production blog of a stop-motion feature film 

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It was the summer I got fleas.

 

It was the summer I got fleas. The summer of small sticky alleys, tooting of distant big ships, loud street sellers and piss stink stronger than the morning sun.

It was the summer of my first kiss.

 

This timelapse video gives you a close look at behind the scenes of one of my favorite parts in the teaser, where Kara meets her flea-ridden friend on the rooftops of Yesilcam. It is a continuous camera move where the animation began on the rooftops and ended on the floor, through the window of a tiny kiosk. The sets were taken out and light matched  mid-shot to make it all happen.

Animated by the wonderful Dobrin Yanev, this shot took us about 3 weeks to complete, not counting the set building and prep time.

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Making room for something new!

One last smoke on Kara’s rooftops.

Kara is a journey I started a few years ago, knowing it would be a long one. After quietly working on writing and re-writing the script, finishing the concept teaser and a long sabbatical due to private family matters, we’re now taking the next step!

It will still be a while before we can share the inspiring work of a very talented crew on the teaser – though it is finished, certain deals in the works require confidentiality for now.

We will however start sharing more behind the scenes photos and videos like we used to. We start the series with pictures of parting from some of our lovely sets (not thrown away, just in long term storage). It’s sad to say goodbye but very exciting to make room for new things to come on Kara’s journey.

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After all these years, I still love this Yesilcam set like the first day – even under ugly ‘house lights’.

 

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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.

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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

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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.