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ABOUT CINEMA WITH GÜRSEL ATEŞ, THE MASTER DIRECTOR OF TURKISH TV SERIES


A Career from "Ekmek Teknesİ" to "Kurtlar Vadisi"


One of the names behind the beloved series of Turkish television, Gürsel Ateş, has achieved many successful projects in his directing career. Known for productions such as 'Ekmek Teknesi', 'Kurtlar Vadisi', and 'Beni Affet', Ateş shared his experiences in the industry and his passion for cinema with us. We have compiled this delightful interview for you, in which he talks about his journey from the beginning of his directing career to the present day, his relationships with actors, and the transformations in the industry.

 

 

 

- MR. GÜRSEL, HOW DID YOUR INTEREST IN CINEMA BEGIN?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: Like in Ahmet Uluçay's film "Boats out of Watermelon Rinds", we tried to project films we found in the cinema dump using a projector. At the same time, I made small steps into the industry by trying to get close to and learn from the masters of the sector. I directed my first piece in 1993, but it was a smaller job in the style of a sitcom. Later, in 2002, I became a director with "Ekmek Teknesi" and continued as a director from then on.

 

- ONE OF THE SERIES WHERE YOU WERE THE SECOND DIRECTOR WAS "KURTLAR VADİSİ". CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT ADVENTURE?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: Actually, before that, there was "Deli Yürek". In the last year of "Deli Yürek", I started working with Osman Sınav. While working with Osman Sınav, I took on the role of the second director in the "Kurtlar Vadisi" project, which was being prepared for the next year. In its third year, I transitioned to "Ekmek Teknesi" as a director, so I left "Kurtlar Vadisi" then.

 

- WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH SAVAŞ DİNÇEL?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: May he rest in peace. They are very special people, masters in acting. It was very enjoyable; we learned a lot from them. We were going to do a project with Savaş Abi, but it didn't happen. He even complained to me, saying, "Why couldn't we bring this to life?" I said, "Abi, it wasn't meant to be." They were good days.

 

- DID YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR THE CHARACTERS? BECAUSE I WAS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL AND WAS A FAN.

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: The head of the script team was Hasan Kaçan. Hasan Kaçan wrote characters that had direct counterparts in his own neighborhood or circle. If there is someone to be congratulated, it is Hasan Kaçan.

 

- WHAT CAN A DIRECTOR CONTRIBUTE TO AN ACTOR? WHAT CAN AN ACTOR CONTRIBUTE TO A DIRECTOR?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: There was a director friend of ours who would say, "Teacher, why isn't this working?" and then say, "I can make even a piece of wood act." But time has shown that you can't make a piece of wood act. Therefore, what a director can do for an actor is limited. In the end, you have a raw material or a product. The better the products, the better the taste of the dish you make. When you make a dish from a bad product, you can't achieve flavor. A good actor always strengthens the director's hand. They might suggest, "How about we do it this way?" providing an interpretation that the director might not have thought of at that moment.

 

- CAN YOU TELL IF AN ACTOR CAN BECOME A DIRECTOR?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: Actor friends usually don't have such demands because they want to remain actors. I've been directing for years, but I can't be an actor; I would act poorly. For an actor to perform well, they must not see, hear, or sense anything around them. They should just be in the moment.

 

- ONE OF THE PROJECTS YOU DIRECTED WAS "DENİZ YILDIZI". CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS PROJECT?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: "Deniz Yıldızı" was a youth project. It was fun, enjoyable, and a good job. We conveyed it to the audience, and it continued for seven years. One of the important elements of casting correctly is working with no-name actors. If they are no-name, you reach the right people, but if they are famous, the name eventually overshadows the project. For example, it would be called "Kenan İmirzalıoğlu's series." But with no-name actors, you are freer, and when people watch those characters, they genuinely believe they are real.

 

- HOW DO YOU OBSERVE THE TRANSFORMATION FROM "DELİ YÜREK", "EKMEK TEKNESİ", TO TODAY'S DAILY SERIES? WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS TO?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: This transformation has brought us many advantages technologically. We might not say the same for emotions and values, but for example, when I started in 1982-83, we needed film and negatives to take photos. Now, with the cell phones in our pockets, people are making films. There have been great technological advances, but in terms of values like love, respect, family, and unity, we no longer see these. More intrigue-filled series are made for commercial purposes. Back then, we started with a more amateur and pure spirit. Now, it's approached more professionally and commercially.

 

- YOU ALSO DIRECTED THE SERIES "BENİ AFFET". CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS SERIES?

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: It was a beautiful project. Scripts come to us. When it says extremely luxurious, extremely rich, I feel suffocated. Yes, such lives exist, but that's not us. That's why we created more realistic stories. We made a good cast with no-name actors, and everyone did their part justice. Even the most absurd scenes were acted so well by those actors that the audience watched with incredible interest.

 

- THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE INTERVIEW, TEACHER.

 

GÜRSEL ATEŞ: Thank you. Take care.

 

 


Gürsel Ateş has contributed to the growth of many actors and set workers by directing projects that are like a school in Turkish television. We thank him for sharing his deep knowledge and experience about the world of cinema and television with us. Gürsel Ateş's valuable insights are inspiring for both industry professionals and viewers. We wish him success in his future projects and thank him once again for his valuable contributions to cinema.


 


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