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Archive for the ‘On location’ Category

Daniel Ademinokan (Director) and Saheed A. Abolaji (Assistant Director/Continuity) oversee the script reading with Trybson (as Da Grin), Slip P (as Henry Hope) and Soji Jacobs (as Leo). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Today, I visited the set on the sixth day of shooting of the much-anticipated Da Grin biopic, Ghetto Dreamz: Story of Da Grin. Executive producer Ope Banwo of  Stingomania Entertainment recruited Daniel Ademinokan (Guilty Pleasures, Bursting Out) to direct and to write the script. Stingomania Records recording artist Trybson plays the title role.

Trybson (as Da Grin), Slip P (as Henry Hope) and Soji Jacobs (as Leo). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Saheed A. Abolaji (Assistant Director/Continuity) marks another take. Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Yemi Awoponle (Director of Photography) and Daniel Ademinokan (Director). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

The movie chronicles the meteoric rise and tragic death of the 23 year-old rapper. The production schedule covers 133 scenes in 14 days. Ghetto Dreamz is scheduled to be released in theaters in Nigeria, US, UK, and Canada in April 2011 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Da Grin’s untimely death.

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Ginnefine Kanu (as English Carol). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

I returned to the Midnight Whisper set on the penultimate day of shooting. Per Uduak Patrick (Continuity), the cast and crew worked late into the night to shoot 40 scenes yesterday. There are 27 scenes left to cover over the course of today and tomorrow before the movie is completed.

Austin Nwaolie (Director of Photography) shoots Ginnefine Kanu (as English Carol). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Thursday is the final deadline since Desmond Elliott’s next production is scheduled to begin production on Friday.

Desmond Elliott (Director) monitors a take. Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

 

Nse Ikpe-Etim (as Ibibio Carol) and Uwem Umoh (as Ibibio Akan). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

According to Maurice Sesay (English Rotimi/Executive Producer): “It’s been going well and I love the story, but you can imagine how crazy it has been with this two-in-one story.” 

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Desmond Elliott directs Moses Armstrong (as Ibibio Ben) and Nse Ikpe-Etim (as Ibibio Carol). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

For the past two days, I have been shadowing the cast and crew on the Lekki set of the latest (still untitled) film directed by Desmond Elliott and produced by Emem Isong. Unlike other Nollywood domestic dramas, this production marks the first time that two language versions of the same film are shot at the same time: English and Ibibio.

Ini Edo (as English/Ibibio Sylvia), Moses Armstrong (as Ibibio Ben), and Nse Ikpe-Etim (as Ibibio Carol). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Ini Edo (as English/Ibibio Sylvia), Clem Ohameze (as English Ben), and Ginnefine Kanu (as English Carol). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Isong wants to target the Ibibio-speaking people in her home state, Akwa-Ibom, while still making a commercially viable product for the rest of Nigeria. The two versions will be packaged as two separate films and will be released at different times in different markets.

Uwem Umoh (as Ibibio Akan) and Ini Edo (as English/Ibibio Sylvia). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Maurice Sesay (as English Rotimi) and Ini Edo (as English/Ibibio Sylvia). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

The cast is divided along language lines, with Ini Edo playing both language versions of the same role as English/Ibibio Sylvia. The rest of the talent includes Clem Ohameze (as English Ben); Moses Armstrong (as Ibibio Ben); Nse Ikpe-Etim (as Ibibio Carol); Ginnefine Kanu (as English Carol); Maurice Sesay (as English Rotimi); and Uwem Umoh (as Ibibio Akan).

Desmond Elliott (Director). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

Austin Nwaolie (Director of Photography). Photo © 2011 Bic Leu

The production schedule ambitiously covers 246 scenes (123 scenes for each version of the film) over a ten-day period. Despite the grueling schedule, Elliott was optimistic about the production’s progress as he pushed the cast and crew to work harder: “I think that if you all are half as fast as I am, we can be done in no time!”

