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“Random Attempts” at EMU

“Random Attempts” at EMU

Directors of the short film “Random Attempts” Vasvi Çiftçioğlu and Doğuş Özokutan took part in the talk titled “Short Film Production with a Low Budget” along with Cinematographer Peter Verburg at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU). The organization took place at the Communication Faculty at 14:00 on the 8th of November 2017 and was attended by students, research assistants and academicians.

The opening speech of the talk was delivered by EMU Cinema and Televisiom Department Chair Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bahire Özad. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özad thanked Çiftçioğlu, Özokutan and Verburg expressing her satisfaction regarding hosting them at the university.

Özokutan started the talk by highlighting the importance of being planned when producing low budget short films stating: Whether you are the director or the cinematographer you need to pay attention to even the smallest of detail because re-filming requires expenses. Therefore plans must include even the smallest of details.” The following parts stood out from Özokutan’s talk:

 “The story is more important than anything else”

Pointing out that it is not only the equipment used that makes a film good or bad Özokutan stated: “The story is more important than anything else. It is not possbile to make a good film from a bad story but it is possible to correct bad light.” Also indicating that the film with the lowest budget apart from theirs at the festivals they attended had a budget of apprioximately 100 thousand euros Özokutan indicated that they filmed international award winning “Random Attempts” with a 30 thousand lira bank loan.

 “‘Random Attempts’ is the first and only Turkish Cypriot film to compete with the aim of being an Oscar nominee”

Çiftcioğlu who started by defining themselves as independent film-makers went on to say “We normally film documentaries. ‘Random Attempts” was our first short film. Up until now it has has been screened at 42 festivals in 23 different countries. It has picked up 3 international awards; 2 from the USA and one from Brazil. It is the first and only Turkish Cypriot film to compete with the aim of becoming an Oscar nominee.”

 “Filming fictional short films isn’t easy”

Pointing out that there are differences between filming a documentary and a short film Çiftçioğlu stated “Filming fictional short films isn’t easy. Unlike when filming a documentary, when filming a fictional short film you need to pay attention to factors like light, sound and acting.” Also touching upon the difficulties of having to follow a pre-written script Çiftçioğlu noted that documentary films are more spontaneous.

“Light is very important”

Showing examples of use of light Cinematographer Verburg noted: “Light is very important. If you don’t use it correctly the image you want to portray and the atmosphere you want to create may not be obtained.  Light allows you to relay the feelings you want to relay, it is very important just like sound. During the presentation in which he introduced the types of light and filming equipment Verburg provided an analogy of a carpenter. Just like it is important for a carpenter to work with his own hammer, it is important for a good cinematographer to work with a camera he is used to and knows well. The organization came to an end after a question and answer session.