Interview with Turhan Troy Caylak
Mon 13th Jun 2022
A collection of 5000 generated hamsters that promises an entire ecosystem, a thriving community, airdrops, a creative hub…and there’s even a Hollywood connection. We chatted to Turhan Troy Caylak about how Lost Hamsters is going to shake up the NFT space.
Could you start by telling us a little about Lost Hamsters and what makes the collection unique?
Lost Hamsters is a story driven based NFT project we’ve been working on for nearly a year. The project started during the pandemic where everyone in the world was affected on many levels. However, some lucky people were blessed enough to find the world of web 3. Feeling Lost was a theme a lot of us felt from the pandemic, and to find community based projects in the NFT world sort of healed those wounds. So the LOST and FOUND thematic are the cornerstone of our project. What makes it even more special is our Tom Velez’s incredible artistry in bringing these Disney-esqe characters to life as he helps us build out the world of the Lost Universe, which is the umbrella of our project that will harbor many character activations to perpetuate the ongoing story.
This project sounds like it has big ambitions - could you elaborate on the wider world and ecosystem around the Hamsters?
Lost Hamsters are the first creations of our Lost Universe ecosystem. As we dive into the commencement of the Hamster’s journey, it’s an immediate trek of survival. Our Hamsters do not know where they’ve landed, nor do they know if they will ever make it back from whence they came. While on the island, the Hamsters will suddenly have to deal with a new way of life, not to mention other creatures that will soon appear on their radar. They will have to protect themselves from new threats, negotiate their surroundings, and fight for inspiration to continue their survival in a foreign universe. And to mirror this story line and build upon each character activation, our team will implement immersive engagement to help continue the world of the Lost Universe.
You have an incredibly experienced and talented team - what attracted you to NFTs and Web3?
Honestly, for me, it just fell into my lap. I just happened to be at my computer during the pandemic and saw an opportunity to buy and sell digital assets, but it wasn’t until I bought my Gutter Cat and heard one of the devs on a Twitch interview held by one of my by my first alpha group leader, that the space changed for me. Being a working screenwriter/producer/actor in Hollywood, I thought I’d reach out to the dev personally and throw my hat into the ring for creating their Lore for the IP. It was a no brainer. So, that’s what I’m doing with Lost Hamsters and the Lost Universe.
How has your background and career so far informed your work on Lost Hamsters?
Story is everything in my opinion. Why you have the friends you have, the marriage you have, the partnerships you have, basically everything that ties you to anything that you do is all based on the story someone intrinsically carries with them. To boot, it’s the trajectory of that thing that also keeps you engaged. But once you’re tired of that story, you tend to break away from it because it isn’t working anymore. This is the same for screenwriting and creating depth for any great work of art. People have depth, so a great artist has to mirror that as an exercise to create depth in their relationships, their business, their movie, their nft project, etc. It can’t be lucky. Sure, luck as a lot do with a very temperamental and lightning fast market, but without depth, the story has no legs, and neither does anything else related to it.
You put a lot of emphasis on community, as do many collections - what does “community” as a concept mean to you? What can collectors expect from the Lost Hamsters community?
Community means home. Not like the home many of us grew up in, but a place of belonging that mirrors the ideals and values any given person resonates with. We want to hear the community’s stories’, where they came from, where they think they’re headed. To me, there’s no color or gender in this space. Some of team members were community members from my first alpha group and have never seen their face until half way through last year. Because it didn’t matter. It mattered that we connected, aligned, and wanted to continue to build whatever the heck we were building. To me, it’s a person’s value and skill set in this space, not their color or gender. This is something you don’t see pre-web3. And for that, I’m grateful. Our community can expect us to be welcoming, encouraging, and malleable as we expect to have a two way street when it comes to building out the ongoing story of the Lost Universe, beginning with Lost Hamsters.
One thing that really interested me about your mission statement was the idea of making a “creative hub.” Could you tell me a little more about what this would mean and how it would work?
One of my best assets is to create networks or hubs of incubation. I have a writer’s group here in Hollywood where writer’s share their ideas or scripts and the group reads them aloud in a social or online setting for feedback/notes to help develop projects to their fullest potential in preparation for the TV/Film market. In our NFT project, we will employ our Launch Pad which will be open to holders who are interested or already develop stories. But the hub isn’t only for writing. Because we have such a great team artist in Tom Velez, we aim to extend that Launchpad for emerging artists who want to help build within our collective.
Can you give us any hints about the merchandise and airdrops that collectors can expect?
You can expect merch, but we want to make we have a sustainable project, first and foremost. We don’t want to coerce holders into buying merch until there’s a community need for it. Airdrops? Oh for sure. Probably a lot, considering we’re doing more character activations to build out the Lost Universe. And, ofc, being a Hollywood guy, I’m building this IP along with my team in hopes to pervade the entire market with our story and character brands. Just wait until you see the art, and you can tell me. Haha.
Thank you for all the information! One final question - if you could look back on this project in 10 years, what would you like to say that it achieved?
Like a seed that germinates and is planted in the garden, I want to see fields of our brand along the vast fields in the metaverse in an ever-growing proliferation built on the backs and sweat of the team and our community at large. I just want people to be proud and feel like they can take their IP of the Lost Hamsters and beyond to build their own communities and businesses with them.