production blog of a stop-motion feature film 

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German Animation Screenplay Award 2013

Kara’s script received the first Special Mention in the history of the German Animation Screenplay Award this year at the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film. A big thank you to the jury members and the festival for their consideration and going out of their way to recognize Kara!

This came in the mail today and since we couldn’t make it to the award ceremony, Kara wanted to send her thanks with a photo.

Kara_Drehbuchpreis_02

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Why we have been so quiet

Published on June 12, 2013, by in Kara the film.

About three weeks ago, we came back from the Cannes Film Festival, excited to report on our progress and the positive feedback we received to our Kara teaser. On May 28th, our eyes turned to Istanbul, Turkey. What started out as a peaceful sit-in at a small park in the heart of Istanbul, had met with an inexplicable, brutal and disproportionate use of force by the police. Within days, the protests were not about a handful of people trying to save a park from turning into a shopping mall, but rather hundreds of thousands protesting for their right to peaceful protests. (If you’ve missed the international news in the last few days, here is where you can get some comprehensive information on what’s happening in Turkey.)

We have friends and family in Turkey – or simply deeply sympathize with those, who are currently demonstrating for their fundamental human rights, freedom of speech and expression, and being treated inhumanely by their own government and police force for this very reason.

As long as Turkey is under the thick smoke of tear gas, we find it difficult to look away. Istanbul is in Kara’s heart and our hearts are with those resisting in every corner of Turkey. Diren Turkiye!

with hope,

Anne Hofmann, Julian Hermannsen, Sinem Sakaoglu

MiniIstanbul_fog 145

 

 

 

 

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Emek Sinemasi – “Once there was one, then there was none”

When I started writing Kara, I had imagined one day I would sit in Emek Sinemasi and watch the film that has this cinema and the surrounding Cercle d’Orient building at its heart. A film that remembers the days I spent in this building above the cinema, watching films through the tiny window of its projection room. That, it seems, will remain an unfulfilled wish. I read with frustration and sadness the news that Emek Sinemasi has been gutted and torn down yesterday. Fallen victim to gentrification and political ambitions.

The meaning of the sentence that opens up most Turkish fairy tales (and Kara, too) rings different today: Once there was one, then there was none (bir varmis, bir yokmus).

İstanbul may have served as the capital of many empires and she may have been called countless names: Byzantium, Constantinople, Lygos, Augusta Antonina, New Rome, Queen of Cities, The City, hē Polis, Kostantiniyye, Stamboul, Islambol, Gate of Felicity, Bâb-ı Âlî, The Doorstep.

But she is forgetting her name.

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Yesilcam – Setup

Published on April 23, 2013, by in Kara the film, Shoot.

Final touch up in the studio before the shoot.

 

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Yesilcam – Colours

Susanna Jerger, as always, did a really nice job on this set with the colours especially in capturing the richness and dreamy quality of the colours of the inspirational. By adding multiple layers of paint and pencil work, she achieved very dense yet subtle textures.

 

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Yesilcam – The street with cobblestones

The face of Yesilcam Street has changed in the last years drastically – and not for the better unfortunately. But we’re nostalgic people – we’re sticking to the good old days and taking inspiration from the first times we visited the street.

 

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Yesilcam – chimneys, tiles and airconditioners

The Yesilcam Street set lives from the incredible attention our set builders gave to its many – many! – details. And they never grew tired of being asked to avoid right angles and exact parallels – without getting wobbly or amorphous shapes.

 

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Yesilcam – the first building blocks

A pretty solid wooden construction was built for the houses to ensure that the set would not shift or shake – especially since we knew that during the shoot parts – roofs or single houses  - would have to be removed mid-shot and reattached later several times. Preferably without causing major set shifts.

 

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Yesilcam – how we started

We had an inspirational design, a sketch and then glued and taped together another analogue blocking.

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Yesilcam – building Kara´s street

Now that everything is “done” (which of course still is not…), we finally get around to putting together more pictures from the set-building process.

Our most complex set – both in building and shooting – is the set of Yesilcam Street, Kara´s street. This street is based on a real location – except for the parts that are made up. Sinem, Kara´s alter ego, lived here in her youth and this is where Kara´s journey in Istanbul starts.

I will present the pictures in a loose chronological order – starting with one from one of our research trips to Istanbul, when I met Ayse Teyze, who was still alive and running her tiny kiosk on Yesilcam.

Sinem and her mother in Yesilcam

Sinem and her mother in Yesilcam

 

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