‘He believed in me when I did not believe in myself’
By Vicky Bricks
In the view of several industry watchers, the Nollywood industry has indeed taken a new turn for the better with different movie directors and producers, sweating it out there and handling big ticket productions.
Immanuel Udochukwu, a film maker, producer, director and the CEO of Film Lord Media in this interview with The Difference talks about his experiences in the industry and how far he has gone with the pursuit of his career.
An indigene of Ihe-Obukpa in the Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria, he is the last child of a family of six. He studied music iat the University of Nsukka and in 2013, became a film maker. On his training for the job, he says: ‘’I never learnt film making in a formal academy; I only read books online and I became good on the job.’’
In the interview, Udochukwu responded enthusiastically to questions posed to him on his work and the Nollywood industry but kept mum on questions related to his personal life.
What has been your most remarkable film and why?
The film is titled ‘Yesterday’ and the reason is that it attracted international attention and recognition for me. This is because it was seen in an international short film festival. It also got selected for screening too at the 2017 United Kingdom Screen One International film festival. It was produced by Hillary Odo and directed by me.
How long have you been in Lagos and what impact has the city made on your career?
I have lived in Lagos for two years now. Lagos has been the best place for my career and now I produce and sell my films without really needing any help as such.
Do you like attending the screenings of your own work?
I do attend the screenings of my work and its fun.
Where does an idea for a movie usually begin for you?
Most of the movies I produce are gotten from true life stories and experiences. My films are teaching experiences and in them I unveil many things that people are afraid to talk about.
What has been the largest project you’ve taken on so far?
My largest project is my short film called ‘Yesterday’. It is the largest because it was shot in a day and it went for a short film festival in 2016 and the UK film festival in 2017.
What kind of routines do you tend to keep around writing or film making?
No I don’t have any.
How does a typical day for you begin when you are in full swing mood?
It begins with prayers and after that I kick off properly. I love God so much because he is the one that has given me the power to make wealth.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?
The best piece of advice I’ve heard is ‘let’s shoot this film’ and I heard it from my father in the Industry, Pete Edochie. I met him when I shot my first movie in life and that was at about the time I was entering the Nollywood scene and we promptly became friends. I later stopped acting and started cinematography. He spoke this word to me the first time I was shooting a standard film. From that time; I became even more courageous because he believed in me when I did not really believe in myself. The first film that I directed, I invited him to feature in it and it has been awesome working with him. That movie was titled ‘Saved by Sin’ and it starred Pete Edochie, Patience Ozokwor, Gentle Jack and several others.
How does your most recent project compare to your previous work? How does it feel different?
My recent movie production is my dream standard of movie. I now use those facilities I’d always dreamt of using like red cameras, arid cameras and ‘black magic.’ I also use workstations for my editing because life is good with good movies and I love good pictures.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a series film of about 26 episodes and each episode is 25 minutes. You would find out all about it soon when we are through.
Nollywood producer, Immanuel Udochukwu