Illustration by
Bora Kroneisen
March 1, 2021

AER featured in Short Film: Interview with Ahmet Atalay, maker of 'THE CURE'

Levin Pablo Trautwein

In May of 2020 the short film ‘THE CURE’ premiered on Youtube. The storyline of a global pandemic sounds awfully familiar; however, the script was actually written long before COVID-19.

Nevertheless, it seems the release was timed quite well as the film has gotten plenty of attention and just exceeded 8 million views (as of February 22nd, 2021).

The 36 minute long thriller is full of action and packed with explosions, shoot-outs, car chases, rocket launchers and even a fighter jet! All of this is even more impressive considering that the entire film was shot independently by a crew of only 3 people and on a budget of just 15k. 

At the 29:08 mark of the film, an AER shot was used to visualize a car flying. We got to know the writer and director Ahmet Atalay and had the chance to ask him some questions.

AER shot in the short film 'THE CURE'

Pablo:
How did you come up with the idea of making this film and what were your intentions with it?

Ahmet:
I’ve always been interested in film-making and wanted to make movies myself for a while already. I was especially curious about visual effects and miniatures. So I watched a bunch of After Effects tutorials on Youtube and BTS of how certain effects can be achieved. I taught myself those techniques and bought a couple of RC cars to play around with. I blew them up with little small fireworks and started filming - and I was amazed by the outcomes! It doesn’t cost a lot to do this and the shots already looked like they’re from a million-dollar movie. I thought to myself that with these skills I can already make a real movie, so I just continued shooting..

Pablo:
How long did you work on this film?

Ahmet:
Initially, I thought this would just be a small project that I finish within 3 weekends. But we kept filming and it became bigger and bigger. In the end it took us almost 3 years from start to finish. We wanted to achieve a specific look, so we could only shoot for 2-3 hours per day, during the golden hour.

Pablo:
And the budget was really just 15k? After having seen the film, that’s really hard to believe. How did you manage to do it?

Ahmet:
Yes, really just 15k, that’s it! I was very passionate about making my own movie, so I put in a lot of time, energy and effort. We didn’t rely on many other people, instead we taught ourselves how to do the things we needed. When people around us saw how much love and attention to detail we put in, they wanted to be a part. So, many of my friends and co-workers helped out. Most of the cast didn’t have any prior acting experience. For some of them it was a good opportunity to get a reference for their own showreel. And with the success of the film, it actually opened up a lot of doors for them. 

Pablo:
Not only are you the director of THE CURE, you also wrote it and did a big part of the acting. Which of the three different roles is your favorite?

Ahmet:
First and foremost, I see myself as a director. Writing and acting came out of necessity, rather than interest. I needed a script for the film I wanted to direct, so I wrote one. Similar story with the acting: One of my coworkers was meant to play the ‘villain’ and my role was much shorter initially, more like a cameo. But when the project became bigger and we needed more shooting days, this coworker unfortunately had to quit. So I had to rewrite the script and implement a bit of a plot twist to have my character end up being the villain so we could still shoot those scenes. 

Pablo:
What was the most difficult scene to shoot? 

Ahmet:
The fighting scene between me and my friend Mashood Alam, who played ‘Noah’. I remember it was a cold day and a very intense scene. The suit my character was wearing didn’t help either. So from a physical standpoint, this was by far the most difficult scene. 

Pablo:
Tell us about the AER shot. How did that come to be? 

Ahmet:
I found out about your product through Instagram, I believe. I was immediately hooked by the idea and knew that I wanted to somehow use it for my film. I reached out to you, and you were kind enough to send me one. We did some experimenting and threw it in the mountains to find out what the possibilities were. In one of the shots we did, the AER was flying into a tree. This created such a unique perspective, that we ended up using that exact shot in the film. It wasn’t initially planned that the car would fly into the tree, so in a way that scene was inspired by the possibilities of the AER. In the final film we layered that footage with an interior shot of the car, in which we had the windows blocked with green screen. By doing so we were able to create one of those shots where the viewer goes “how did they shoot this?!” Those are the moments of the film that I’m most proud of. 

Pablo:
How many AERs did you destroy? You can be honest here, we won’t judge.

Ahmet:
Actually, none! Of course, the AER got damaged, but we successfully fixed it every time. In the end we even coated it with a seal spray to make it more durable. That made the AER quite heavy and it doesn’t look as good anymore, but it certainly worked. Didn’t have any issues after that, and we definitely didn’t hold back. 

Ahmet's modified AER

Pablo:
Your film is wildly successful on Youtube now. I noticed that there aren’t any ads on it. Why not? After all this hard work, you deserve a payback, don’t you?

Ahmet:
No, making money was never the goal of making this film. I did it simply because I was passionate about it and because I wanted to prove to myself that I can. A lot of my friends supported me throughout the process, all for free. So making money off of it now just wouldn’t feel right. Besides that, I find those Youtube ads incredibly annoying, I want viewers to enjoy my work without paying for it or having to sit through any ads.

Pablo:
What’s next for you?

Ahmet:
We’ve recently released another short film called ‘FASTER’ - by the way, there’s also an AER shot in that film. And making those films actually opened a lot of doors for me - I made a name for myself as a director and have some great opportunities now. I’ll be going to Turkey in a few months to direct a TV show there. I’m very excited about that and I’m already thinking about how I can implement an AER shot in there, as well! 

We see AERVIDEO as a representation of new perspectives - we like to challenge the status quo and break the rules of traditional filmmaking. Our customers and community members are explorers and adventurers, creatives and film-makers. Ahmet is a great example of that mentality and we’re honored to have him part of our global community of AER throwers. His passion, resilience, do-it-yourself attitude and creativity are truly inspirational. He’s living proof that you don’t need huge budgets and crews to make a great film.

You can follow along Ahmet’s journey on Instagram and IMDB.






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