PUSH IT FURTHER

Insomnia grabbed me by the throat one night, so i decided to revisit some of my post production work.

Its amazing what just 5 mins of tweaking can do, What can an hour or a day yield ? And this is me just trying out stuff as im not as good as I want at color correction etc

I asked, “How can this look better”, how can the aesthetic be enhanced beyond the flat images provided by the camera.

Technology allows us to do so much to digital images these days .

This is by no means a finished work, this is what 5 mins at  3am and exhausted eyes could do.


Work can always be better, pushed a little further.
#filmmaker #Director

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Thank and have a great week.

Interview with my Alma Mater

So, my alumni reached out for an interview.

Navel gazing is not very fun for me  but  reflecting on my journey so far, so far cos there is still a long road ahead;  one is grateful, despite the valleys, hurdles and frustrations;  to work as a filmmaker for a living. Many finish film school and that’s were it ends for them .

It not easy, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Good work alone wont get you where you want to go.  Some will hit their targets faster than others but each journey is different.

Here is the interview

Storyboards – How to save your time.

Time is one the most essential assets on a film set. Especially when shooting an indie film you don’t have much time.  You have limited days, limited time in each location(especially if being given for free) and you have a lot of pages to get through.

Trying to verbally explain to your cameraman or cinematographer what you have in your head is tedious, especially if you havent worked together before.  This is where storyboards can come in.

Dont worry, they don’t need to be “professional”, just make a visual representation of what you want to do so they can see it and replicate it as close as possible( as the location allows) .

Not all genres or stories need a storyboard. Not all directors need it and see it as a restriction to letting things play out naturally .

Do what works for you and your production.

Watch to see if you can see how the boards and the film matched each other and save time on a location we had for only a few hours.

Im Writing for The Guardian, Yay!!!

Happy New Year people!!!

Have i said that already?  Trust you are all excited for the new year and got lots of plans to make some awesome stuff.  Shorts, Webseries, Films, TV shows, etc.

Well, i have some news for you.  I recently became a contributor on The Guardian Nigeria, writing on Film Culture (pauses of applause)

Nothing? Anyone ? Anyone ?

Ok. So check out my articles, buy the physical copies, comment on the digital, comment and share. Lets have  conversations on how we can grow Nigerian Cinema.

Would also, like to hear from you this year.  Yes, YOU ,reading this right now. PLEASE ,leave a comment , even if it just one word. “Hi”  would do.

Here’s to a year making cinetastic content. Have  a great week.

Not all films are meant for the cinema

 

 

USING SHADOW AND LIGHT IN CINEMATIC STORYTELLING

In filmmaking, cinematography is as much a storytelling tools as the words on a script and actor performance, after all, it has the word CINEMA in it.  The use of shadows and light to create the world, mood, tone and atmosphere is essential in engaging the audience, pulling them into the story, letting them know what to expecting and making them feel how you want them to feel.

Certain genres like noir,thrillers and horror use shadow and light more than others but they work in any genre depending on the aims of the storyteller.

Proper use of shadow and light will elevate your cinematic storytelling.

WHEN YOUR WORK SUCKS

It took me a while to like my work.  Even when people told me they liked it, it never was up to where I saw myself or where my aspirations reach . It was not as good as what I admired.

Guess what! It never would be ….at the beginning. When you start, it wont be great and that is NORMAL.  The key is to keep growing, keep learning , keep putting in the work. It’s all part of the creative process.

No writer, director or cinematographer you admire made the work you admire at the very start.  They had to go through the same process of work sucking, levels of failure and things not being as good as they wanted. But they kept going .

Build together with friends at the same level

It’s important to Network Across and help each other out. Do this with discernment,choose wisely as not everyone will have good intent or be willing to return. But sometimes those you grow together with will be the most important creative allies you can form than trying to reach those already ahead of you.

Dont always try to go for those ahead of you, but find those with similar visions and as much desire as you and build together, grow together.

Making a $6000(N2m and some kobo) film

I always find it impressive when a filmmaker can pull off a film for a low-budget and make it looks almost as good as something shot for 10 or 20 times the budget. Luckily there are podcasts by some of these people showing how they did it.

Here is the trailer for Josh Caldwell’s LAYOVER whose entire shooting budget was $6000

Listen to how he pulled it off in this interview with Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle

Dont dwell on how his environment is much easier to get away with some of these things. Take what works and can be applied and use it,discard what isnt transferable .

Nigerian filmmakers like Abba Makama,Kenneth Gyang, Eric Aghimen, CJ Obasi, Ifeoma Chukwuogo,Walter Tayleur, Michael Onumwa, Tolu Ajayi, Tope Oshin,Nadine Ibrahim,Ishaya Bako and others, have been able to  pull off really interesting work with very limited budgets on shorts and features.

Take inspiration from wherever you can get it .

GUARD YOUR MIND

Making films has got to be one of the hardest endeavors known to humankind. Straight up and down, film work is hard shit.- Spike Lee

Film is HARDDDDDD

No matter what the budget or resources you have it is incredibly hard to pull off.  So you need to take care of your mind and the stories you tell yourself about your abilities, situation and craft,

You also audit who you allow in your circle and who you share your dreams. There are those who will only remind you and evangelize on how Nigeria wont let you be great and its impossible to do certain qualities etc  Those with a fixation on the negatives and after a while it becomes a psychological default that blocks the mind from coming up with solutions.  It soon allow you to give up and blame resources, the environment and external factors(which could be valid) for something that a little innovation, brain storming could solve.

Film is already difficult, dont surround yourself  with people who throw water on your fire of enthusiasm and positivity by talking about impossibilities. Who are cynical and pessimistic about everything. Who respond to every things with “this is Naija it can’t” “people will not” , “Nigerians only want….”  to anything.

Should you listen to feedback? YES, but be selective.

Now for the record, there is a difference between Optimism and Delusion. Some negativity is reality, they are the facts on ground. But some are just fixation of pessimism to justify failing in expectations or quality.

Enviromental factor and human factor make a lot of things harder than they need to be, things can be frustrating but there is a certain wavelength you need to keep, uninterupted if you are going to make certain types  of films in this environment. Others have done it here, so can you.

The environment is not going to change anytime soon, indie film will get even more challenging even as the digital tools get better and it gets harder to stand out from the noise.

The question is; What will you do to keep your mind excited and driven to  keep making great work?

God, Cinema, Life and all that jazz