Ogidan has always moved from a great film to a greater one. He is one
producer and director for whom many lovers of the Nigerian film can
vouch any day. Just mention the title any of his films and one’s memory
will begin to tickle. They include Madam Dearest, Diamond Ring and the latest, Family on Fire, where every actor he features practically is on fire almost from the beginning to the end.
the viewer too risks being caught in the heat. For one, you can hardly
help shedding tears at some point, watching the movie, in which one
vagabond son (played by Saidi Balogun) causes maximum tragedy by hiding
cocaine inside his mother’s bag as she prepares to travel.
recent times. At least, he has not produced any feature film in the last
two years. Some of his colleagues sought him out a few days ago and got
him to speak on his journey in the industry. These are the
professionals on the Ibadan Film Circle, a whatsApp forum
initiated by director and film teacher, Niji Akanni. They particularly
got Ogidan to speak on how he brings out the best in his actors and why
he himself does not act since he seems to have the magic wand.
inner feelings and potential of the actors on my projects to bring out
the best in them. I help in every way, including crying with them and
talking them through those emotional scenes…while the camera is rolling
on them – the actors.
people for just a few minutes; even when they never imagined that
they’ve got anything to offer. I have given many such an opportunity.
shocked at my performance behind the scenes while driving them to bring
it out. They are so shocked that they wonder why I don’t act. That is
never going to happen. I am extremely shy.”
that the person must have what he calls sensible training, growing
through different departments of several productions.
how things work. When a director clearly understands how things work, he
can then choose to perform idan (magic), breaking creative
rules to achieve something new. Directors should be considerate of their
project team and actors. You should all set out to have a swell time
executing the project. Directors, young and old, should always
encourage all working on the project to understand that the success of
the project will be collective success for all. It’s usually a great
driving force,” he says.
he notes that he has been doing a lot behind the scene, but he has not
been too eager to produce feature films because the market is hostile to
major main-stream project in a while. My worry is: where will I sell the
new works into? I may pride myself in making good films; but I am not a
marketing person. So it is one thing to make a good film and another
matter to spend adequately on publicity and market the product. Most
practitioners make modest projects for the cinemas and TV screens. I
don’t have modest projects. I have not said that in foolish pride.
things that keep my team surviving. In fact, those are the real
projects that we make money from. I have hardly ever made money –
sensible profit – from my movies. There are some of our colleagues who
know how to market and make great noise for their projects. Kunle
Afolayan is one. Judith Audu is equally good at this. So also is Mo
Abudu. The reality is that most of the movies that have earned profit at
an outstanding level got most of it from the patronage of their friends
from private screenings. But not to worry, we are cooking some things,
the kind of projects that I will feel good to execute.
our industry. Can you imagine if there were 3,000 to 4,000 screens
across the country and films are released first into those.
Practitioners would be better off. However, it is still an industry
that is growing. Many more cinemas will be built. Cottage preview
centres will come up as well. It is happening, albeit slowly.
pack at present. All of us producers, directors, even actors (who think
they have the knack to run a business), should take advantage of the
grants and loans being offered. Imagine if another 100 screens come on
board, mostly owned by the real practitioners; more patronage will be
experienced. We can then start to reduce the sharing formula that the
distributors operate now.”