‘Dairy Philosopher’ to make home-made films for YouTube
In 2015, his character popularized the philosophy of “something else is possible.” Now, five years on, he’s planning to do the same thing in real life. Müfit Can Saçıntı, who starred in the 2015 hit “The Dairy Farm Philosopher,” is set to put the maxim into practice by turning internet-based cinema into a sustainable business.
With the coronavirus epidemic keeping filmmakers and moviegoers at home – and movie theaters unlikely to open anytime soon – Saçıntı has started making films on YouTube.
“Last year, I performed in 60 European cities,” Saçıntı recently told daily Milliyet. “This year, as I was going on a tour that was to cover 35 cities, the coronavirus epidemic started and everything was canceled. I had the idea of shooting an internet series before, and sponsors were also interested. But when quarantine conditions started to affect our lives, I gave up on the idea so as to not risk the team.”
Nevertheless, the idea of making a film at home stuck with Saçıntı. “I was talking to my actor friends, and I had the idea of everyone shooting their own stuff at home and then combining them during the montage. Then we started shooting,” he said.
The film is scheduled for release in summer, Saçıntı said, although he noted that even if authorities loosen physical distancing rules by that time, people might still hesitate to go to movie theaters.
Accordingly, he plans to release the film on YouTube, noting that the online platform has given the project the go-ahead.
“YouTube is making its own films to be shown on its Premium application. But this will be the first feature-length independent film made for YouTube in the world,” he added.
In addition to Saçıntı, Fulden Akyürek, Sami Aksu, Ömer Duran and Umut Oğuz are also acting in the film. Professor Uğur Batı and painter Bedri Baykam will also have roles in the movie. “We will have other surprises for our audience.”
The legacy of the ‘popcorn fight’
“Corona has stopped cinemas, but we have bigger hurdles than the virus,” he said, noting the problems that filmmakers experienced with cinema groups in what has become known as the “popcorn fight.”
Distributors have consistently reduced the share that filmmakers make off a movie shown in movie theaters, Saçıntı said, adding that the share had even fallen to 4 Turkish Liras per ticket before a new law was passed last year. What’s more, some distributors have even demanded more from filmmakers, citing investments in new equipment, he added.
With YouTube, however, it’s a different story, as filmmakers receive 70 percent of the income, while only 30 percent goes to the video sharing platform, Saçıntı said.
The first screening of the upcoming movie on YouTube will be free, Saçıntı said, adding that viewers could watch subsequent screenings for 2.5 liras by clicking the “join” button. “We are currently making this movie on the basis of solidarity. If I earn money, everyone who contributes will get their share. I [could be a trailblazer]. However, it is a fact that the internet is a new alternative for everyone,” he said.
If the business model works out, Saçıntı said he planned to shoot a movie every three months. “Of course, if we have such an intense tempo, I would not take part or direct all of them. I will be a producer,” he said, adding that each of the films would be around 90 minutes.
“The Dairy Farm Philosopher” is a comedy about a person who abandons life in the city for life in the countryside.