The Hollywood Walk of Fame is adorned with stars. Names after names of the greats in Moviedom and the allied arts sit beneath the dazzling gold stars. Tourists gawk at them in glee, while those who dream to one day have their names beneath a star stare down with quiet determination. The twenty-odd members of the AFRIFF/Nollywood team were among the latter as they strolled down the popular thoroughfare, their minds attune to the arduous week that awaited them at the Relativity School for the second week of July.
Two weeks of grueling work; to learn cutting-edge film techniques under the tutelage of celebrated Hollywood filmmakers and practice same was no cake walk but the team proved to be up to the task. They were divided into several strains with people like Lilian Esoro and Uru Eke in Producing, Gideon Okeke and Jude Idada in Directing, Linda Ejiofor and Uti Nwachukwu in Acting to mention a few. There were also the strains of Screenwriting and Editing were the team participated alongside the other class members from the US, UK, India and Guatemala.
The workload was individual as well as collective with a focus on ensuring that each team member had an immersion in every strain available at the school. The assignments being a one-minute silent black and white scene, a two to four-minute dialogue scene and a five to seven-minute full action short film. For these projects all crew and cast members were taken from the class with external professional actors being called in were there was a shortfall.
Individually the acting class had lessons in monologues, martial arts and fight techniques and the likes, while the producing class dealt with specific experiential cases and global best practices amongst other things. The directing class was a total hands-on immersive experience as they were taken into the art of cinema and television directing Hollywood style. Same was done for the editing and screenwriting classes the goal being to bring everyone up to speed with what is required talent wise and obtainable skill wise in filmmaking in the year 2015 and beyond.
Beyond the long hours of work there was also the schmoozing at the residences in Beverly Hills where team members got to learn and network with Hollywood studio executives and television heavyweights.
The AFRIFF/Relativity School session ended in a flourish with a gala premiere of all the films that were shot by the team members. They were received with rapturous applause, an overflowing of positive feedback from the faculty and public. The team members from Nigeria leaving fully charged and inspired to touch down in Nigeria with the sole desire to up the ante in their chosen fields and influence positively the broad section of filmmaking in Nigeria.
They arrived Hollywood as practitioners in search of knowledge and they left as true disciples of the art of filmmaking birthed in America but now garnished with the unique Nollywood flavor. Watch out world!
Photo Credit – Ejiro Onobrakpor
P.S – Relativity Education will be at AFRIFF 2015 selecting the delegates for the next cycle. Session will be open to registered industry delegates alone.