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Toygar Kabaş

He was born in Fethiye in 1989. He graduated from the Mathematics Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. During his student years, he received training and worked in various institutions and organizations such as İFSAK, Akbank Art on scriptwriting, short film production, production design, film analysis, makeup, photography, and cinematography. He continues his undergraduate education in the Radio, Television and Cinema Department at Kocaeli University. He shoots social media ads and films at his film production company Filmiga, which he founded. His short film called “Buskers” was screened at many international festivals and received awards. 

How was filming on the streets of Istanbul? How was the selection of the streets? What were the biggest difficulties?

In some areas, filming was very difficult. In short film scenes, the surroundings sometimes became very crowded. People stopped and watched us. Sometimes we had to briefly close the traffic.

We shot the last scene of the film as the last shot on the last day of filming. While shooting the last frame, taxi drivers attacked our filming crew and civilian police officers passing through that street intervened in the incident. Our musical instruments were also damaged during the shooting of this last frame. Everything was going well until these incidents happened on the last day and the last frame, and I was very upset.

How did you build the character of Mr. Cevdet masterfully interpreted by Erşan Özhim and his family?

The character Mr. Cevdet was based on an orchestra conductor I met while traveling on a minibus. We had a conversation during the journey. Of course, for the film, I stylized the character and directed a slightly overacting. For costume design and acting, I observed many literary characters and studied important films in cinema history.

Tugba Özer’s work in art direction and Ferhay Kahraman and Selin Bozkurt’s costume design is immensely detailed in all sequences. How was working with them and what instructions did you give them?

We found all the individual elements for art direction and discussed with Tuğba to place them in the necessary places. During the project phase of the film, I worked on material lists for all the details related to art direction. For costume designs, I prepared a 45-page mood board for the costume department and explained all the details of what I wanted. They took detailed notes and then prepared their lists. The costume work took a very long time. I entrusted all the responsibility to Ferhay and Selin, and they designed very beautifully. It was great to work with Tuğba, Ferhay, and Selin. I think we enjoyed working together.

The general shot where all the musicians play is great, in a white room with a couple of red lines where the camera is static and you don’t change it on any of the characters. What place is it and what instructions did you give to the musicians in their performances? It should be strange but you get it perfectly to use only one song for all the groups. What music is playing?

That’s a classroom at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University where I gracuated. Our team members individually worked with the musicians to practice songs in their styles. The actors also worked on playing the musical instruments. During filming, each group played their own style of music, and they played according to the rhythm. Actually, each group wanted to play their own song, but I wanted to portray the film’s criticism of the standardized exam system that seems to dictate the same song to everyone. The music played is a very famous song in Turkey and the Balkans, called “Butcher’s Air” by Selim Sesler.


There is an immense and constant work in the use of colors, how was the creation of these ideas? How would you explain the difference between the red violin that Maya Tosyalı wants and the blue violin that she owns?

The use of red and blue in cinema plays an important role, as we all know from many films. For example, in The Matrix, there’s the red pill and the blue pill. In cinema, red often represents the pleasures of the world, while blue represents all our dreams, perhaps. Sometimes we may want something very badly, but we may already have something better in our hands. Like a blue violin and red worldly pleasures may seem more attractive, but we should not forget our dreams.


Did you know or investigate the life of a busker for the construction of the film script?

I had this screenplay idea while chatting with a musician friend who wanted to play music on the streets. I worked on this screenplay for years. I observed many street artists from a distance, taking notes on their belongings, colors, and styles. I took photos and had many conversations with them. During the pandemic, there were many cases of musicians committing suicide due to financial problems in Turkey. I read and researched these news articles and watched interviews. Buskers is also based on money, which is the main focus of the screenplay.

What relationship do you have with the musical world? Do you play any instrument?

I took training for many musical instruments when I was child. I started taking guitar lessons at the age of 9, and continued playing guitar with great enthusiasm for many years, but then I gave up. I always loved music and rhythms have always had an important place in my life.


What was it like filming during the pandemic? Do you have any curious anecdote to remember today?

It was very difficult to shoot with a mask. We all know the difficulties of communicating with a mask. I didn’t take off my mask for 4 days, but while editing the film, I saw backstage of all the actors and the technical crew hugging each other and taking photos, playing the guitar and singing. I laughed a lot when I saw those footage. Of course, I was more glad that no one got sick. I also can’t forget the unfortunate incidents when some taxi drivers attacked us.


On behalf of all of Madrid and all of Spain, we convey to you and to Turkey our condolences and all our encouragement and support to overcome the earthquakes that have occurred.

Thank you very much. Thank you very much for your important and meaningful questions.