Interview with Kagan Kerimoglu, Short Filmmaker (THE WHEEL OF TIME)

It was absolutely great and exciting (seeing the FEEDBACK Video on my film). Thank you and the audience a lot. I also watched feedbacks of other works that screened. I need to admit that the audience in Toronto is much more film literate, and has a greater sense than most audiences that I have ever seen. The comments and reactions to the film was really nice. Although it was screened in many festivals and events in various countries, that video is the only real feedback that I got from an audience except in my country and except from people working for festivals. It was great too see that the film is still meaningful, fun to watch and has a real reflection in different countries. I also laughed a lot to one joke that the moderator Mathew watched the main actor as Number 96 or something in another picture J

– Kagan Kerimoglu, on the WILDsound experience (Review)

    Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of “The Wheel of Time”

Matthew Toffolo interviews Kagan Kerimoglu:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Kagan: To begin with, if there is something that isn’t clear enough you can imagine me saying sorry for my English J

The Wheel of Time is my bachelor graduation project from a film program in Turkey.

I made several short films before “The Wheels of Time” and with this film I wanted to make something different and more meaningful that I can have a connection with. My previous film was also a sci-fi project. For this reason I didn’t want to do another sci-fi at the beginning, although this is very different and much mature project than the other one. In the beginning the idea was about making a dark, uncanny film about death. I tried to bring together two essential issues, which profoundly affects my life and the lives of people that I know.

One of these issues is death, and the other one is the system that we have created in order to find answers to our existential questions. Staying within the limits of short narrative structure as much as possible, I took these two issues as motives for my story. The point of departure of the story of THE WHEEL OF TIME is the question that follows: What would happen if the system that we have created attempts to explain and control the one issue that we cannot seem to make sense of? What if, one day, a control mechanism claims to have a solution to death and that there are no more questions to answer. And what if, a government creates a simple and controllable system out of the most difficult issue to solve and manipulates it to stay in power? After thinking all of those ideas and questions I decided that making this film a dystopian sci-fi type of thing would be much better in terms of the meaning and the style that I want to create, and of course it fits my taste of atmosphere, camera work and editing style.

Matthew: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Kagan: I am not sure how long did it take, because the process was not that linear and continuous. To give a rough idea about the process, I can say the writing took a week or so, but the script changed too much during the pre-production and also in the editing for the some small parts of it. Pre-Production took 1 and half month I guess. Shooting took 2 days and the rough cut took 3 days with sound design and music. The editing process was fast at the beginning because I needed to graduate on time. After I graduated I actually re-edit the whole film, with all sound design, music, color grading etc. I don’t know actually how long that took because I was very free and sometimes I edited the film for two days and did something else for another day. I think by working like this, and because of some minor problems, the whole post-production process roughly took 3 months. I never spent that much time for any other project. I think this kind of freedom can be a great but it also has some negative sides.

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Kagan: I think the pre-production process was hard. I cannot say that I had huge obstacles but it was kind of annoying actually trying to find actors, location, costume, crew etc. I really don’t like organizing and finding something especially in a student film that has not that much budget. But the main reason actually is it has no creativity at all. On the contrary, rehearsing with actors, deciding the camera angles, editing style, costume design, production design etc. is an amazingly creative part of pre-production process. So I am not saying that I hate the pre-production part J It was also really hard at first to make this film with a budget I have and with a tight schedule. But that financial obstacle also led me to be much more creative. Beside the pre-production process I did not actually face with many obstacles. Maybe there is one as trying to tell this kind of a “big story” that includes lots of information and background in one location within a short time. The problem was it has a risk like being very boring and more radio less cinema. But also that obstacle was a pure joy to get over with. Making this film was actually a pure joy.

Matthew: It was pointed out that this film seems to be the 1st chapter in a feature concept and story? Is that true? Do you have a feature script based on this concept?

Kagan: Although I have few projects, which has similar tone and which belongs similar sub-genre, I didn’t make this film as a first act of a feature length project. But also I can’t say that I am not thinking to write this project as a feature length film J It is nearly impossible to make this kind of a work in Turkey as a feature length film but maybe there can be a way to make this kind of stuff in abroad. I love sci-fi, dystopias, cyberpunk etc. I actually like everything which are far from being the complete imitation of the thing we called “reality”.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Kagan: Lost Highway by David Lynch, Naked by Mike Leigh, The Devil’s Backbone by Guillermo Del Toro, Persona by Ingmar Bergman, Marnie by Alfred Hitchcock and Kosmos by Reha Erdem. I am not sure which one I watched the most but I guess Lost Highway as being my favourite film of all time.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Kagan: Does anyone know what is next for him or her? J No, I don’t know. I have many projects, ideas and loglines. I also have a very long short film script, which I truly want to make if I can find a way to finance. I am also going to start to a M.A. degree program in filmmaking, most probably within few months. I hope that I will have exciting projects during my master’s degree.

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