Hollywood comes to Eskişehir in studio form
ESKİŞEHİR - Anatolia News Agency
The Anadolu University Film Studios will be constructed on a 65-hectare site in Eskişehir including four sets, open-air sets, water pools and more.Turkey’s booming TV series and film sector is set for a major boost thanks to the planned construction of massive new film studios in Eskişehir that aim to turn the Central Anatolian province into a mini-Hollywood.
The Anadolu University Film Studios will be constructed on a 65-hectare site in the province and include four sets, open-air sets, water pools and more, according to Professor Ufuk Küçükcan, Eskişehir’s Anadolu University Turkish Radio and Television school coordinator and the leader of the project.
The project was launched following substantial research in both Turkey and abroad – particularly in California – as well as discussions with foreign directors in Hollywood and domestic ones, Küçükcan said.
Noting that foreign filmmakers have long complained about the difficulties of finding qualified personnel to work on their projects, Küçükcan said the university would also aim to train students to meet the needs of the film industry.
“We ended up with many projects after a series of studies,” the professor said. “It is a global project and it belongs to Turkey. We examined globalization and the economic crisis in the United States. In the film sector in the United States, there have been many problems stemming from the creativity and economic problems.”
The film sector in California has a $28 billion economic value, but since the 2000s, Hollywood-made films have looked abroad as filmmakers seek to discover new venues and new regions. Due to the fact that shooting films abroad costs far less compared to the United States, American filmmakers bring up these issues.”
‘Istanbul cannot supply the sector’
There is currently a huge TV series sector in Turkey, the professor said, adding that that 73 series were broadcast on the six main channels in 2011, bringing in 600 million Turkish Liras in turnover.
“There has been a drastic raise in the TV series and film sector in the last years,” Küçükcan said, adding that many of the series are exported to markets in the region, particularly the Arab world.
“It indicates that Istanbul cannot supply the sector. And there are no special sets and studios that are comparable to examples from the rest of the world. There is no place even to set up a studio campus in Istanbul – and even if there were, the prices are quite high,” the professor said, adding that his team had consequently established the Anadolu University Film Studios to fulfill the film industry’s need.
Creating Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue in Eskişehir
In addition to the various studios, the film project will also include a set designed to resemble Istanbul’s famous İstiklal Avenue, Küçükcan said.
“This is one of the most important needs of the sector, as it is really hard to shoot a film,” he said.
“Eskişehir is located in the center of Turkey as well. That enables us to reach Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and İzmir [rapidly]. The highways are well-constructed on this route, and there is also a high-speed train network,” he said, adding that the Central Anatolian province also possessed an international airport, enjoyed a suitable climate and possessed a natural setting for filming.