Interview - Onur Senturk


Onur Senturk 
Design Director Prologue Films

 Los Angeles, USA

Tell us a bit about yourself...
When did you decide to become a motion designer? What programs/plugins/scripts do you use? 
It is pretty much where I ended up. I started with traditional painting and figure drawing classes, then pass to character animation over time I decided involve more in the design phase.
I mainly use 3dsmax and after effects. For fluids I use Realflow. Plugins and scripts what makes 3dsmax a more powerful tool. In almost every project I use a new. plugin or script. is a really good platform which gives everyone oppotunity to download and use these custom made scripts.
Your experience covers advertising, movies and experimental design. Which one is closer to you?

I like working on maintitles for feature films. They are really fun to design and animate. However, I want to be perceived as multidisciplinary artist. I am interested in photography, cg art, painting, graphic design.
How do you keep up with all the changes in technology? Do you think the traditional tools (drawing, painting) are losing interest in front of the electronic tools (computers, rendering farms)?
Not really. For me everything begins with pen and paper. I don’t think all of a sudden everything will change so quick. 
In some cases, while catching critical deadlines, you need horsepower. This is where technology is crucial.

With the market becoming more and more competitive, what do you believe is a must that an artist has in his portfolio or skills?
I think, It is good to have a vision to sell. Other than that, you put whatever want to your skillset. It is all about personal expectations. If you don’t have a striong vision, it is also possible to have another role in the industry.  It might be somehow technical but it is not bad at all. 
How involved was the interview process at Prologue Films
I think there are not that many people who can be able to deliver high profile work. If you are somehow one of them, people contact you. I always think that I am lucky about my career.

Can you tell us a little about your experience in 3D and VFX for advertising? Has computer graphics changed visual advertisement? 
I always see cg as a tool. It just helps you to create something. In terms of doing production sometimes you have to decide which way to go. Both practical cg has its own benefits and drawbacks. You can create everything in cg but good cg always takes time. You can shoot it practical, this time you can’t do lots of changes on it. 
“Resonance” received a rave reviews. Can you give us an insight on the process, the goals of the project and the difficult parts? 
It is interesting to see that. For me, it was not that unexpected. Because; it is all up to how you promote the work itself. 

Resonance was promoted with tag line “explore the relationship between geometry and audio in unique ways. “ When you say this you have to present something unique. 
The truth is it is hard to judge what it is %100 unique/original at the moment and for sure it was a bold statement for the project.
I think negative reviews are kind of based on this and It was a big task to gather all this people. and build something.
It is all created in couple of months after deciding who is going to involve and decided to be finished and premiered at OFFF2011 Barcelona 
However it is not perfect like any other human made work. if you want to critisize it you can always find valid points to do it.
How do you start working on a production like Transformers Dark of the Moon? Do you use references or just imagination? 

Well, I always pay attention to what the client really wants. There was short brief about the project.So I took it as a base. Other than that it was all imagination. 
How important is it to have a proper education in this field?
It all depends the person. There are really talented people out there who, doesnt have the education. However, I think getting a proper background is always a plus. At least you will learn what is collaboration and what is not. You somehow learn how to deal with your ego or you become a egomaniac.
Do you use the same techniques from one project to another? What’s your favorite part (composing, animating, art direction)?
My favorite part of the process is storyboarding and designing of a work. When I go into production, I always work with animatics. I edit shots together to see if they are making a sense or not. 
As you can see they mostly don’t make sense:)
What was the biggest challenge in the Nokta Project?
Well it was very hard to realize it. At that moment, some of the people around me was discouraging me about not doing this at all. 

 It is one of the bad characteristics of human nature. I always pay attention to do the opposite Encourage people around me. I think if you encourage and inspire people, universe will give you more than what you already want.
Other than that if you somehow decide what to do, then everything seems possible.
What was the most difficult part in Triangle?

Giving the title “Triangle” to a sphere based short film?! Is it?  Of course not. Problem was I wanted give crazy real life deformations to perfect geometric objects and wanted to create somehow a difference.
Right now I am aware. It is not something different at all. Everybody kind of does it. This what happens when a job promoted more than enough. it somehow becomes and eventual trend and consumes itself overtime.
Do you still find time for your own projects? What do you have up your sleeve for future projects?
I create time for them. I always do comercial projects every now and then. But what I create myself is not for money or not for getting exposure it is pretty much a personal issue between me and world. This why it becomes a passion driven roller coaster. And I think they are the most successful ones between my works.
Of course, I have plans for doing other short films
We know the “ups”, but tell us about the “downs” in your career.  Was it an easy ride?

There is always downs. Life is full of controversial moments You sometimes think you are going up but in reality it might become opposite at any point.
What’s the one project that you received the most praise for?
It seems like TRIANGLE.
What would you like to add to your portfolio?
More maintitle designs, more short films, more artistic projects.
If you had the opportunity to spend a day with anyone from this industry, who would it be?
I have short list of people that I want to meet. But I think spending one day with a person is a big amount of time 1-2 hours is ok time for a nice chat. Normally I would say David Fincher. But I met with him not too long ago. Next on my list is Darren Aranofsky or Christopher Nolan.
What’s your favorite movie? 
 Meshes of the afternoon by Maya Deren. It is not a high production work but it is one the films that made my world upside down with a mirror, a key, a black robe and endless varitions in time.
If you had unlimited resources (from artists to money) what path would you take? 
It wouldnt be so much different from now. I consider myself as a lucky a person. I am doing almost my dream job with the personal projects.