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.
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.
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.