As Encore, an Edgy Adventure Thriller hits the Cinemas in Nigeria. Keeps Magazine engages the Producer Director of the film Achor Yusuf in an Interview.
Can we meet you?
My name is Achor Yusuf I’m a film producer director. I’m a communicator.
What inspired Encore?
First of all, I have always loved to tell story not just stories but to put things together. I have moved from being a dance choreographer to a stage director. When I got into film, it is the same interest, different platform but same level of intelligence required. I have this childhood friend who wrote the story of Encore he got me to look at it and give it a feel of how a proper film story should be. I won’t say it’s my initial inspiration but then my philosophy of life has been highly imposed into the way I see the story, after all that’s what you do as a director. It is your opinion it’s your world view. The end product basically is my hand work.
What should we be looking out for in this movie?
What we decided to do with this film is to do something that is completely different from what has been on ground. I work with a lot of smart people to get a good product. Film making is a team work, it’s not something you arrogate to yourself and say I’m the Don here. What I have been able to do is get like minds to come together and what we have achieved is phenomenon.
What’s your project for EbonyLife TV all about?
Recently I shot a made for TV drama for EbonyLife TV.
And that also generated a little buzz for you
It is not on air yet but those who commissioned it are happy with me.
How has it been for you, like you guys came from film school and before now there were Nollywood’s Zeb Ejiros and the like but with what is going on today; the cinema seems to be the ideal thing for film makers. I want to find out from you, is it challenging or you are having a smooth ride?
What we are learning to do now couple with our ability to tell good stories on screen is for us to also create a story that will implicate the society in which we live in. If you have a good story then somebody should pay for what you have. We need to connect with the society in which we live in.
Nollywood gives people what they want, people embrace Mr Ibu’s funny antics but the qualities of a lot of the productions don’t come out good
Things are changing, technology is changing almost everything, if you release your film in theatres you stand the chance of making a lot of money but these days where people are so intimate with their phones it means that we should start thinking differently.
You think it might come to a time whereby you don’t need to even go to a cinema
Well, it is a possibility; it means that we should just be weighing all the options.
Have you been to the cinemas lately? Do you know what resonates with Nigerian audience?
They are not looking for a particular kind of story. You can always tell how engaging Nigerian audience are when they watch movies that have some level of research behind it.
When somebody is going for Anchor’s picture, what are those elements that are uniquely yours?
I really can’t say, you know it is difficult for me to talk about my work really but I ponder about life seriously. I philosophize a lot. Some people say if you have not seen an accident scene or a grave in Achor’s movie then it is not Achor.
Does Encore portray that, do we see grave do we see accident scene?
There is an accident scene in Encore, there are graves (laughs)
How often do you watch movies?
Strangely, I don’t think I’m a regular film person I watch movies when somebody recommends a particular movie. And then occasionally when I feel what I’m doing has become monotonous I just need a change then I may just pick up any movie at all and watch. I do more of thinking than trying to watch something. I do more of thinking, I write my thoughts you know.
Is there any director you have seen out there in Nigeria that you respect?
Yeah, I respect Izu Ojukwu a lot; he is like a big brother, a big friend. I learnt a few tricks from him.
Joseph Benjamin had a cameo appearance in Encore what can you say about him?
Joseph Benjamin is a wonderful guy he is hard working.
Was he your choice for a popular face?
Joseph Benjamin is a face. He worked for me on the commercial value of the face and the artistic value of what I felt he was going to bring in into the movie.
It is nice having this conversation with you.
Also with the regards to people I have looked forward to; Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi who was our lecturer, he laid a very good foundation for those of us who studied film at NFI. I will live to be grateful to people like him. And all the lecturers who taught me film in the school.