas in filmmaking. But understanding some essential tools such as reading the scopes in grading tools makes my job a lot easier whether I am shooting or editing.
Media Composer and Final Cut Pro are considered to be as the two official softwares to do offline editing today. I prefer to use Adobe Premiere because I love the way Adobe Link works and I love to move within different softwares in post-production. Yet it is said that in Smoke, the process become one, and you can wrap up the whole project in one software.
My quest on the subject will continue.. :)

To see a previous post about Kubrick and montage, click here.

Back to Work!

Filmmaking has its own way.. And I love it in every way!

15 Aralık 2011 Perşembe

Camerimage 2011

This year's Camerimage had two significant value for me. First of all, I have had the pleasure to work as a cinematographer for Benjamin B to document his masterclasses. John Seale was one of the main guests during the festival and he had a long panel conducted by Benjamin B. The videos will be online soon in his website the filmbook.
Secondly, I had the opportunity to meet Todd Hayes. Haynes was, along with Ed Lachman, this year's director duo award guest. I had the chance to talk with him for a couple of minutes about Douglas Sirk and how Sirk influenced his filmmaking style.
For more information, visit Camerimage 2011' website.
The photographs above are taken by Kaan Arici.

6 Aralık 2011 Salı


I have been editing this documentary the last three months and I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of it. The shooting was done near Helsinki, in a small island and I captured the squirrels using a Canon XLH1 HDV camera. It is a work in progress and as you can see, I am trying to finish advanced color grading for the film. Once I finish grading, I will hopefully start the sound design process. I am still struggling to find a good sound designer, some designers don't want to take part in projects where there is almost no budget and some of them are just too busy. But I am sure I will be able to come with good collaborators who in the end will create impressive output.
The film depicts the ruthless rivalry to find the best nut ever. I have tried to use low angle compositions in order to represent the camera acting as almost a squirrel. Therefore I expect the sound design to be perceived as from the ears of the squirrels and give the audience the feeling of the depth of a forest.
I have to mention, here, that I have shown this film to my favorite cinematographer, Hoyte Van Hoytema during Camerimage 2011 and he was very impressed by the editing of the film.
I expect to finish this short documentary by the end of this month.
I would like to mention couple of links that I have found very useful during the post production of this film.
Here are the links that you may find useful:


Feel free to contact me for your comments. I am open to any kind of collaboration to finish this project.

16 Temmuz 2011 Cumartesi


Hello! It has been quite sometime since I have written anything in this blog. As a matter of fact, I have been having difficulties with some of the work that I am trying to accomplish and I still do. I thought making a list of the stuff that I would like to accomplish would be a good way to motivate myself. Why not write about the things that I would like to do, I have to do and I already did.

Let's start:

The things that I would like to do:
- Finding the right distribution channel for our short film "Evcilik" directed by Aytuğ Üngör and produced by me. (I have already made a list of film festivals in Turkey and we will start with Altın Portakal and the deadline is 12 of August. We will continue submitting our film to İzmir International Film Festival and Akbank Kısa Film Festival subsequently. Our aim is also to participate to film festivals abroad but I have not made a list about them yet. I am not sure if we will be able to get in first rate film festivals such as Cannes or Venice but we may have some good opportunities in festivals elsewhere! And by elsewhere, it is my job as the producer to find out the right festivals. My encounter with a photographer friend from Åland, Kenneth Bamberg may actually give us the opportunity to screen our film in that area.
- Develop the short film project I.N.D.I.A. This is a project that I have been willing to develop for a long time but the negative thoughts as well as insecurities because of not so much of lack of information, but from an exaggerated fear of making a mistake prevented me from doing so. And finding a way to integrate this project to my thesis -which is about staging methodologies- is also something that I have to think of.

The things that I have to do:

-Finish the last two videos for ISEA2011. We finished the shootings with Emre Birismen and now I have to finish the editing by Monday.
-Rewrite the introduction for the thesis.

The things that I did:

-I finished 16 videos for ISEA2011.
-We finished the shooting for my dear friend's exhibition Kenneth Bamberg.

Now I have to go but I hope to expand this list later on!

