Kivanc Ozkok Interview Part 4Interview • Author: Özgür R. Nazilli • Thursday, May 1, 2008
(From left to right: Ipek Ustaoglu, Nathan L. Redd, Kivanc Ozkok)
Fenerbahce Worldwide: You do the show "Countdown" with your partner host Ipek Ustaoglu - what is it like to work with her? How did you begin working together?
Kivanc Ozkok: Ipek joined our Fenerbahce TV team about a year ago and became my co-host at Countdown. We clicked instantly and became very good friends. One of the most important requirements of co-hosting a TV show is to have good chemistry between the hosts, and we really get along well with Ipek. We are a good duo in front of the camera, but we are also friends outside of the TV set. Due to this, I really enjoy working with her and see her as both a great co-host to work with, and a very good personal friend. When she first came to Fenerbahce TV I supported her and helped her adjust to this new environment, but she proved herself to be a skillful show host very quickly. Now, she is one of the most well liked hosts of FB TV, and I enjoy doing shows with her, so much so that we might have other projects together in the future. In short, I am really happy to have Ipek with me.
FBWW: What aspects of your job do you most like/dislike?
KO: To tell you the truth, there is nothing about my job that I dislike. Because currently I am doing something that I wanted to do all my life. I have been preparing myself to work in the television industry all my life, and realizing this dream at Fenerbahce, an entity that carries a lot of importance in my life, is the perfect job for me. I am a part of the Fenerbahce world, I am doing a job I love. This is not something everyone can say, therefore I am very happy to be doing a job that I love doing. Of course, my job has its hardships, we work very hard, sometimes we don't go home, sometimes we work day and night and sleep at FB TV. But there is such a great atmosphere that we do not feel so worn out by these difficulties. The emotional benefits we get from the job, such as travelling with the team, working inside the club for the club and being a part of the Fenerbahce family, far outweigh the difficullties of our job. I see myself amongst the lucky few who are really satisfied with the job they do. People work at jobs that they despise just because they need the money. I, on the other hand, am doing a job that I used to do as a hobby. Therefore, I love my job and cannot think of anything that I dislike about it.
FBWW: What is an average day like when you are shooting Mac Kac Kac or Countdown? How do you prepare the shows?
KO: It usually takes about a day to record Mac Kac Kac. We usually set out early in the morning, and do the filming out on the streets, interviewing people. It takes at least 4 to 5 hours to prepare a 50 minute show because not everyone gives you the material that you can put on television. So recording an episode of Mac Kac Kac tends to take a whole day even though the show is less than an hour long. Countdown on the other hand has a completely different format. Since it is a live show, we only prepare the topics we are going to talk about on the show, and sometimes do some preliminary research. We usually talk about whatever is a hot topic at the time of the show, so the topics vary greatly. Our assistant, Anıl, usually helps us a lot in terms of preparing for the show. He gathers information, looks up the important topics and gives us a general guideline of what we will discuss on the show. In the earlier days of Countdown I used to do a lot for the show in terms of preparing it, but nowadays Anıl proved to be a quick learner and he does most of the preparation for the show. However, Mac Kac Kac is still completely prepared by myself, so I can honestly say that it is the more tiring of the two programs for me.
FBWW: We have heard that you were recently injured playing football. İpek however told us that she beat you up and that is how you got the injury. What is the truth of the matter? Are you adept at playing football?
KO: Of course, what Ipek said is a joke between the two of us. That injury happened while playing football. I love playing football and I started playing it at a very early age. Actually, I was very good at it and even started playing professionally in the 3rd Division. It was a very fun time for me, but unfortunately I had to choose between football and a proper education, so I chose to attend a university and gave up my footballing career. Even though I didn't become a football player and didn't get the chance to play for Fenerbahce, I still got the chance to work for Fenerbahce and make myself useful to the club at the end! Also, I would like to point out that I am very confident in my footballing skill and would challenge anyone to test me on the pitch! When we play amongst friends, my name is the first one to come up for the left wing. (Laughs) Sometimes I look back and say "what if I did choose a footballing career?" and it saddens me to know that I will never find out.
FBWW: You have an assistant: Anil. How did he become your assistant?
