Producer Seyi Babatope of Phebean Films with Kene Mparu of FilmOne Distribution Inc today premiered ‘When Love Happens’ at Genesis Cinemas, The Palms, Lekki and we must confess the movie beat all expectations. I, representing Phantom House Books, was privileged to be onset when the movie was being shot and I remember Seyi having Sound and Logistic problems. Truth is, I don’t know how he did it in post-production, but he sure did pull it off.
I must mention, that I myself, am not a fan of postmodern Nigerian movies, but this is a total bencher! I almost coughed out my lungs from popcorn and laughed my heart out at this hearty romantic comedy all through the premiere. The photography was top-notch done by Pindem Lot and the casting was thorough. I said thorough. I wasn’t too surprised by seeing Uche (Weruche Opia) and OC (Ukeje) command the screens as their commitment on set was absolute; what is required from every actor, including the recognition of lines, but seeing the likes of Desmond Elliot, Wale Ojo, Bernard, as well as “Shaffy” (Bello) and “keppy” (Ekpeyong), my two glamorized couple (also my favorite couple) putting so much into this near 2-hour full feature had me thunderstruck. Might be due to the reasons that they all had fun on set. I know Seyi made sure everyone felt like family. Aside his occasional disgruntlement at the crew. Heh. In fact when it came to the Questions and Answers session at the premiere, it was nothing but laudable praise from everyone including trenchant critics for Babatope and his delicate cast. He’d once mentioned to me these people were the best at what they do, but I had to see Uche and Ukeje live during filming to believe that—I too being a not-too-sarcastic critic myself.
Now back to us. What’s intriguing to us in all this is that though this work is an original creation by the man himself, this producer is challenge-oriented and has set his eyes on Phantom House Books to produce more challenging screenplays to challenge his audience. In consequence, we also are equally challenged to work with him in a bid to show Nigeria the proper way to do things: Writerà ScreenplayàMovie. Or isn’t that how it’s done?
So all we say to our Nigerian authors and writers out there is keep writing. Let Nigeria get the chance to witness your work for a writer is nobody’s writer if you work dusts up a cupboard.
By the way, welcome to the new Nollywood.