My Story

image

From a very young age I was an avid reader, this extended to an interest in writing when in Yr5, we were told to write a story as a class assignment. That,was the spark that set my creativity on fire.

From that day i was consumed with the passion to write, It became my number one hobby, and even as young as 11 i had started writing a small novel.

Going into my teen years my passion increased, i dreamed of a future where i would be a novelist, like those i admired, but the Nigeria of the 90’s was not one that supported creative career, least of all one as a writer. So i took all science subjects , so i could be a “professional” in the future, but was miserable and the only thing that kept me going was the writing i did on the side; short stories which got good feedback from fellow book worm friends.

Fast Forward to my Bsc graduation day . I was sitting with a group of friends talking and one of them mentioned changing careers and going to film school to pursue his directing dream.That was when it CLICKED. All the stories i had been writing i always imagined them becoming films. As i’d write i’d see my self on set discussing the scene with actors.

From that moment i was fired up, i started to research on how to write scripts, watching every behind the scenes interview i could find; finding every screen writing article or fiction writing book i could lay my hands on. At one time i had to copy by hand a book on writing that a friend didn’t allow me borrow.

I regularly checked end credits of shows i enjoyed to see if i could send my script in and enter the business. I eventually did make it in as a staff writer on a show called The Station (thank you Lanre Yusuf and Ike Umeadi).

There i met and worked with Kenneth Gyang. We’d have extensive discussions on film and cinema then one day he screened “City of God”. That film was a revelation, it was not a Hollywood movie, and yet, this little film took the world by storm and create a buzz in the film community. We had been inspired by the story of Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi) and Kevin Smith(Clerks) but this was something else. I felt, if our Brazilian brothers could make a film like that, why cant we?

I resumed my search for a film school and found SAE Institute London. Film School was certainly useful,but aside a documentary most of the work i did i was not happy with. I was depressed, my dreams of directing were becoming like an ice cube on the Sahara

Then one day i ran into a friend Sunny King, who i grew up with back home, but had relocated to the UK since our teens . We had not seen in over a decade, so imagine what it was like discovering we were both pursuing a career in “the pictures”.

We’d have lengthy discussions about movies we liked and where we saw Black,Nigerian and African Cinema going, even dubbing the change of pace as The Naija New Wave .

Our talks revitalized me a little, and by the time he made his short(SIGNS) where i was a Lens Visual Precision Adjuster( ok , i was a focus puller) and it got good reviews, i was determined to do something.

Like Kurosawa said, “With a good script a good director can produce a masterpiece, with a bad script, one can’t possibly make a good film”. Trying to minimize location and cost I wrote a script that was all dialogue and no story, naturally it fell on it’s face. I was beginning to question if i had “the right stuff.”

Two more friends from grad school made nice short films and i was mad at myself for slacking, and determined to try again.

Luckily this time, i had watched an old Hitchcock interview on YouTube and it completely shifted my paradigm, when he said, “tell the story visually and keep the dialogue to a minimum.”

I took that advice literally, wrote another script, and with the last few pounds in my account made a short film called BLISS. Recruiting a course mate from school as producer(Roberto Iacurci) we set a date and God willing the shoot went great.

We released it on FaceBook on vatlentines day, and for the next two months, we had comments coming in, the responses were very encouraging,people enjoyed it.

Too broke at the time (and too late) to enter for many film festivals, we got into the Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival , and got a Special Mention .

This revitalized me, and i realized all those disdained films were my REAL film school.

Like the Edison story about the creation of the light bulb, i didn’t fail, i learned several way how NOT to make a movie. They were my learning curve and made me realize just exactly what indie film makers and the one back home had to go through to get a film made and realize their vision, and how sometimes despite passion and best intentions, it doesn’t work out.

ON THE FUTURE

Nigerian cinema is growing both domestically and in diaspora. With films like Half of a Yellow Sun and Mother of George premiering at TIFF, Confusion Na Wa at Rotterdam , Gone too Far at the BFI and the trailers of historical dramas “October 1st” and “76” have also raised a lot of excitement.

It is very clear that Nigerian Cinema is switching into a whole new era and i’m excited for what the future holds

This is my short film BLISS.

Please check it out, leave a comment (on YouTube) and share. Thanks.

Advertisements

The Rise of the Naija Auteur

A short film is any film not long enough to be considered a feature film. No consensus exists as to where that boundary is drawn: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as “an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits”.

Shorts have been the means by which upcoming film makers show the world and more specifically the industry what they are capable of doing. Many of the legends of today made short films which enabled them to be recognized and get the opportunity to make feature films. Directors like Speilberg, Scorcese, Chris Nolan ,George Lucas and other went through this path at some point.

I want to dedicate this post to the young film makers from Nigeria.

I won’t write much but i’ll let their work speak for them. You form your own opinions on what they’ve produced. Some of them are based in Nigeria others are outside the country, But they are all Naija Bred .

They vary in genre and tone. Some are socially relevant, some are art house and indie, and others are just entertainment,your opinions on their execution may vary. but they all show something different about their craft and the capabilties and potential of their directors. So
ladies and gentlemen, say hello to The Future

First up SIGNS by London Based SUNNY KING

Follow @IAMSUNNYKING)

Second up WAITING LINES by Lagos Based Daniel Oriahi Follow @Filmic25)

Next up, it’s not a short but a trailer for a feature called BLOOD AND HENNA by Kaduna based KENNETH GYANG, ok yeah, im sneaking this one in 😛

Follow @degyangs

Our first female entry is by Lagos Based TOPE OSHIN OGUN called THE YOUNG SMOKER

Follow @topeoshinogun)

Next ASSAILANT by Lagos based ABIOLA SOBO Follow @abiolasobo)

Ok, this one is a lil long, so if you need a bathroom break, take it now, and grab your pop corn on the way back(WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST OH,Lol)

This is by Lagos based IMOH UMOREN, also known as MAJORBOY titled ALL SORTS OF TROUBLE

Follow @majorboy8

Finally,(for now) a short BLISS by Lagos based OLU YOMI OSOSANYA, yup, moi. You know what they say, charity begins at home. 😉

Follow @oludascribe

As i discover more i’ll put them up and maybe at some point a little interview(maybe oh can’t guarantee), but for now, i hope you enjoy.

Please as you watch go to their YouTube pages, drop your feedback and show some love and for those with IMDB accounts you can go to their pages to vote and review.

The Young Smoker by TOPE OSHIN OGUN
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2107841/

Bliss by OLU OSOSANYA
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1622583/