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TNS Exclusive: ‘Women Spend A Lot Of Time In Makeup & That’s Why I Didn’t Have Roles For Them In Ojukokoro’ – Dare Olaitan

The young Director knew what risks not to take

Dare Olaitan is probably the youngest Director with a Nollywood movie out at the cinemas presently.

Actually, he is probably the youngest Director in the history of Nollywood to have a movie at the cinemas. At 26, he seems to know what he wants and he’s going for it. He’s no time waster. And that is why he probably told the type of story he did with Ojukokoro.

“It’s the type of movie I’d like to see.” he told me during the course of this interview via a phone call.

After graduating from film school in Colorado, Olaitan decided to do the one thing he was passionate about, make films.

If the times favored him, he would have been an Author. However, that was made less appealing when the realization of the lack of good distribution hit him.

Now he is a filmmaker, one whose work has already made quite the impact on Nollywood in 2017. And that is why this interview had to happen.

The mind of a man like that had to be understood.

See the interview between Dare Olaitan and I below.

On whether Ojukokoro was influenced by Quentin Tarantino

He’s not one of my favorite Directors. My favorite is Scorcese.

On whether or not he was aware he gave ‘Tarantino vibes’ with Ojukokoro

I didn’t know that. Actually, when we were editing the film, my Editor was like ‘bro this film is like Snatch’ which is a film by Guy Ritchie. And I’d seen some Guy Ritchie films but I’d never seen Snatch. So he literally made me watch it like right there and I was like wow, it’s like I copied this guy o.  It was really funny.

The Cast of Ojukokoro on set. [Credit: Instagram/Darthcoal]
His influences in Nollywood

I have a favorite Nollywood Director but I don’t think I was influenced  by him. ‘Cause I didn’t start watching Nollywood intensely until I had already written this film and I started producing. I was like let me start learning now. Er, I saw this film last year at Nolly Thursdays, Thunderbolt; Magun. It was wonderful. I had to go meet him (Tunde Kelani) after and I was like wow. I still think about it on a regular day; it’s a really good film. I feel like for a film to be good… I think that there’s a problem we have as Nigerians. And this doesn’t necessarily just relate to filmmaking per se but we feel like for something to be good, it has to be very expensive. And this film was little but just brilliant.

What he thinks is more important when it comes to filmmaking

My first day in film school, I still remember. We were in my technical class and the Director of School came in and said, ‘without story, there’s nothing’. The story is the most important part of everything. The Story and the Actor and maybe the Director [Laughs]

Olaitan and Wole Ojo on the set of Ojukokoro

On what inspired the Ojukokoro story

I just tried to write something that if I heard it’s in the cinema I would go and watch. So I guess I must like blood and stuff and all. [laughs]. When I wrote the film I had just moved back to Nigeria. I wrote the film in the 1st two weeks I returned to Nigeria And I hadn’t lived here in 6 years. And in those 1st two weeks, I was really taken aback by the amount of greed everywhere. You go to the bank and everywhere there’s ‘wassup for boys now?’ Everybody. And I was just worried at how greed had become a large part of our societal values. And I was like it would be nice to make a film that would kinda subliminally make people have the impression that greed is bad. If you watch the film, everyone who’s greedy gets the reward of greed which is bad.

On how easily it was to get his popular cast, especially Veteran ‘Aderupoko’

It’s a combination of two things. Like I told you, when I was making the film, I didn’t know much about Nollywood. I just got films of the people and watched it. And I was like let’s get this guy! I didn’t know how big they were in the Industry, But what allowed it all to happen was the script and my Producer. Femi [Ogunsanwo] was able to recommend people. I had to have faith in my Producer. He would bring films and say this person can do this. And then the script. They were all interested in the script. And I wrote the script o, na me write am [Laughs]. As soon as Aderupoko got on set and everyone started running, I was like this is not normal o [laughs].

Distribution plans for Ojukokoro

After the cinema release, we have plans to get it on VOD for people outside the country.

What next after Ojukokoro

Like I said, I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I write the films I make. So I have written a lot of potential second project. Definitely, there’s another movie coming soon. By God’s grace. Not this year, I’m very conscious about the process.

Will the movies be in the same genre as Ojukokoro

I feel like I will keep switching genres as long as I’m interested in what I’m doing. The next movie might not be a crime thriller, it might be a romantic dance film.

On whether or not he will work with the same guys as Ojukokoro

I’ve been getting a lot of reviews about Ojukokoro. That the women are not popping and that was a conscious decision while I was making this film. While I was newly working in this Industry, when we get on set our biggest issue was always to wait for women to finish their make up. They take an hour/an hour thirty minutes. And because it was my first movie, I didn’t think I was in a position to control… that’s why I didn’t use women like that in this one. The next one will be mostly women. The next movie I’m making, there will be women but there will be no make up. {lightly]The story will be reflective of women that don’t wear make up. I’m thinking of Adesua [Etomi], Somkele [Inyamah] Linda [Ejiofor] and Zainab [Balogun]. I’m trying to do away with conventional roles.

If he would be producing the next film

I executive produced this one and Femi Ogunsanwo was my Producer. I feel like me and Femi would be here for a while, you would see many films from us.

How much making Ojukokoro cost

You know this is Nigeria now, we don’t answer this question. 

Not even an estimate… N500k?

It was more than 500k, it was more than 700k.  Ask Femi, he is the Producer. He would kill me if I say the figures. But I can do you this favor, if we cross 200 in the cinema, call me and I will tell you.

 

Ojukokoro is currently showing in cinemas across the country.

 

 

 

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Features Editor at TNS Nigeria, Screenwriter, Prose Fiction Writer and aspiring Producer... at least that's what I think I do