KO: Actually that is a story that I am very fond of. Anil is a very important person for me. We have been working together for 3 years now. Some years ago, while we were recording an episode of our show in Bagdat Street, Istanbul, he came to me and he told me that he was an avid fan of my show and loved watching me. Back then he was very young, about 14 or 15 years old. He said that I was as nice and friendly in person as I appeared to be on television. After that meeting, we became friends. He used to call me all the time while I was at FB TV and asked a lot of questions about the job I did. After a while, he started visiting me at work at an increasing rate and our friendship developed. I don't have any siblings, so I started seeing him as my younger brother. Soon after, he started working for me. His first job was to prepare the questions for the Countdown show. When we saw that he was a fast learner and was a capable person, we started giving him more and more responsibilities. Before long, he became a crucial part of our shows and was very well liked at FB TV. He has been working for us for 3 years now, and we are very happy with him. I see a lot of potential in him, he really has a talent for this job. If he sets his mind to it, he can become very successful in the television industry. He learned a lot working for me, and showed that he has the potential to achieve great things. I have always been an advocate of giving the younger people a chance to prove themselves and achieve their potentials. Hopefully, FB TV will win a future star with my help through Anil.
FBWW: Where do you see Fenerbahce in 10 years? How about in 20 years?
KO: As this year's Champions League campaign showed, we have the potential to become one of the greatest teams in the world. Personally, I believe that Fenerbahce will establish itself as a force to be reckoned with before long. Qualifying to the quarter finals of this year's Champions League is a sign of this, however naturally we cannot let this be the end of it. We became one of the best 8 teams in the Champions League this year, but we should build upon this and achieve at least another quarter finals spot next year, or even a semi finals spot. Our goal should be to have a constant presence in the Champions League, and build upon our success each consecutive year. I believe that Fenerbahce will be on par with the liks of Barcelona, Real Madrid and the other greatest clubs in 20 years time, both in terms of the financial budget, and the brand name value. Our current trend points to that. If Aziz Yildirim stays as the President for another 10 years, I think that Fenerbahce will make a great name for itself and be named amongst the biggest teams in the world. In 20 years, no one will be able to stand in Fenerbahce's way and Fenerbahce will be the biggest favorite to win the Champions League every year.
FBWW: Finally, we can imagine that your job is the envy of many Fenerbahce fans. What would your advice be for those people who would like to get a job similar to yours?
KO: Naturally, our job seems like the perfect job for many a fan and many people envy our position. In other words, I believe that there are fans who say "I wish I had Kivanc's job." My message to them would be: Yes, this is a great job, I enjoy it a lot, but at the same time, it is a very trying, very difficult job. It requires a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice. People who envy my kind of a job should first of all be aware of the responsibilities it brings and the sacrificies it demands. But above all, I would advise them to get the proper education for a job like this. I graduated from a university that specializied in media communications, and even though I would have worked in the television industry no matter what diploma I had, having the right education helped me immensely. I am a firm believer in the idea that everyone should try to get a job that they are good at, and they like to do. If a person identifies his or her strengths correctly and gets a job accordingly, they will be a lot happier than just going for any random job. I knew my strenghts, and I also knew what I wanted to do, so now I am very happy with the job I have. So to the young fans who are in the process of planning their careers, my first advice would be to identify the job they want and the job that fits their skills, and then to get the proper education for that job. One of the most important things in life is to be happy doing what you are doing. I am happy with my job, so I see myself to be one of the lucky few. Hopefully, our young fans will also make the right decisions and be happy themselves in return. In the conclusion of our interview, I would like to thank you for setting aside this time to interview me and feature me on your website. I believe that Fenerbahce Worldwide is doing a vitally important job in bringing the Fenerbahce fans around the world together in one meeting portal. I would like to thank Nathan and Ozgur here fore creating such a wonderful and important website. I am always ready to do whatever you need to improve and promote this website, and any other projects you might have to promote the Fenerbahce name. Also, we would like to feature you again on FB TV as soon as you return. You will be our guests the next time you come back to Turkey. One last thing: Nathan, my good friend, I miss you a lot. You should come back to Turkey as soon as possible. Best of luck to you and hope your success continues. En Buyuk Fenerbahce! (Turkish: Fenerbahce is the Greatest!) Bir gun herkes Fenerbahceli olacak! (Again, Turkish for "One day everyone will become Fenerbahce fans")