Meryem Ersoz

Meet the Filmmaker: Meryem Ersoz, “Mind’s Eye”, “Teddy Boy” (trailer)

Meryem_Ersoz_Minds_EyeQ: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
ME: This is going to be huge fun. It’s wonderful to have a local festival focused on works by Colorado women. I’m also happy to be bringing a mind-bending sci-fi film to the event.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
ME: I’m looking forward to screening Mind’s Eye for the local Denver audience. It screened at last year’s Denver ComicCon and it screened to sold-out crowds in Boulder when I put together local screenings to aid in the Boulder flood relief effort, but I haven’t been able to pull myself together to get it circulating in Denver the way that I should have, so I’m excited to bring it to a different audience.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
ME: I recently joined a group of women filmmakers, and it has been very eye-opening to see exactly how important it is to support each other and to support bringing original films to life at the local level. I’m looking forward to doing more of it.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
ME: From what I have seen of the line-up, it’s going to be a fun and diverse show. I think everybody should attend this and tune into the fact that we have a vibrant filmmaking community in Denver.

Q: This is the 4th year of CIWF. What’s been the best part/a favorite memory of the festival in years past?
ME: This is my first time attending this event. I’ve been holed up in Boulder making movies, and it is time to get out of the hole and become more active in local events. I’ve been so swamped with production for the past four years. In addition to my usual commercial work, I’ve worked on major feature films for the past four years. This is the first summer in four years that I haven’t been involved in a big feature, so I’m pretty excited to relax and coast a bit and to see what everyone else has been working on.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
ME: The Bug seems to be where all the cool cats hang out and screen films. Now, after four years of working an insane schedule of feature production, I get to be one of the cool cats. So I guess I’ll find out the answer to this question this weekend.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
ME: My inspirations for Mind’s Eye are David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Chris Nolan’s Memento, and Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko. I like puzzle films – the types of films that force you to sit down with your friends over coffee and discuss. I like films that are visually interesting but also present a little mental challenge. Since I come to producing by way of cinematography, I shot about 5 minutes of b-roll and pickup shots myself for this film, and I think they integrate pretty seamlessly with DP Jon Firestone’s cinematography. I also edited the film. I even laid down one of the musical tracks myself. The great thing about independent film is that it lets you exercise all of your creative chops. On the downside, it’s also exhausting to wear too many hats while making a film – I won’t do that again. But it was a fantastic learning experience, to make such a hands’-on film.

This film is insanely complex. We shot underwater, timelapse, high-speed. We had tons of locations, a huge cast. I had to find a youth orchestra…a hospital. We lost one of our locations on the day we were supposed to shoot because the Boulder OSMP shut me down, due to a bald eagle nesting – only in Boulder, right?

I made my hardest film first, I think. Everything else should be easy after this one.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
ME: Only that I’m really looking forward to it and am grateful to Eileen for putting it together. Big productions like this take a ton of work!

Teddy Boy (trailer) and Mind’s Eye will screen Saturday, June 13th at 4:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.