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Posts Tagged ‘Area Boys’

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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Morning at Lafenwa Market

Pepper vendor at Lafenwa Market

Today, we arrived at Lafenwa Market at sunrise to make up for lost time. The day started with a scene in which a cow escapes its handlers and disrupts Ma’ami and Young Kashimawo during their shopping trip. This minute-long sequence required a huge amount of logistical planning. Tunde Kelani and Bola Belo (Art Director/Production Designer) spoke to the head of the market association to acquire shooting permission, hire security for the day, and rent the cow and two handlers for an hour. These “negotiations” foreshadowed a series of informal contributions (or in Kelani’s words, “donations to the community relations fund”) that plagued the shoot for the rest of the day.

The crew sets up the camera for optimum view of the cow chase

The cow chase through Lafenwa Market

The "cowboys" capture the cow

Funke Akindele (as Ma'ami) and Ayomide Abatti (as Young Kashimawo) in the aftermath of the cow chase

Tunde Kelani, Funke Akindele (as Ma'ami) and Ayomide Abatti (as Young Kashimawo)

Funke Akindele (as Ma'ami) and Ayomide Abatti (as Young Kashimawo)

Before shooting completed for the cow chase scene, officials from the Nigerian Railway Corporation visited the set and demanded to see our shooting permit (although the train tracks which run through the market have not functioned for an indeterminate period of time). Belo and some crew members resolved the demand by accompanying the officials to the local police station, where they “negotiated” for the shooting rights to the train tracks.

Back on location, production moved to the meat market where Ma’ami perused the beef selection without any interruptions due to a previous arrangement with Sir. K, head of The Butchers Association.

Tunji Afolayan (Props) sets up the exterior at the meat market

Funke Akindele (as Ma'ami) and Ayomide Abatti (as Young Kashimawo) at the meat market

As the sun was setting, we transferred to our last location of the day: the Abeokuta Train Station. Officials from the Nigerian Railway Corporation were waiting for us and called Kelani back for further “negotiations” for the use of the overhead bridge at the train station.  However, these “negotiations” delayed the production so much that we lost valuable light, compelling Kelani to reschedule the scene for tomorrow.

Abeokuta Train Station

Funke Akindele (as Ma'ami) at the Abeokuta Train Station

Funke Akindele (as Ma'ami) and Ayomide Abatti (as Young Kashimawo)

Our tribulations continued when a crowd of local Area Boys demanding more “donations” for shooting rights blocked our exit from the train station. Again, Kelani led the “negotiations” and succeeded in securing our safe passage for N1,500…only to be confronted by vehicular disaster on the way home.

After a 12-hour work day, the van overheated

In spite of our challenges today, cast and crew are optimistic about returning to the market tomorrow morning. We leave you with this video of our youngest team member re-energizing the set with his special dance number.

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