Director Sinem Sakaoglu:
Kara (meaning “black” in Turkish) is a partly autobiographical, partly fantastic story of a girl’s search in Istanbul for someone she has lost. Kara swings between drama and comedy, good and evil, and will introduce creatures both delightful and frightening. Some characters will be charming and some detestable. It weaves its tender journey through the mystery infused “Arabian Nights” streets of Istanbul.
Visual Distractions Ltd. in Hamburg is producing this stop motion feature film with the support of Film Funds Hamburg and Baden-Wuerttemberg. We are currently in the development stage, producing a 2.5 min. proof-of-concept teaser. The teaser is pretty ambitious, in that we’re shooting one continuous camera move following Kara’s narration, through four different sets, in five different scales. Oh, and we’re shooting Stereoscopic 3D, using the IOTA Slider and Focus Motor. We are using the DDMX-S2 light controller for everything from dimming lights on our marionette stage to simulating a sunrise over miniature Istanbul.
We’re shooting with Canon 5D Mark II cameras and Zeiss lenses. Since our sets are very large and our camera moves very intricate- considering also the scaling and connections between sets, we’re using the MILO motion control rig. Needless to say, we’re using Dragonframe for the shoot. The Lineup feature in Dragonframe is awesome and helps us get the connections right and with matching our timing smoothly between the sets. S3D integration and measuring tools are also very handy. We couldn’t imagine shooting this teaser without the help of Dragonframe.
There are some detail pictures of the armatures built for the puppets on our blog. They are basically ball-and-socket armatures including Mr. Fleas, a tiny cat with the longest tail in the world. We also have a character built in a pretty special way: Kara’s doppelgaenger, a marionette, is a 20 cm stop motion puppet whose ball & socket armature was covered with wood carved and fitted onto the armature by hand. Another challenging set of characters in the film are the “black ribbons” (shadow creatures), which were pretty difficult to get right for the animation. In the end, we went with CNC milling thin aluminum to get the fine details after a few months of testing various methods, metals and the like.
Thank you so much for your time, Sinem! We will enjoy closely following the unfolding of this film.
Here is some great concept art for the film. Artwork by Anne Hofmann. Photos property of Sinem Sakaoglu: