Sometimes, you can relate to some movies without even watching them. A short section, a name, an image… To connect with “One Way To Tomorrow”, all I needed was to hear its name. What I watched made me feel like I wasn’t alone. These emotions, which every one of us had felt, will feel or may feel at one point in our lives, was equal to seeing the weakening empowerment that love makes us feel and believing the possibility of love a little bit more.
The first original production of Netflix Turkey was so effortlessly powerful that it was undoubtedly the trademark of Ozan Açıktan! And once again, he did not fail to amaze us. He described the film as ”the first eulogy I wrote on the possibility of love.”
We are going on a journey on a faraway planet with Dilan Deniz, who enchants us all with her first motion picture, while we count the days as if we were waiting for our own movie to come out. And Ozan too is joining us on our journey, come with us!
One day Ozan told me about the movie he wanted to make for a long time. We talked about the script and the characters and I wanted to be a part of it. I was very intrigued by what he said, I loved it, but most of all, it was the thing I saw in his eyes when he told me about it. It wasn’t as if I was starting a project, a movie with Ozan, but as if I was partnering with his dreams. All of a sudden, that dream became our dream, and we went after it together. – Dilan Deniz
Curiosity is about the unknown; perhaps the unwanted. In most places, it is referred to as a desire to learn, but to me, it seems too difficult to define or undefined. Curiosity is a primitive feeling, you feel it when you’re curious, you know it’s there. You don’t need any other emotion to tell. The only truth is that everything starts with curiosity and it is the source of everything good or bad that happens to us… – Dilan Deniz
In modern times, love is becoming empty. I want to protect this feeling as if I was protecting archaeological sites, artifacts, coasts and I want to challenge those who want to tear it down. – Dilan Deniz
Curiosity is about the unknown; perhaps the unwanted. – Dilan Deniz
Dreams make us happy for a while, regardless of coming true or not. I think the brain thinks the dream is actually happening when you imagine it, and the best part is, it doesn’t have any side effects. I wish we dream like breathing, while chasing those dreams. At least we’ll say we tried. – Dilan Deniz
I recently read something like this: when we try to capture the moment, we actually move into a moment within a moment. When we try to capture the moment, thinking carefully, we realize that the moment within the moment is actually intertwined and that it is continuous. I could only describe my confusion with an equally complicated sentence. – Dilan Deniz
Relationships are not static, they’re not only about our expectations. We’re all changing day by day, the point is, are you ready to change together? – Ozan Açıktan
Duygu: How the casting process works for a director, what made you come together?
Ozan: It’s all about intuition. It’s always a quick decision for me. That running battle of auditions always happens when we can’t find anyone who has gone through that intuitive filter. It’s about love at first sight actually. But the filter is not like my expectations or an image in my mind, or something. A dream to get exactly what I had in mind is the wrong road map from the start. That character on paper doesn’t really exist, they are just someone the script makes up; but their relationships are real. So, my relationship with the actor has to be real. I want to see people whom I want to go on the road, trust, and enjoy spending time together on my camera first. Then I ask them to trust me. After that, we try to find a common language. It’s a different language with everyone, and that’s one of my favorite things about directing. Together, we give life to someone we both read and imagine. The creation of a mutual dream is the performance of an actor within a character.
Duygu: Leyla says, ”When you go on the road with someone, where you’re going is not a decision you can make.” The director-actor relationship is kind of like that. How was the process for you?
Dilan: One day Ozan told me about the movie he wanted to make for a long time. We talked about the script and the characters and I wanted to be a part of it. I was very intrigued by what he said, I loved it, but most of all, it was the thing I saw in his eyes when he told me about it. It wasn’t as if I was starting a project, a movie with Ozan, but as if I was partnering with his dreams. All of a sudden, that dream became our dream, and we went after it together. We’ve had worked for an ad campaign for two years before, but I really wanted to be in a feature film together. I was aware that there was a lot to learn from him and that experiencing it would add a lot to me. It was a beautiful journey in every sense.
Ozan: This is one of the principals that I want to integrate, whether its casting or something else. Relationships are not static, they’re not only about our expectations. We’re all changing day by day, the point is, are you ready to change together? It’s about accepting that. So, the question is how much you let yourself go, how you let it happen, knowing that the ideal relationship that you have at the beginning, the ideal point to be reached will vanish?
Duygu: Is “One Way To Tomorrow” a movie you made for yourself?
Ozan: As a director, I choose to be a viewer who makes movies that they want to watch.
Duygu: The characters in the movie live their lives through other people for a long time. These characters we’ve never seen say a lot about them. To what extent did you complete Leyla’s past in your head? Have you fictionalized the shortcomings of her story?
Dilan: Leyla takes this trip as a result of a 6-year relationship. She had a lot of ups and downs, she’s been in love, but she’s also been very unhappy. She’s been through a lot of traumatic stuff, and I actually consider this journey to be Leyla’s journey to make amends with the past. Maybe she got on the train to conceptualize that inner journey she needed to live… Actually, before this journey is over, she is confronted and resolved with all of her past and her relationship. I have not completed the shortcomings of her story, in fact, the shortcomings of her story are completed in this journey and we’ll see that in the movie.
Duygu: What was your first impression when you read the script?
Dilan: It’s a script that was worked on, thought out in detail and a lot of work was put into it. I also knew that he’d been working on it for a lot of time, and I see the end result, a story with solid dialogues, and infrastructure. It’s a project that is based entirely on dialogues and script, giving space to the actor. This made me very excited. I’ve let go. It was a very pleasant process and very educational.
Duygu: How would you describe curiosity?
Dilan: Curiosity is about the unknown; perhaps the unwanted. In most places, it is referred to as a desire to learn, but to me, it seems too difficult to define.
Curiosity is a primitive feeling, you feel it when you’re curious, you know it’s there. You don’t need any other emotion to tell. The only truth is that everything starts with curiosity and it is the source of everything good or bad that happens to us…
Curiosity surely kills the cat, but it also keeps it alive.
Ozan: Curiosity seems to feed on a few places. In my case, it’s something that only ignites with “love”, and I think it’s something we can manage in the relationship we have with life. It contains two unique acts: attention and intent. There are two qualities we can manage, and I think that while life goes on, both of these qualities intersect in the axis of curiosity. There’s nothing better than wondering the other person.
Duygu: “It’s never good to want something so bad. The thing you want becomes the only thing you know. A person with a hammer sees everything as a nail” says Leyla. Do you think making movies is like that? How much does it wear you down to want a movie so bad, to want a character so bad?
Dilan: I can’t answer that question in terms of films. Wanting a movie is not like wanting a character because it’s a little more naturally evolving process. If we define it as ambition, I think it’s harmful. But if you think of it as dreaming about a project, working hard on that project, I think it’s a motiving factor. If I challenge this feeling in a positive way, it doesn’t wear me down and it benefits me as well as the job. We started off to release it in theaters, but it became Netflix’s first Turkish movie. I feel like I’ve sent positives vibes and made it happen.
The creation of a mutual dream is the performance of an actor within a character. – Ozan Açıktan
Ozan: There are two issues here. To love something to be the only thing that defines you, and to almost single out your connection to life. I mean, to choose one of the poorest lives in the spiritual sense. The other is to leave your mental toolbox so primitive while trying to make sense of life and of yourself, which again undermines the quality of the bonds we have built with life. I believe that we need to develop a broad spectrum of perception that can perceive the broadcast of life on many wavelengths. So, I’m curious to learn, not only with a hammer but constantly adding different tools to my toolbox. Whatever interests me. So, in life, I avoid identifying myself only with a movie or something I’ve done.
Duygu: What is the most important thing in the director-actor relationship?
Dilan: Mutual trust. I see it as having that trust and surrendering to each other. We trusted each other and something good came out of it.
Ozan: This is something that can change for every movie and every script. I fundamentally base it on a virtue that is trust. But if it’s not there, trying to acquire it is also a form of relationship, and in a way, all’s fair if it leads to the story.
Duygu: What makes the world of movies magical to you?
Dilan: You give life to a character as an actor whether it’s in the movies, shows, or theatre. It’s magical in itself. In cinema, you know what you’re getting into, from the beginning to the end, and you have more time to prepare, you can concentrate more. Working in an environment like this make the character that you create much more efficient. The feeling of being able to tell a story and empathize with a character in a 90-minute process is very pleasant.
Ozan: Creating a memory without making us get up from the chair.
Duygu: How will you remember One Way To Tomorrow?
Dilan: It’s like starting school because it’s my first feature film. I will never be able to re-experience the feeling of starting elementary school, it was exclusive to that moment. That’s how I’ll remember the movie. It was very special.
Ozan: The first eulogy I wrote on the possibility of love.