I had read enough manuals. Watched enough clips. Listened to too many motivational tips.
I was tired of watching movies and narrating the elements behind the scenes without been the one calling the shot. I was ready to change the narrative.
I got my script ready — AGHAST. Had guys who were equally enthusiastic as I was to do something great. We were ready to skip the early learning stage and shoot right into the moon. We were shooting with the BlackMagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K, Rokinon Cine-lenses, Zoom F8 Recorder, BlackMagic Production Camera 4K … the list is endless. We were not joking!
But we missed the most important ingredient — talent.
As a newbie that we started off with, we started off with consulting with friends to take part of the journey. Crew, Cast, Location — everything. But we were too obsessed with the tool, that we got carried away and forgot the fact that story is king.
I can’t thank the willingness of the fantastic work colleagues I had in Dami, Ibukun & Ayodeji enough. I wanted pretty faces as part of my first project and trust me, they were not lacking in that part. Y’all should meet them someday.
EVERYTHING THAT COULD GO WRONG on any film makers first day happened.
The sound guy couldn’t tell the difference between what the recorder was receiving from the microphone compared to enviromental noise.
The lady as main cast couldn’t join us early enough due to unavoidable traffic situation until 5–6 hours after call time. And we couldn’t shoot any part of the scene without her.
We couldn’t power the BMPCC4K.
..and ultimately, THERE WAS NO DIRECTOR!
Even after when we were done, I and Dami had a chat and she concurred that we could have done way better. I was still optimistic.
As the first attempt at working with Blackmagics new codec — the blackmagicRAW, I started off playing with any and all knobs on Davinci Resolve. It was looking beautiful and promising! The world is not even ready.
Then the tough part, editing.
First turn off — the sound. It was largely unusable.
The biggest turn off of them all — the acting.
I remember vividly scrubbing through the timeline and watched ONLY a single line of action and just told myself — “Naa … this is not it”
And that’s how it all ended — just like that.
Close to a year later, the script was dusted and tweaked again.
We had learnt a little more on how to be better prepared — resources & situation wise. We reached out to as many as were part of the first project for a chance to re-take. None of the cast were available so we had to make do with a more talented professional in Meso, Judith & Tolu — the bulging talents about make a big break in Nollywood. We had more gears to work with, 2 lighter cameras and more experience.
Looking back now, the most important positive and learning point was to identify what to settle for when telling a story.
If working with noobs, be prepared to burn time to get them acquainted with their lines and delivery. And for the previous cast, I was mostly glad bridges were not burnt. They understood the rationale and accepted the feeling of not been able to be part of the published material.
We keep getting better.