I think that Niyi just wants actors to dislike me more than they already do, that’s why he asked me to write this post. Well, here I am ready to be crucified.
I won’t speak for others but for myself so here are a few reasons I won’t be hiring you, again.
Before filmmaking, I spent a great deal of time in the corporate world. You don’t stroll into the office late because you couldn’t find the other leg of your shoe or because you ran out of foundation. My previous jobs made lateness impossible. As a cabin crew, would I dare keep a plane waiting? As an executive assistant, should my boss arrive before me? Or at the call centre where your log on time was your log on time. I remember once we were late, it had rained heavily and the traffic in VI was crazy but that’s not my supervisor’s business, so we came down from the staff bus, rolled up our trousers and waded through the floods of VI just so we could log on on time.
This is what I know, what I’ve always known so when actors stroll on to my set hours after the call time, Uduak does not understand it.
People argue that with celebrities, one has to expect these things; that they behave worse in Hollywood. Well we’re not in Hollywood are we? We’re in a country with a high unemployment rate, a country where the minimum wage is 18k and where many people can barely afford to eat so if you have a job, you better give it your best shot.
Interestingly, the A listers are a lot more disciplined. We filmed OkonLagos on the mainland, only Monalisa Chinda was coming from the island but she was almost always the first to arrive on set. I don’t remember Uche Jombo ever being late or uploading selfies when she didn’t have her lines.
If you spend half the time on your phone, time you should have spent studying your script, we won’t be hiring you again
- LACK OF TEAM SPIRIT.
We do the best we can to provide everything for actors but under the budgets we work with, it’s almost impossible to provide everything. On my last set, the director, Chris Eneagi didn’t like the lamps provided by the property manager, he brought his. He also threw in a few of his equipment for free. Another director, Ikechukwu Onyeka always had a loaded trunk. If he needed something the production didn’t make an arrangement for, he’d whip it out of his trunk. That man is the most stress free director ever. And No, this doesn’t happen only in Nigeria. I attended a directing course at Raindance, UK, a couple of years ago. The teacher mentioned that he always had some equipment with him and even some random costumes should the need ever arise, because in the UK, most of the jobs are in TV and time is key. He didn’t want to risk losing a job because he didn’t meet the deadline. My costumier was surprised when Chioma Akpotha arrived our set with a suitcase of clothes. We didn’t need it but we appreciated it. If you make bringing even boxers a big deal, we won’t be hiring you again.
You’re always going to run into problems while filming in Nigeria no matter how prepared you think you are. Even if there’s nothing you can do about the situation or you don’t give two hoots, at least pretend. On one of my sets, we had paid crazy money for a location. We had a scene left and an actor said he had to leave. A crew member asked if he should secretly deflate his tyres, lol.
- SELF DEVELOPMENT ISSUES
Actors who don’t grow will definitely make little or no progress. You can’t be taken seriously if its the same kind of delivery every time. The industry is evolving and so must we all. If you have a speech issue, please find a way to deal with it (a lot of actors actually have speech issues). If your vocabulary is limited, improve on it. Otherwise when someone else comes into the scene, and they will, I’ll be switching to the person.
And lastly, if I call you for a job and you ask me ‘is it a cinema movie’? You won’t be getting a call back!
Uduak Oguamanam is star maker. She has been pivotal to the careers of nollywood stars like Imeh bishop Umoh and Adesua Etomi. As a writer and producer, she is responsible for some of nollywood’s big hits including The Okon films, the award winning “Falling” and this year’s big comedy, “Lost in London”. Her new film “Put a Ring on it” is now showing on IrokoTV.