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Anthony Muir Talks Business + His Role on the ‘Wild Pear Tree’

March 7, 2019

ATM: How connected did you become once reading the script?

AM: I would not profess to be able to describe what the situation of living in Turkey is like today. In my perspective, it seems to capture what the real-life people living in rural areas juxtapose to going to a city and studying at a university. And coming back visiting your family who has not been out studying. It seemed to be a very juxtapose that was quite accurate. It has a lot of social consciousness, which was seen in the script. It was the idea of making a social realist Turkey film that was relevant to people who lived there today.

ATM: Did you go off the stereotypes of Turkey or understanding it from a research-based view?

AM: I have not done any extensive research on Turkey. Most of my perspective on Turkey today would be based on media and interaction with the Turkish people I know. Also, interacting with Turkish producers regularly over the last ten years. They describe what the political and social climate is in Turkey today. These factors have informed my basis, less so then ethnographic travel.

ATM: Do you think this piece of film literature becomes a piece of history in the way of educating people about Turkey?

AM: This film is important in showing how it is today and what it has been for the last few years. It is trying honestly to deliver an accurate picture. It also is an artist version of what Turkey is today. There is going to be bias. If you are open to understanding when watching a film, looking at art or literature, it is still going to be the bias version no matter how accurate the artist tends to be in their depiction. The Wild character is not a documentary.

ATM: How does his experience away from home project how he starts to perceive life and its reality?

AM: Anytime someone has left the environment they have grown up in and begin to see different places of the world through a different perspective, it is not strange at all to apply this lens to the environment they grew up in when coming back to revisit. From my point of view, this is what the director has done here. This is something that is universally relatable to the perspective you had on life when it gets changed when leaving your home environment and going to a university. From this perspective, the film is about the experience that happens to be relatable regardless of the culture or ethnic group.

ATM: When have you witnessed this same experience when going away for a long amount of time?

AM:  It makes them more complex people. It is a person who can see things from more perspectives. The more perspectives they gain, the more perspective they have to look at something. I grew up in Canada and living in Sweden. With visiting Canada and things that were normative, I see them through a different lens now. My perspective had been expanded. I can relate to this on a personal level.

ATM: Explain the professional behavior that goes with your contribution to this film.

AM: My role is encouraging the best possible films to agree to work on their film in Western, Sweden. I look at evaluating projects, reading scripts, and meeting with producers. I listen to pitches and projects that I think have strong potential. I felt Nuri’s project was going to be a great project to be a part of.

ATM: How would you put away the emotions from a confused or wrong script?

AM: I have taste in films, but professionally you must put the goals of your company first. After reading scripts and hearing a director’s vision, I have to make up my mind with me not only liking it. For example, if I have a goal to have a film selecting at the Berlin Film Festival every year, then I must decide if this is realistic with the film I have evaluating. Sometimes it is unfortunate that I do not get to pick projects by linking them.

ATM: How did you establish a professional persona? Was it through observing people or you adapting to this behavior to do your job?

AM: It is a combination of things. It is partly learned. It is partly you are entering any position with a little bit of an expectation of how you are supposed to be. You learn, and you adapt. You follow the lead of your colleagues and other industry professionals you do meet when abroad. You try to adapt to how they adapt. You start expanding and meeting people over time. You realize different people have different expectations of what is professional. Some people can be informal and formal. You learn how to react differently to people to expand your network.  

ATM: Henri Fayol was a sociological theorist who created the Management Theory. He is a big part of the reason though is a hierarchy in the job market. Before, everyone was on one plane field. He felt there should be a manager or executive and employees to establish some order. This theory is the reason there is order and businesses are running smoothly.

AM: I have not worked in an environment that did not have some hierarchy. There seems always to be one when it comes to business. It is something you accept. They can be useful in delegating responsibility. Ultimately the person on top of the hierarchy needs to be the person accountable for all the decisions the company makes. Maybe it is tough to have this responsibility on one person’s shoulders. Hierarchies can be useful, but also, they can be abused or an accused of abusing. I have mixed feelings of hierarchies.

ATM: The administrative side of the film is not exposed much. This is the field you work on. More people should be interested in both sides.

AM: Most people think about directors and actors when thinking about film. They think about the things you see in front of the camera. I am working in an environment that does not get publicity or spotlight. Nonetheless, we are a part of the films. Films need finance. They are an expensive art form. They need some institution or something to provide the financial backing for this art form to exist.

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