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Design, Art and Idea

Ethem Onur Bilgiç Interview

Vol. 9

""I was born in 1986 in İnebolu - Kastamonu to a fam- ily consisting of teacher father and a worker mother. My childhood passed along the shores of the Black Sea and my youth in the middle of Anatolia, Ereğli. I had knowledge about find arts thanks to the painter that I met with a bit of luck, and I decided to shape my future in this field..."

Interview: Şener Yılmaz Aslan

"I won Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Graphic Design Department and started to learn the design discipline from this department. I have been preparing illustrations, posters and animation movies for publishing houses, advertisement agencies, theatre plays and movies since the second year of the school. By the way, I have attended quite a few group exhibition at home and abroad. My first personal exhibition was opened in December, 2013 at Milk Gallery with the name of “Sweet Nightmares”. I am continuing my works at my personal workshop in İstanbul – Moda."

What kinds of works have performed until today, which of them excited you the most?

I have been working on posters, book covers for the maga- zines and books and illustrations for the companies. From time to time, actually this state of excitement changes. For instance, I was so excited when I was working on my first poster for a film festival. The ads jobs starts with an enthusiasm, however, this changes during the progress. Naturally, too many people meddles in. There arises a big difference between the beginning of the work and the end of the work. The work starts to be mixed with the consent criteria of the customer and commercial reservations. When I think over once again, “Salkım Söğüt” (Weeping Willow) and the science-fiction short movie “Mod” (Mode) by Sinan Tarsus were the projects that made me so excited. 

How did you decide to shoot a short movie like this? 

Since my childhood, Nazım Hikmet has meant much for me. When I was a child, my father used to sing “Karlı Kayın Ormanı” (Snowy Beech Woods) to us. I loved my country the most with “Human Landscapes from My Country.” I learned the loveliest patriotism from a traitor. Not extending the subject, since the first time that I read the poem Weeping Willow – that is to say, at the time I was not performing this profession- there were imaged animated before my eyes. To me, the poem was telling a lot. What the white and red armies represented was so clear, however; there was a deeper feeling and a story inside the poem. When I started with this profession, I planned to make illustrations for the poem at first, then comes a question “Why not an animation?” Can a poem be animated? This is the question that so attracted me. What is ahead of me is the loveliest poem of a poet that I love the most. A little bit reluctantly, along with Deniz Tarsus, we created the scenario of the short-movie, when it was ranked the first in “Türsak, the Movie of Future” project support contest, my faith in the project increased.

Why did you choose Weeping Willow among the hundreds of poems of Nazım Hikmet, does it carry a special meaning to you? 

 I love all the works of Nâzım separately. The emotion that Weeping Willow poem gave to me is very deep. As I mentioned before, the event was not the conflict between the white and red armies. The harmony that the poem gives and the visual that the poem present is so strong. Sometimes, you just want to do it. As much as I read the poem, I always wanted to do something for it. When my skill and capacity has developed, I thought the time came for this. I want to do something for the works like Sheik Bedreddin Legend and the Nationalist Forces.

Since you so exert yourself to animate a poem, you must love poem, do you write poem at all? What about Edip Cansever, Turgut Uyar and Cemal Süreya.

I am a designer and drawer. I love poems but I am not a devotee. I’ve never written a poem. The literature is another world. If we come to the names you expressed; the first that I remember – what can we do apart from being human- by Edip Cansever, - wish I could love you just for this- by Cemal Süreya, and – hunger for majority- by Turgut Uyar. If we recollect these names, we should writhe Tomris Uyar and Özdemir Asaf right here.

How long did it take to complete the movie, How did the process develop?

The process was a little bit complicated. There was no budged except for the support fund that we won in Türsak contest for this project. Therefore, I tried to progress both commercial works and Weeping Willow. That was a little bit stressful. There is more than one year between the beginning and end of the projecti however; all of this period did not consist of working. The completion of Weeping Willow, including scenario writing, took 3 months at most. 

Could you tell us the technical side of the work?

The whole project was performed in digital media. The biggest reason for this is time. You can progress swiftly as digitally. I wish I could to this at the table with the traditional methods, but the time would pose a great problem for me. After creating the visual structure, what programs are used do not present an importance. Although I have provided supports from 3D programs to strengthen the atmosphere, the most part of the movie is comprised of the drawings made with Photoshop on tablets. The movements of the characters were drawn square by square with the logic of Cel Animation. The media in which all the things are combined and the project is completed is After Effects. 

The people on the social media is very enthusiastic about watching the animation, when will they able to watch, approximately?

My personal opinion; if we do something, we do this to present. As far as I am concerned, I want to present the movie as online. The comments are of great importance for me. Unfortunately, some festivals consider this online situation and does not accept the movie. Therefore, I cannot publish it for now. I think it cannot be watched as online for a couple of months, but some showings may be performed in İstanbul.. Could yo recommend us a few of animations that we should certainly watch? Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Mary & Max, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Animatrix, Les Triplettes de Belleville, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D

Vol. 9
Engin Güneysu Interview Ekin Urcan Interview