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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Many of our Heroes are Criminals

Many of our Heroes are Criminals
By SOLA BALOGUN
Friday, March 27, 2009

He started out as a dancer, choreographer and actor, having studied Drama at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. But on facing the world as a trained artiste, Abiodun Aleja found love in television and film. He availed himself to elaborate training and retraining and eventually became a producer and theatre/movie director.
With a rich African cultural background rooted in traditional ethics and values, Aleja is most driven by a desire to attain the highest level of creativity and perfection in whatever he does. He has an innate passion for quality and entertaining drama, with a mission to represent African lifestyles and culture through the screen.
In 2005, Aleja founded Compact e-Schedules in Lagos as a production outfit with the aim of adding value to the growing Nigeria movie/film and entertainment industry through credible, informative, educative and highly creative film and television productions. He has recorded many credits in the production of TV commercials as well as feature screen plays.The director who begins shooting of his first personal movie; Skillachi, today in Ile-Ife also explained to Daily Sun how he started his career and how he was able to discover his strenght in the motion picture industry.
How I started
I was trained as a dancer, stage manager and cheorographer.I went into stage drama after graduating from in 1987. I was into stage acting and dance before I crossed to the medium of film in 1995. At that time, I worked for Dudu productions under my former boss, Tunde Alabi Hundeyin.Since then, I ‘ve been greatly inspired to do something of value, meaning that I had to take my time in doing things. When I finally had the time to settle down, I started directing films for people and this went on for years. But after working for so many producers, I decided it was high time I started my own directing, but I realised I needed my own company, hence the birth of Compact e-Schedulers.
Movies directed
After establishing my company, the first major directing job I did was Chameleon, followed by Pepper less which I directed for Deji Etiwe and in which I featured Daddy Showkey as one of the actors. The movie also won an award after which I directed Irapada for Kunle Afolabi. Irapada was the first ever Nigerian indigenous film that made the London Film Festival about two years ago.
Skillachi
I started working on the script about four years ago. At that time, we had many philantropists that we always praise in Nigeria. Many people looked up to these philantropists but the truth is that many of them were behind many of the atrocities in our society.
That is to say that behind every crime committed, there is always a godfather that would be linked to it. This scenario was was inspired my story in Skillachi, and the aim really is to put Nigeria on the world map and to actually show that many of the crimes being committed with impunity are not as a result of government’s inaction or the inefficiency of our security operatives. Basically because of the love I have for my country, I decided to do something in my own creative way to mirror how crime is perpetrated and aided by some people in our society. For example, crime was quite rampant in both Lagos and Edo states, but today the governors of the two states have tried to combat crime through their policies on environment and infrastrural development. Also I want to let the audience know that cultists on our campuses have their godfathers too. And by the time some of these students leave the campuses, they graduate into greater crime which makes the society itself a victim of a growing network of unsuspected, and often celebrated criminals.
Why Skillachi is different
I hope to start shooting the film before March 31 and this would run into about 30 days. In all, two scenes might be shot in Lagos but the major scenes would be shot in Ife to establish the campus angle to the movie. There is also the Abuja angle as well as the Cotonou angle which is the border for drug running.
Expectations
Incidentally I‘ve never directed any movie that people do not like and Skillachi is a good story that even people who read the script were so much intersted in it and have urged me to go ahead in producing it.
The audience
Already people have shown interest in the story and I believe it is something people would want to watch all over again because they really would learn from it. When we talk about crimes and cultism in this country, people are always eager to know and it would be interesting to see the Nigerian Security operatives at work through the movie.
Cast and Crew
Many of the cast and crew members in the movie have been in the movie industry but people have never look up to them as fantastic actors and actresses. But they would make history in the film just as the film itself is expected to make history in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Some of the artistes include Wale Macaulay, Sola Awojobi-Onayiga, Ayo Binta Mogaji, Ropo Ewenla and a host of other talented Nigerians.
Showbiz and quality works
The biggest challenge for those of us in the entertainment sector is to embrace true professionalism. The sector currently suffers from mediocrity as a result of the bulk of gate crashers and untrained but aspiring artistes. I think what we need is to acquire good training and learn how to produce good works that our audience would love and be proud of both locally and internationally.

2 comments:

Abiodun Aleja said...

Nice post Ropo, wish I can lay my hand on this article, as for SKILLACHI, the CRESEADA International Company are trying to put a clog into its wheel of progress, first, one of their vehicle crushed our Production Bus with film equipment worth about 30M and almost killing 4 of my crew members, now they are trying to dodge compensation and paying for the damaged bus and equipment; but all is well, I'm trying to get new sets of equipment, then I will commence the shoot afresh... Your role is still waiting for you but bigger now...

Abiodun Aleja said...

Nice post Ropo, wish I can lay my hand on this article, as for SKILLACHI, the CRESEADA International Company are trying to put a clog into its wheel of progress, first, one of their vehicle crushed our Production Bus with film equipment worth about 30M and almost killing 4 of my crew members, now they are trying to dodge compensation and paying for the damaged bus and equipment; but all is well, I'm trying to get new sets of equipment, then I will commence the shoot afresh... Your role is still waiting for you but bigger now...