Africa Magic‘s entertainment program JaraTV was also present on-set to cover the behind-the-scenes news.

 

 

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Silverbird Galleria. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

Last week, the production ventured to Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island. One of the several scenes that was shot at the cinema and shopping complex was one in which Jenifa is arraigned by the police after her arrest at the beach party.

Lekan Oropo (Director 2) oversees Funke Akindele (as Jenifa) rehearsing her lines. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

Lekan Oropo (Director 2) oversees Funke Akindele (as Jenifa) rehearsing her lines. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

 

The interrogation scene. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

 

 

 

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University of Lagos Auditorium. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

 

Today, we returned to the University of Lagos campus to film the pivotal concert scene. eLDee performed the film’s theme song, Ota Mi, to a packed auditorium of excited students. Dancer Kaffy choreographs the sequence for 12 dancers, including Funke Akindele (as Jenifa), Denrele Edun (as Dancer), and Seun Chukwuemeka (as Sumbo).

 

eLDee performs 'Ota Mi' at the University of Lagos. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

The power (un)expectedly went out during the taping of the performance, but eLDee quickly recovered and resumed singing once the crew turned on the generator.

Jenifa (played by Funke Akindele), Kaffy (played by Herself), and eLDee (played by Himself). Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

The cast and crew celebrate backstage. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

Tomorrow, we will move to Silverbird Galleria to shoot our few remaining scenes in Lagos before moving the production to Ikorodu on Friday.

 

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eLDee arrives on set. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

I encountered eLDee on set, where he is playing himself in the film. The seasoned musician describes his part as a “responsible role model” to Jenifa. eLDee is also contributing original music to the score–his song Otami will be the theme song for the film and will serve as the background music for the big performance number.

eLDee (as Himself) and Funke Akindele (as Jenifa) between takes. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

Area boys in Ajah. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

In the afternoon, we ventured further into Ajah, where we encountered local Area Boys. They stopped the equipment truck and demanded N20,000 per car to enter the private housing estate where we had planned to shoot the rehearsal scene.

Funke Akindele preps the extras for the Ewatomi Hostel scene. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

Girl 1 (played by Kemi Lepe), Girl 2 (played by Raheem Motunrayo), and Gbogbo Big Girl (played by Eniola Badmus). Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

Determined to continue the shooting schedule, Muhydeen S. Ayinde (Director 1) and DJ Tee (Director of Photography) changed locations to a nearby hotel to film exterior scenes and to capture the remaining daylight.  The Area Boys followed us to the hotel, where they watched us film two scenes in which the Gbogbo Big Girl (played by Eniola Badmus) recruit hostel residents.

Setting up on the roof for the night shoot. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

Muhydeen S. Ayinde (Director 1) and DJ Tee (Director of Photography). Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

As day turned into night and as the pile of their discarded beer bottles grew, the Area Boys grew more insistent in their demands for more money. This disruption escalated into a rowdy bar fight and delayed production for another hour. After we had compensated them and shot the final scene for the day, the clock turned 11:00 PM and we marked another exhausting 16-hour day on set.

The confrontation scene. Photo © 2010 Bic Leu

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Shalewa (played by Mistura Asuramu) and Jenifa (played by Funke Akindele) embrace outside of Shalewa's hostel room

Shalewa (played by Mistura Asuramu) and Jenifa (played by Funke Akindele)

Funke Akindele led the production team back to her old stomping grounds at the University of Lagos, where she received a law degree. Unilag is also where my office is located and where many members of the cast and crew attended university, so today was a coming-home of sorts on the set. Our location for the day was Moremi Hall, an all-girls hostel on campus.

Muhydeen S. Ayinde (Director 1) and DJ Tee (Director of Photography) film Titi (played by Mercy Aigbe) purchasing several lace wigs from Bisi (played by Ayanwale Cole Folake)

Titi (played by Mercy Aigbe) on her sickbed. Special effects make-up courtesy of Titi Ogundipe

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