Every movie I make is so special to me—Bond Emeruwa

Posted: July 5, 2012 in art/entertainment

Bond Emeruwa is the director of the new highly-acclaimed movie, Daisy which premiered, penultimate weekend, at the Ozone Cinemas, Yaba, Lagos. Although not new to controversies with his films, Bond has carved a reputation for himself as an innovator always seeking new frontiers and captivating storylines for his films. In this chat with IJEOMA OPARA, Bond talks about his new film, Nollywood and others. Excerpts:

 

What is the movie about?

It is basically a movie centred on the children you have, the ones you intend to have and your paternity and it is woven in a very interesting setting.

What informed your choice of title?

I had never really heard that name before. For me it was just a name of a flower, but when my writer was writing and used that name, I liked it and I knew it was a great name going by the fact that Daisy is a likeable flower and all that. The movie actually tells the story of a young girl, Daisy who is so loved by her father, and whom anyone would love. She is an easy going young girl, happy, love and music but in the long run there were issues in the sense that her parents were both professors and then where did the love for music come from and that formed the movie.

How long did it take to complete shooting?

Well, from conceptualization to finally on screen, it took about 18months.

What have you been up to in the last five years?

I have made other movies in the past five years which included “Freedom in chains” was made four years ago, which was premiered at the Aso Villa and other parts of the country but it’s really not in the market. The only thing is that when I make my movies I don’t rush it into the market and that’s why it seems like I have not been shooting movies because I take time to do them. After “Daisy”, I have done “My Proposal” and “Hidden Hunger” these are still movies waiting to be released, they are actually going through post production processes. I don’t like rushing into the market; I make sure I have duly completed my work.

Why is this movie special to you?

Every movie I make is so special to me, if you follow my trend basically, you would find out that they are movies that affect lives and have an effect on them, every movie is a big project to me.

The cast

Basically, it’s more of new faces and veterans. Olu Jacobs played the lead role and of course, Ebere Okaro-Onyuike played his wife. I have Peter Bunor, Jim Lawson in it, the girl that played Daisy, is a very new actress, I have people like Nonso from Tinsel, but it was a mixed cast, generally people were casted basically on how they fit into the role.

Was there anything that informed the concept of the movie?

Not really, I am a film maker. When I hear an interesting film, I dive at it. I made a movie on sickle cell anaemia some time ago, I am not a sickler and nobody in my family is one but the script was interesting, I made a movie on spinal cord injury as well because one day, I found myself in a bus, from Ojuelegba to Kilo and somebody brought out a wheelchair and I looked in the bus, nobody seemed like he could be using it, and then a very handsome young man, slipped into the wheelchair and wheeled away, and you know what caught my attention wasn’t actually that he was in the wheelchair, but that he was whistling and smiling and he wheeled himself away and so I asked myself, if I was there on that wheelchair, will I be happy, and that was the beginning of the story in my mind and the movie which I shot in that concept was “Heart of Gold” which I did years back. So to me, I don’t have to be affected personally before I get the idea or concept for a movie.

From what we see here today, the emerging faces of Nollywood are not here?

You would always invite people you know, I made a film and I decided to invite those I want to invite which are the likes of Uncle Olu and Ebere, because I am old school (laugh). Those who are here are more of the veterans, these are the people who understand Nollywood for what it is, they not your new school who try to do things with the American concept, your new school will fizzle out because they are competing in the guild but they cannot succeed in it because the market woman who feeds on less than one dollar a day cannot understand the language used, the premieres would give us all the money spent on production, it is about getting to the millions on the streets with the kind of stories they can relate to. That is what Nollywood should be all about, if that was what Nollywood had been like from the onset, we wouldn’t have what we have today, so these are the people who understand this and they would remain my people.

For me, I think we are doing real good we have our bad movies, if you don’t have bad movies, how would you know your movie is good (laughs).

How do you react to stories of executive producers dictating to movie producers on what to make?

That is what we call lack of planning and preparation, because in the same environment where you think you are not doing well in the market, someone else is still doing his movies and making bumper profit every year, a colleague of my Kunle Kelani, just made his second movie Phone Swap has made his money, he doesn’t need all the marketing in the world, same with Figurine. So for one to sit back as a lazy person and say, I am not going to make money for the market. Instead you develop and create the market, people actually developed the one that you are operating in, you shouldn’t have an excuse for not making movies, so if you are a film maker and a film business man it’s a different ball game, so when there is slight law in operation, you jump out, a film maker should change with emerging technology, like a guy who is also present at this premier, Chike, he owns “Afri-Nolly” , it is a production that promotes your business, it’s emerging media, very soon, people would begin to download tons of software, it is money, in America people are making tons of money via that medium. Now, if one does not have a phone that has the latest technology then you are not in, so if you sit back in your comfort zone and say that somebody else did it, and I cannot do it, it’s left to you, you were never meant to be in the entertainment world in the first place.

What your trends with cinemas

The same thing that happened with marketers’ years back, everybody says marketers were pirates. It’s not every movie that goes to the cinemas; it’s not the fault of either the producer or the cinemas. And the issues of releasing your film on 7 or 5 screens is such that there is a limit to the amount of money you can make over time and you are not backing it up with a level of publicity, you ask yourself why did Figurine became so popular. The publicity that followed Figurine was monumental, our many other movies have gotten that level of publicity all these years, other successful movies includes “tangle with me”, “Ije”.

How have the industry been able to cope with piracy?

Piracy is a thing of the mind. There is a movie that was shot in Nigeria that is not even on YouTube till today that’s because nobody can pirate it, because it has been coded that with a minimal sum the software can be encoded, this is also applicable to a female student who wouldn’t read to pass her exams and blames it all on the lecturer for trying to have an affair with her. Five to seven years ago we didn’t have the piracy problem although people keep shouting and talking about piracy but the truth is, nobody has been pirating anything, nobody pirated the VCD’s and DVD’s until the 20-in-one’s came out, that’s where piracy originated from, nobody would pirate a movie that is a failure.

Challenges putting up your (cast and technical) crew

In the motion picture world, that’s not a challenge really, putting together a crew for a movie. Yes, you could have a wider range of what you want and the issue of selecting what’s most accurate, you should also consider the kind of cinematograph, picture quality, equipments, photography would you want. What we used here is slightly different, we are dealing with one of the most basic HD cameras on earth to achieve the kind of photography we want and so I brought in a couple of friends who are foreigners, and so I said to them, “let’s try it.”

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