“Istanbul looks to become a hub for TV series, film, documentary and commercial shoots. The city is like an open plateau with its cultural heritage sites
Istanbul became the setting for filming many series, documentaries, commercials and movies during the past two years.
The city boasted a total of 1,600 shoots for television series, films, documentaries and commercials in 2010 and 2011. Istanbul is like an open air plateau, according to Culture and Tourism Provincial Manager Ahmet Emre Bilgili.
Istanbul also hosted many international films and documentaries. The Culture and Tourism provincial manager said there were many recent developments in terms of film, series and documentary works in Istanbul.
While international teams visited Istanbul for daily and monthly broadcastings, international commercials and films also took place in Istanbul.
Permissions need to shoot at cultural site
“People come to us to ask permission to shoot a scene of a commercial or a series or a film on the Bosphorus Bridge,” said Bilgili. “The team should also get permission from the road managerial team to shoot the scene,” he added, noting that there was also another kind of permission that covered historical places, streets and venues.
Noting that Istanbul has a very exclusive place among the world cities, Bilgili said “Istanbul has a perfect potential to serve as a setting for series, documentaries, movies and commercials.”
With its historical sites, the Bosphorus and cultural heritage, the city was like an open air plateau, according to Bilgili. “We are trying to present the city with its exclusive historical heritage,” he added.
It was very important to present the city in foreign countries, Bilgili said. “If people get to know Istanbul in a positive way with its beautiful cultural heritage sites, they would visit more. For us, all the places should be presented in the best way we can,” he added.
Each cultural site has an exclusive fee
People who shoot commercials, series and films in cultural heritage sites pay a fee for this service, he said.
“Take for example Topkapı Palace. If someone would like to shoot a scene in Topkapı Palace, they have to pay a fee, which was determined by the ministry earlier,” said Bilgili.
Bilgili said people usually ask for permission to shoot a scene at mysterious and old historical places. “Istanbul is a mysterious city with its open air venues and it attracts visitors. Usually bridges, palaces, coastal shores and libraries become the setting for series, commercials and films,” he added.
Noting that usually teams from abroad prefer to shoot movies and documentaries in the old places of Istanbul, Bilgili said because of love for the old, “The teams from abroad love to shoot documentaries, series and films in Istanbul.” Bilgili said they do not give permission to shoot movies in every old venue of Istanbul. “Our first aim is to protect our heritage and history, and this is possible only by protecting the cultural heritage sites in Istanbul. “We are still continuing the project to preserve the historical places in Istanbul. If there is a danger of damage we do not give permission for shootings,” he added.
The historical movies should be shot in a studio, some say, added Bilgili. “However, it is impossible to sustain a real original historical venue with the studio environment,” Bilgili said.
Bilgili also said if there were a possibility to damage the historical venues then the Culture and Tourism Ministry does not give permission. “We would like to use Istanbul as an open plateau, because there is not another city that contains a sea through it.” The Bosphorus and historical venues give an exclusive attraction to the city, according to Bilgili.
“That’s why we can say that there is no city like Istanbul anywhere in the world,” he said.”