Any person working in production knows that working with celebrity talent can bring a host of challenges to a shoot. More often than not you’re dealing with restricted schedules, unique demands and sponsorship deals that need to be considered incredibly carefully. It takes a heck of a lot of pre-planning to make sure shoots run smoothly.
PSN tap into their worldwide network to explore what you need to be prepared for and what skills and tips are unique to shoot locations around the world. EP at PSN Turkey Chad Ozturk busts common misconceptions about shooting in the country and explains how a huge Bollywood movie kicked off their feature film arm.
Q> When shooting with high profile talent, what are the biggest challenges?
For us, the biggest challenge is the celebrity’s limited time on set. So, the prep has to be perfect as you can’t risk the chance of missing shots. Maintaining good relationships with agents is also important as they ultimately decide how long the celebrity is on set.
Q> What in particular do you have to be prepared for when working with celebrity talent? For example, do you need special security, permits, secluded locations, catering?
In Turkey, secluded locations are often preferred. We’re a busy country and many people are fans of celebrities and its important they don’t get disturbed. One thing we often do is make sure there is a specially catered green room, a trailer with their own crafts and snacks table, maybe a games console and a massage therapist.
Eurosport - Gigi & Nicollo from Production Service Network - PSN on Vimeo.
Q> What do you think are the most common assumptions made by foreign producers on shoots with celebrities in your country?
Generally, Turkey is perceived as an Arabic-Muslim country by foreign producers. In fact, it’s a secular, democratic and fairly modern country, with a Muslim heritage and culture. Located between Europe and the middle east, it can double for both locations. People here are very open and do not impose religious rulings on daily life and that goes for production too.
Q> Naming no names, what is the most grandiose request you have had from a celebrity?
So far, we have worked with Hollywood, Bollywood and sports celebrities. None of them have had extravagant requests. Most of them, they would like to visit the main tourist attractions, maybe go to a Turkish bath or rent a yacht for a private tour on Bosphorus but these are regular ordinary requests and nothing grandiose.
Dil Dhadakne Do - Trailer from Production Service Network - PSN on Vimeo.
Q> What shoot was a highlight for you when working with a celebrity talent and why?
Our highlight was working on Bollywood feature film Dil Dhadakne
. It was the first feature film we ever produced. It was over 100 international crew as well as 150 talent and extras combined on some shoot days. There were about 25 Bollywood celebrities in the film in total – so it was a big starting point to say the least!
Q> Which type of celebrities are hardest to pin down time-wise?
In Turkey, generally footballers have the tightest schedules when it comes to shoots. Also where they are not professional actors, it takes a lot of skill to get them to complete everything needed within the time frame, but, hey, we like challenges!
Q> Do you or your country have any special features which make it easy to work with celebrity talent?
Istanbul is a metropolis where we have every kind of facility. It’s well-catered to host celebrity shoots. Many Turkish TV series are gaining popularity around the world and we’re currently experiencing increasing demand for shooting with local celebrities.
Q> Which internationally recognised celebrities have you worked with in your country?
From America and Europe we’ve worked with Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Serbedzija and Martha Stewart.
From Scandinavia we’ve worked with Jon Oigarden and Laura Christensen.
Locally, we have worked with actors Erdal Besikcioglu, Kenan İmirzalioglu, Demet Evgar, Emre Karayel, Cagatay Ulusoy, Hazar Erguclu, Okan Yalabik, Haluk Bilginer, Serkan Keskin and many more.