In March this year, I somehow ran into an upcoming artiste in the Nollywood industry. During a conversation, we talked about the Nollywood industry, the business of film-making and the market size. Soon, a proposal to produce a movie came along – we agreed to try producing a movie.
Before then, I had heard horrible stories of movies that failed at the production stage. A friend once frankly told me that most first movies end up in the trash can, that it takes a long time of trial and experience to produce a marketable film…
In everything I do in life, I don’t fear failure. I put in my best to succeed and leave the rest to God. With this spirit, I got in. I fantasized about producing movies but never had the opportunity to meet a professional in the industry. Now I had someone, I wouldn’t let fear stop me.
We started reading and reviewing scripts. One thing we focused on is producing an original storyline that is realistic. Believe me, it’s not easy to find one. Most stories tilt toward the usual: stories of how the gods punished an evildoer, how an uncle poisoned his brothers, how pastors conquered Amadioha shrine… We didn’t want all that or anything to do with the supernatural powers.
We set our mind on contemporary issues — what happens in our society that is not often exposed to the public, real events, real stories. After due sorting, we finally got something fantastic. Ready for action, we shot!
Then came marketing. We began submitting to Cable TV partners. The largest buyer of Nollywood movies in Africa is MNET, aka AFRICAN MAGIC. There are a number of African Magic channels and the quality of your movie determines which of the channels it will be played on.
The best quality Nollywood movies are shown on African Magic Showcase and African Magic Urban. That is why you don’t get the channels except you are on premium subscription. Your movie must meet a minimum quality standard before African Magic could sign it on Showcase or Urban. That is why, when people complain that Nollywood movies are not of high quality, I ask them where they watch their movies. You can’t compare movies on African Magic Epic with Showcase.
We would have been okay if our first movie were to be played on any of the lower African Magic channels. No issue. It is a first job. But we didn’t set our mind on anything low. We wanted to be original, to be real and to be contemporary. So having done the job and submitted the preview, we awaited the feedbacks. No qualms, whatever happens.
Just early this month, we got our first response. Guess what it is! African Magic signed our first movie titled “HOLY RUSE” to be on her prestigious Showcase channel. I was mad with joy. Despite the challenges and all the stories, our very first production is of such high quality. And it is not as if we were all experienced.
Yours sincerely is the Executive Producer. It is my first job. It is also the first job of our line producer, Felicitas Adaku Amadi. The experienced person who guided us, despite his tight schedule, is my one and only Emeka Madu Paul, a noble and honest man who loves upcoming artistes. He directed the movie, and a good job he did. You need to watch this thrilling movie.
Just watch out on your African Magic Showcase; HOLY RUSE is hitting the screen soon.