ALTHOUGH not as big as the British or American film industry, the film industry in Holland is better than the Nigerian video-film industry. “The film industry here is still growing too but it is better than what we have in Nigeria in terms of equipment, set, light, script development and other departments” began the filmmaker and broadcast journalist, Ademola Aremu, in an e-mail chat with NFC from Holland where he is for a training course.
“Their ruling soaps produced by ENDEMOL are studio based. I went there on a visit and they have about 10 sets within their studio with separately attached lighting equipment which l don’t think we have in Nigeria now because we are so location based,” Aremu, better known as Papa Demmy, continued.
In Holland since about three months ago for a course in TV and film productions organised by Radio Netherlands, Aremu is the producer of Ewe Oju Omi, an adaptation of Professor Femi Osofisan’s A Restless Run of Locusts and Bojuboju, a Yoruba detective film that featured Beautiful Nubia. Asked to further compare both industries, Aremu simply said, “We can’t compare because they are more advanced and production is professionally handled here, unlike what majority of us do in Nigeria.”
His ongoing experience, the man who holds a MA in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan said is one every filmmaker should undergo. According to him, “It’s an experience that a serious minded professional should have. Personally, it has widened and enriched my knowledge and skills as a practicing broadcaster, actor, script writer, film producer and somebody in the academia theoretically and practically. It has given me the opportunity to widen my connection in the international arena; South Africa, East Africa, North Africa and Europe. America is my next target. I think l’m preparing grounds for my future in the film industry. I have a dream, and now I’m sure yes I can.”
Before he left Nigeria, Aremu was working on some scripts for film and television drama and he says the experience he has garnered would surely be reflected in his projects when he returns. “I will surely go back to those scripts and rewrite them. What l have got here has opened my eyes to better ways of script writing, especially the detective story genre which l experimented with in Bojuboju. There are different types even under the detective genre and I’m going to stick to one style now.
“Next year by the grace of God, l will produce a film. I have proposals with private companies and government agencies before l left Nigeria and l do hope they respond positively when I return. And I’m not only going to produce quality drama or film but I will also share my experience with others who want to produce work on themes like child right/abuse, HIV/AIDS and of course, love, but with a new approach entirely, not the stereotypical way that we are used to.
“A week before l left Nigeria, I got a request from a body in Lagos to develop a dramatic focus meant for a Yoruba soap and I’m going to work on this too. Definitely, what l’ve gained here in almost three months will surely reflect in the works because I’m more equipped now in theories and practice especially as an actor and script writer.
“Our course leader, Turan Ali -a BBC drama consultant and Beppie van der Heijden- a trained actor and university don did a good work. This course also covers areas like directing, camera work and avid digital editing.”