5 Haziran 2011 Pazar

From Charles Chaplin: My Autobiography

The mechanics of directing were simple in those days. I had only to know my left from my right for entrances and exists. If one exited right from a scene, one came in left in the next scene; if one exited towards the camera, one entered with one's back to the camera in the next scene. These, of course, were primary rules.
But with more experience I found that the placing of a camera was not only pscyhological but articulated a scene; in fact it was the basis of cinematic style. If the camera is a little to near, or too far, it can enhance or spoil an effect. Because economy of movement is important you don't want an actor to walk any unneccesary distance unless there is a special reason, for walking is not dramatic. Therefore placement of camera should effect composition and a graceful entrance for the actor. Placement of camera is cinematic inflection. There is no set rule that a close-up gives more emphasis than a long shot. A close-up is a question of feeling; in some instances a long shot can effect greater emphasis.

p. 152

25 Nisan 2011 Pazartesi

Stan Winston Studios

I remember when I was an undergraduate student at Bilgi University, I was desperately sending my CV to Stan Winston Studios. Of course I never received any reply from them but that's okay. :) I think the first time I sent my CV was in the year 2005.
But my real fascination to Stan Winston really started after having seen Jurassic Park in 1993 when I was eight years old. I was astonished by what I have seen on the big screen and it was just incredible.
When I was in Taik, in Helsinki (maybe the only film school left in the world where they have production design department as well - because today most of the film school don't have a design studio) I was walking around through the studios and I found this book about the art and craft of Stan Winston Studios. I decided to scan the pages related to Dinosaurs and share it in this blog!
Stan Winston passed away couple of years ago but the studio is still very active.
You can check an extract from the book by clicking here.

Terrence Masson, a full time academic faculty and Director of Creative Industries at Northeastern University in Boston came to Sabanci University for Isea2011 Istanbul and he presented his paper Revolution. Excellence. Agility. I was very pleased by the lecture as it also covered his collaboration with Stan Winston. Here's the video. I hope you enjoy it. 

24 Nisan 2011 Pazar


It is nice to realize that I can log in to my blog again and write whatever I want. The last couple of weeks have been both exciting and sometimes depressing. As usual, I am reading a lot of stuff for my thesis but when it comes to writing, the process becomes very difficult. The Film Festival is now over and it was nice to see a bunch of good films as well as some old friends from high school.
I think the best part of the Film Festival was the conversation with Derviş Zaim which was held in Aksanat. You can see an extract from this link.
As for my projects, I am trying to develop two fiction films but my biggest fear is to let them go before they have been incubated long enough. I think this is something that I usually do, I start discouraging myself about how bad my ideas are and in the end, the projects dies, unrealized.
In that sense, I think it would be nice to share in this blog, an article from the good, old Mackendrick about the techniques for having ideas. But most importantly, how to keep them alive?

6 Şubat 2011 Pazar

Words and Movies by Stanley Kubrick

The perfect novel from which to make a movie is, I think, not the novel of action but, on the contrary, the novel which is mainly concerned with the inner life of its characters. I t will give the adaptor an absolute compass bearing, as it were, on what a character is thinking or feeling at any given moment of the story. And from this he can invent action which will be an objective correlative of the book's psychological content, will accurately dramatise this in an implicit, off-the-nose way without resorting to having the actors deliver literal statements of meaning.
I think that for a movie or a play to say anything really truthful about life, it has to do so very obliquely, so as to avoid all pat conclusions and neatly ties-up ideas. The point of view it is conveying has to be completely entwined with a sense of life as it is, and has to be got across through a subtle injection into the audience's consciousness. Ideas which are valid and truthful are so multi-faceted that they don't yield themselves to frontal assault. The ideas have to be discovered by the audience, and their thrill in making the discovery makes those ideas all the more powerful. You use the audience's thrill of surprise and discovery to reinforce your ideas, rather than reinforce them artificially through plot points or phoney drama or phoney stage dynamics put in to power them across.
It's sometimes said that a great novel makes a less promising basis for a film than a novel which is merely good. I don't think that adapting great novels presents any special problems which are not involved in adapting good novels or mediocre novels; except that you will be more heavily criticised if the film is bad, and you may be even if it's good. I think almost any novel can be successfully adapted, provided it is not one whose aesthetic integrity is lost along with its length. For example, the kind of novel in which a great deal and variety of action is absolutely essential to the story, so that it loses much of its point when you subtract heavily from the number of events on their development.
People have asked me how it is possible to make a film out of Lolita when so much of the quality of the book depends on Nabokov's prose style. But to take the prose style as any more that just a part of a great book is simply misunderstanding just what a great book is. Of course, the quality of the writing is one of the elements that make a novel great. But this quality is a result of the quality of the writer's obsession with his subject, with a theme and a concept and a view of life and an understanding of character. Style is what an artist uses to fascinate the beholder in order to convey him his feelings and emotions and thought. These are what have to be dramatised, not the style. The dramatising has to find a style of its own, as it will do if it really grasps the content. And in doing this it will bring out another side of that structure which has gone into the novel. It may or may not be as good as the novel; sometimes it may in certain ways be even better.