BY CHRIS IHIDERO
Welcome, April. So I’m spending most of April and early May teaching and sharing, starting with StoryStory on the 16th, followed by a TV Writing Masterclass and then a comedy writing class at a comedy festival. A few thoughts.
If you’re an actor, you should take a producing class, before or after you have taken a directing class. No, the idea is not for you to become a producer or director; it’s for you to get an idea of what directors want from actors and what it takes to produce a film or TV series.
An actor is one of the elements used in making a film, not the only one. When you see what others have to do to make the film/series happen, hopefully, it will make you a more collaborative actor. Guess what? Collaborative actors almost always get cast.
If you’re a director, you should take an acting and a producing class. You will become a better director. For one, it should help you discard nonsensical ideas like being an auteur. Hopefully, you’ll berth at the shores of collaboration. That’s the true spirit of filmmaking.
Also, as a director, PLEASE take an editing class. You don’t have to become an editor but you need to know how to SHOOT FOR EDIT. Stop making editors pull out their hair; their lives are hard enough as it is. And no, it can’t all be fixed in edit if you didn’t shoot it right.
If you wish to direct for TV, PLEASE take a directing for TV class. Directing a film and directing for TV are not the same thing. No, TV directing is not easy. You can’t swing it just because you have made a film. Don’t be unfortunate.
If you’re a screenwriter, please take a producing class. Writers are dreamers, naturally. But contextual realities say you have to learn to write what can be produced in the environment where you write. Sorry, I know it sounds like I’m asking you not to be ambitious.
What I’m asking really is that you should try and not be unfortunate. You can write whatever you like if you have money and hope to produce what you have written. That’s great. If you write commissioned scripts, you are going to have to write what your producer wants. Sorry.
A writer once wrote a TV series for Amaka Igwe. The opening sequence was a durbar in the desert with like 200 decorated horses, turbaned riders, swords and all. A helicopter even lands at some point. I can still hear her roaring laughter. Never produced it.
Writers, please take a producing class so you can learn that you love scene can also work in a canoe. A yacht isn’t likely going to happen. Sorry.
There are a lot of opportunities to do great work here. I may be wrong, but in my experience, the ones who keep getting the jobs are the ones who have learnt to work within the contextual realities of this space.
Only THREE days to go. Register today to be part of the StoryStory masterclass. Visit www.storystory.ng