Ask Him About The Visual Effects!

Coşku Özdemir has been a visual effects expert for hollywood’s famous animated films. We visited him at Robotika, the animation firm he has opened in Turkey, and had a pleasant conversation in its congenial atmosphere.

Coşku Özdemir has been involved in the production, among others, of blockbuster films like Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Fantastic Four, and he tells us about his rising career. Özdemir, who was familiar with computers from a young age, wanted to work at something that would bring out his artistic side. After graduating with a major in Metallurgy from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, he went to a school in San Francisco that offered training in visual effects. Here he found an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the business, landing his first big job on the Fantastic Four.

Employed later on a series of  box office hits, Özdemir emphasizes the sheer size of the teams that work on animation films. Every single effect requires a separate expert in animation, which therefore consists of a whole slew of sub-branches. Özdemir himself specializes in explosions, natural disasters and water. Involved in almost all the popular animation films we know and love, he has also witnessed over the years the development of animation and 3D technology from the Fantastic Four to Avatar.
Later, when he decided to return to Turkey, he founded Robotika, a firm whose foundations he had laid earlier in San Francisco.

When we ask him about the future of animation films in Turkey, Özdemir says there is serious talent but that more time is needed for a sector to develop. Budget of course is a major factor here. Whereas just one minute of an American blockbuster can cost up to one and half million dollars, Turkey as yet lacks the wherewithal and team for this. But some very good work could emerge when a team and investment become available. One such example is Turkish Airlines’ new mascot, Wingo! Wingo, a lovable wild goose who keeps passengers up to date the airline’s latest deals, is the work of Coşku Özdemir and the Robotika team. The most difficult phase of creating Wingo, which was designed entirely by Robotika, was the feather. In a month and a half of intensive effort, a whole new feather system was developed at Robotika for the coloring, texture, length and thickness of the animated goose’s wings. Nor did the process end there. Backed by Turkish Airlines’ investment, Özdemir and his team will also be responsible for every new commercial adaptation of Wingo.

Coşku Özdemir’s next big goal is to make a lasting animation film that will be a success in the international arena. Already hard at work on the project, Özdemir with his determination and experience looks set to chalk up a lot more accomplishments to make us proud.

The name Robotika comes from Özdemir’s love of robots, which is backed up by the charming collection of them on display in his office. The name’s easy pronunciation in both Turkish and English also played a role in his ultimate choice.