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Interview: Can Evgin

We took advantage of the opportunity to get to know Evgin a little better.

The year is 1973, and Paul McCartney and his band Wings have just released a song called “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” (aka “1985”). Fast-forward to 2009, and electronic heavyweights Timo Maas and James Teej team up to remix this timeless song with modern influences. The person they chose to shoot the music video for the track was none other than Istanbul-born fashion photographer and director Can Evgin, who splits his time among Istanbul, London and Paris. We took advantage of the opportunity to get to know Evgin a little better.

The music video for “1985” features modern dance choreography that reflects the song’s mood as well as old footage of Paul McCartney. What’s your creative process like when shooting a music video?
“The song always comes before the idea. We try to find the concept that’ll best partner with the soul of the track. This can sometimes be a direct reinterpretation, while at other times we set out with an idea that seems unrelated or even conflicting. Paul wanted to use the old footage in ‘1985.’ We revamped it by adding in the utopias and films of the era as well as the present-day spirit of street dance.”

In what way is making music videos different from photography or directing commercials?
“Music videos are more rebellious and free-spirited as compared to commercials. There are actually two types of fashion photography – editorial and commercial – and editorial photography is a lot like shooting a music video. Nowadays the advertising industry is starting to break the mold, with directors now using more risky methods to get people’s attention. I’d say that all of these spheres – and we could include art and cinema here, too – are very much intermingled.”

Which directors inspire you?
“I was introduced to auteur cinema in high school thanks to Kubrick. Then I discovered Buñuel, Godard, the Dardenne brothers and Antonioni. In terms of Turkish directors, I admire Yılmaz Güney, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and my close friend Deniz Gamze Ergüven.”

Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with, be it on a movie, music video or photograph?
“I’d like to work with M.I.A., Rihanna and Die Antwoord.”

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