How do you feel when you spend your fortune to execute a project only to be cornered and short-changed? Well, this has been the major headache of independent movie producers in Nigeria.
They have been crying foul on the activities of the Alaba, Lagos marketers who will take a multi-million movie projects for peanuts and still sit on the little that is meant for the movie producer.
David Newke is one of those producers whose this ugly incidence has seriously affected. He opened up to Vnolly all about the gimmicks of these Alaba marketers and many more in thise exclusive interview...
Omonaija : Can we meet you?
David: My name is Nweke David.
Omonaija : What do you do?
David: I am a Nollywood director, producer and an actor.
Omonaija : For how long have you been working as a producer?
David: I came into entertainment industry first as an a hip hop artist. I did some songs then and I also featured Solidstar of Archivers music in one of my songs which enjoyed massive air play in many radio stations and at Alaba international market.
But I joined movie productions in the year 2011.
Omonaija : Why do you decided to come into Nollywood?
David : I left music then because I have so much love for movie but I just said let me try music first since I love entertainment generally but, my love for movie made me leave music.
Omonaija : Does that means you are in Nollywood for the business part of it. Just because you know you can make more money from it?
David: Not really but its among the reasons. I am on it because I fell in love with it when I was a child watching living in bondage and others then. All these made me love movie.
Omonaija: How would you describe the industry since you joined in 2011?
David: I will describe Nollywood as a child that is growing very fast. I joined in 2011 as a novice but I took it professionally the year 2015 from October. As a matter of fact in year 2012 I produced and directed my first movie "Reckless lives" featuring Francis Odega. Nollywood has done well and has also made many people what they are today.
Omonaija : Within that short time, what were the challenges you have noticed as a producer?
David: My brother finance has been my greatest challenge because our Alaba marketers were not helping the matter at all.
As a matter of fact, I will say the movie marketers in Nigeria does not want the independent producers like us to grow.
Omonaija : How?
David: Because you will spend money making movies only for the marketers to price the movie below what you spent.
And if you eventually give them the movie at that lower price they won't pay the money in cash.
Instead they will split the money in such a way that the money won't be useful for the producer again.
Omonaija : Have you had such experience of recent?
David : As a producer and director I have done like 17 movies and all in the market. But, the last two I did were "IBU Workshop and Papa Do Something."
As we are talking now, IBU Workshop that I produced in august last year, the marketer is still owning me money for it. We are talking of hundreds of thousand naira here.
Omonaija : Why do you produce new movies and give marketers who are owing you?
David : The funniest aspect of it is that it is not the same marketer all the time.
I have tried like three marketers and they all have the same story.
Omonaija: So,why not try and produce a cinema rated movie that won't go through marketers?
David: That will be in my plan for next year.
Omonaija : Where and how do you source for funds to produce movies when marketers were not encouraging you?
David: Its only by the grace of God.But now I think the media is helping.
Omonaija : What complain do Alaba marketers always give for not paying up?
David: They always say there is bad market.
Omonaija : What do they mean by bad market?
David: They will say the market is dull that the movie did not sell well. All of them keep saying the same thing all the time but, its all lies.
Omonaija : Since you started when would you say was the best moment career wise?
David: I will surely say this year because i'm seeing a great future ahead.
Omonaija : What were the projects you have embarked on this year that is giving you such hope ?
David: None. But plans are down already for the year and it will kick off in two weeks time.
I will be shooting my first Igbo movie. The first ever in my life and trust me is going to be a great one because, I have been planning it for the past three months.
Omonaija : Who were those actors (both male and female) that you will like to work with but you have not been able to do so?
David: Patience OZokwo. I have discussed with her already And I will be working with her this year.
Others are Osita Iheme, Zubby Michael my friend since 2011, Chiwetalu agu and many others. Out of 100 supper stars in Nollywood I have worked with like 70 percent, soon I will make it 100 percent by the grace of God.
Omonaija : What advice do you have for other aspiring producers most especially relating to their movie distribution?
David: My advice for up coming producers is that they should not rush into movie making projects so that they won't lose their money.
They should take their time to plan well before going to location and they should also get the people that knows what production is all about to work with, so that they can produce good movie that can pass Dstv mark.
They should not hope on Alaba or CD right only. So that they won't get broke for a long time.