Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012
Thanks for your time, Olçun. We want to find out what storytelling means in the digital age. I gather you last worked on Black Hawk Dawn. Doing what, exactly?
I was responsible for the 3-D effects on set, along with Tim Burk, the visual effects supervisor who also worked on Gladiator. We had to make sure that the effects would function later in the studio. There was a helicopter crash, for example, that couldnt be done technically with a real helicopter and had to be realised digitally.
So you were with the shoot in Rabat, Morocco?
Yes, we were in the citys poorer outlying districts, reconstructing Mogadishu in Morocco. And then once again on the computer in the office.
What was your method?
On set I used a surveying technique from engineering to measure the streets and buildings and their distances from one another. Later, on the computer, I reconstructed the environment using photogrammetry.
But you didnt run around with a ruler, you took photos.
I had a special digital camera which let me survey quite comfortably. The complicated aspect was that these streets are up to a kilometre long and 500 metres wide, but we had to survey them because we didnt know exactly what the director wanted. Then on the computer we could do whatever he needed. For example the stadium. We created a non-existent building with the computer, which enabled the director to realise his project. Its also a cost factor, and without the stadium the film couldnt have been made.
It also couldnt be made in Mogadishu.
Thats right, they didnt have the environment they needed for the film. There was the possibility of shooting in Casablanca, but thats a really advanced city, and when you fly over it in a helicopter you can see all kinds of modern buildings you dont get in Mogadishu.
The helicopter scene is central to the film, but the helicopter was only partly animated.
There were several different takes. We had real military helicopters, but digital ones were added when it wasnt possible to carry out a manoeuvre safely with a real helicopter. We also couldnt have any dust in the shots, because that would have made the developed film unpredictable you might just see the dust and not the actors so we decided to put it in afterwards on the computer. To do this we used the survey data, which enabled us to reconstruct the movements of the cameraman.
Theres a lot of dust in the film. Is it all digital?
Some scenes were shot in the studio, but others were only possible on the computer. For example the scene where the camera revolves 230 degrees around the actor. That cant be done in the studio because the motion control would be revealed and spoil the image. So we did that one completely digitally. We also made digital scraps of paper fly around. Working with the computer means you have everything under your control your creativity, for example. You can adjust the elements to fit into your story. If you want to point something out to the viewer unconsciously you can do it better digitally. A piece of paper flying towards the camera is difficult to control, but its no problem on the computer.
Do you see your job as making impossible images appear natural?
Yes, I do. Its important to have the possibility of making things that havent already been seen especially today when there are so many productions otherwise it gets boring. In the past, visual effects were often used for pop films, today we try to improve and enhance the images carefully. I see my role in the area of image enhancement the addition of invisible visual effects that arent noticeable as such. For example a non-existent building on the right of the frame you dont see it because its completely integrated into the real one.
Do you think you actually tell stories through your work?
I dont usually tell the story. I hear it from the person who wants to tell one and then I think about how he can do it. But Im telling the story with him, so I try to empathise with what he wants to show and thats how the visual effects come about. If you dont get involved with the story, you cant work constructively with the director or the visual effects supervisor. I take care of the technical aspects and how to realise them, and usually new possibilities emerge that enable the director to do things hed previously thought unworkable. A good example in Black Hawk Dawn was the helicopter crash. We did it on set first, and digitally enhanced it later. I used the tools I had developed for Tomb Raider, because I saw a connection there. I did the first tests with a digital helicopter that loses its rotor blades in the crash, and Tim Burk took them back to LA. Ridley Scott was sure we had to do this crash in part digitally and in combination with the real helicopters.
Olçun Tan was interviewed by Rolf Krämer.
Source : ed-ward.de
Saturday, Jun 23, 2012
The Second "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival" launches at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 for a one-week celebration of Kazakh cinema and culture, including musicians.
The festival is a stellar opportunity for directors, producers, location scouts, and the general public to get an understanding and appreciation of this exotic locale without leaving home.
Sweeping from the Caspian Sea on its Russian border to the Altai Mountain range on the Chinese border, Kazakhstan has a rich nomadic history as well as a powerful current tapestry of cultures. Since gaining independence in 1991, the Central Asian Republic has embraced its remarkable filmmaking past that dates back to the 1930's, when Sergei Eisenstein made his classic Ivan the Terrible in this mystic land, and has even given rise to several "New Wave" movements.
Opening night on Aug. 3rd begins with a reception at 7 pm, and includes a program of live entertainment until 11 pm, at the DGA Theater.
Sponsored by Kazakh Geographic Society (KazGeo.kz ), helixfilmsinc.com , the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Los Angeles, the festival includes Advisory Board Members Steven-Charles Jaffe (GHOST, K19), David Marconi (Screenwriter, ENEMY OF THE STATE), and Ambassador Erlan Idrissov.
Tickets cost $10 (including free parking) can be purchased from the festivals website. "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival 2012" will be held Aug. 3 - 9 at the Directors Guild of America on 7920 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, California
For more information, please see www.kazakhfestival.com - KazakhFilmFestLA@gmail.com
Source : HelixFilmsInc.com
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The 65th Festival de Cannes drew to a close tonight with the closing awards ceremony hosted by Academy Award nominated actress Berenice Bejo.
The top prize was captured yet again by Michael Haneke for his portrait of an elderly couple Amour. This is the second time he has bested Jacques Audiard who was also in competition with De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone). Haneke becomes one of the few two-time Palme d'Or winners alongside Alf Sjoberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and only the second after August to win with consecutive films his previous Palme d'Or was for his 2009 film Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon).
Matteo Garrone picked up his second Grand Prix for his film Reality. Previously, he had won in 2008 for Gomorrah.
The surprise winner for the Jury Prize was Ken Loach with The Angels' Share. He previously won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Another previous Palme d'Or winner won Best Screenplay. Cristian Mungiu who made 4 luni, 3 săptămâni ?i 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) returned with După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), and it also shared the Best Actress for its stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.
In spite of the heavy American representation in the selection, the only American film to win a prize was Benh Zeitlin's Un Certain Regard entry Beasts of the Southern Wild which won the Camera d'Or for first film. Last night, it had won the FIPRESCI international critics' prize.
Complete list of winners for the 65th Festival de Cannes
Amour, Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria)
Reality, Matteo Garrone (Italy-France)
The Angels' Share, Ken Loach (U.K.-France-Belgium-Italy)
Carlos Reygadas, Post tenebras lux (Light After Darkness) (Mexico-France-Germany-Netherlands)
Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Mads Mikkelsen, Jagten (The Hunt) (Denmark-Sweden)
Cristian Mungiu, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (U.S.)
PALME D'OR FOR BEST SHORT FILM
SESSYZ-BE DENG (SILENCE), REZAN YE?YLBA?
Source : www.ensonhaber.com