Nigerian filmmakers need to show more originality – Egbowon
Actor and movie producer, Felix Omolola Egbowon, gives insight into his career and his production scheme in this interview by ADERONKE ADESANYA.
What prompted you to begin a career in acting?
For my career, acting has been a craft that I have been passionate about from time immemorial. Whenever I watched home videos in my formative years, I so much adored thespians that I got determined from a tender age that I would make it my ambition. By the time I got the opportunity to become one, I joined the Icon School of Performing Art owned by boss, Ibrahim Yekini Bakare (King Kesari)
How long have you been a movie producer and an actor?
How and when did you discover your passion for acting?
Of course, during my formative years, I was always featuring in drama in school and in the church. All of those made me passionate about the job.read moreTribune Online18hNBC fines Arise, TVC N2 million eachover Tinubu, Keyamo, PDP commentsMoney Trading: IGP orders arrest, prosecution- of- hawkers- nationwide-Share Story AboutLogin
So far, how has the industry been for you? Any challenges?
Incontestably, it has not been easy being in the industry. No doubt, every field has its own challenges, similarly, acting does too. But I keep going as a result of my passions for it. It is easy for an audience to dismiss a movie as unreasonable but it only takes a professional to know what has gone into any production psychologically, physically, financially and so on. Well, as I would always say, our job is our audience’ fun, thus, my passion for the job keeps me going when challenges surface.
Apart from acting, is there any other thing you engage in?
Aside from acting, I have a boutique and I am an entrepreneur. However, none of them compares to acting for me.
How profitable have acting and producing career been for you?
I am still in the process. Of course, it is not bad. I’m doing fine.
Tell us about your latest production, Tani Mi. What was the inspiration for the movie?
Tani Mi, the movie is a dream come through for me. It’s a true life story given to me by my boss, Ibrahim Yekini Bakare. That was supposed to be my first production but I wasn’t ready for that role then so I produced another one entitled, Jomi .
Who is your role model in the industry?
There are a lot of people I look up to in the industry. The list is endless. My number one mentor is my boss, Ibrahim Yekini Bakara ( President Kuti).
Do you have a dream role?
No, I don’t have a dream role. I can play any role, I love a challenging role.
How do you go about recruiting crew members for a movie production?
Recruiting crew members for a movie production is an important part of the job for a movie producer. My approach to recruiting would begin with researching potential crew members and their skill sets. I would use my network of contacts in the industry, such as other producers, directors, actors, etc., to find out who has the best experience and skill set for any particular project.
How do you react to a negative review of a your work?
Negative reviews are part of the tools that will make me do better next time. I love it when people correct me. I’m open to correction. I can separate negative criticism from positive criticism. Both are useful. We can’t know it all.
What value do you think Nollywood movies offer to the people?
Nollywood movies have been applauded for promoting cultural and social values which results in Nigeria’s progress. Nollywood offers so many cultural values and morals o the people.
When casting a project, what factors do you consider?
When casting a project, I always consider the actors who would interpret the role perfectly and deliver. Also, I’ll normally consider the market angle to it. Apart from giving people opportunities to learn from the story we must make a good movie that people will watch so we can make a lot of money to produce the other project. I also believe that casting is one of the most important parts of producing a film. It’s essential to find the right people for each part so that the story comes alive on screen. I always strive to create an ensemble cast that works together to tell the best version of the story possible.
What are some of the most important skills for a movie producer?
The most important skill of a movie producer is to understand the industry and know more about the movie business before going into it. His responsibilities are to plan filming schedules, hire staff, cast and crew, manage cash flow, schedule and budget. He needs to work with marketing companies and distributors. Also, communication is very important, communication is key when it comes to working with actors, directors, crew members and other stakeholders involved in the production process. It’s essential that producers can effectively communicate their vision and expectations, while also being able to listen to others’ ideas and feedback.
What do you think is the most important aspect of producing video content?
I believe the most important aspect of producing video content is having a clear vision for the project. It’s essential to have an understanding of what you want to achieve with the video and how it will be used in order to create something that meets the needs of the client or audience. This means taking into consideration the target audience, budget constraints and other factors that may affect the production process. Once this has been established, I then focus on creating a plan that outlines the steps needed to bring the vision into life.
What has been your favourite role so far in your career?
My favourite role was the role of a doctor and an intelligent officer.
How often do you think a film producer should update his skills and knowledge?
As a film producer, I believe it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in filmmaking and technology. This means that I am constantly looking for ways to improve my skills and knowledge. I attend industry events such as conferences and seminars, read relevant publications and take online courses to ensure I have the most current information available.
If you could change something about Nollywood what would it be?
Nigerian filmmakers should showcase more originality and mirror the positive image of women, cultural values and norms in Nigeria, rather than concentrating attention on old fetish cultural practices that are capable of portraying the people, especially women in a bad light among viewers.
Tell us something about yourself that is not of general knowledge?
People tend not to know that I’m a jovial person. I’m extremely playful. They mistake me for an ‘over-serious’ person, which is laughable.
Moving forward what are your plans for the rest of the year?
For me, this year in the industry has been an amazing one so far. I only pray to have better years ahead. I only look up to more profitable productions and endorsements in the forthcoming years.
What advice do you have for young people who are just starting their careers, specifically in relation to Nollywood?
My advice for young people is to make sure they discover their hidden talent. God gave everyone a talent. It’s left for you to discover your latent and make good use of it. And also if you have a dream, go for it. In as much as you can dream it, you can achieve it. Be prayerful and don’t give up! Giving up should be deleted from your dictionary.
Do you have any upcoming projects you are working on?
It is a movie entitled, Oba Meji (Two Kings).
Can you share some of your early life experiences?
I’m a graduate. I studied Mass Communication. Growing up was fun as I was affectionately nurtured by my parents in Lagos. I am from a Christian home and my parents are