Ejike Okoye is a seasoned actor who has made his mark within the Nollywood trade. On this interview with Yetunde Oladeinde he goes down reminiscence lane to recall how he began as a child, memorable moments and coaching for movie makers.
Inform us your ardour for films. What was the inspiration firstly?
I did too many stage performs in my church after I was a child (my elementary college days). Truth stays that stage performing is more durable than movie making. On stage, one must be no less than 95% correct as a result of persons are watching you reside whereas in film making one can all the time lower and do it over till it’s good; additionally modifying helps in movie making. Different children regarded as much as me, they wished to be like me and I inspired them to be a part of the stage play however most of them shied away. Once I performed the function of Samuel in church, it attracted a variety of commendations. Individuals had been amazed at my efficiency. I imagine that’s what led me into performing after I turned an grownup.
What had been among the memorable moments?
I’ve good and dangerous memorable moments within the trade. I’ve had uncountable good recollections since I joined the trade. I can recall after we shot the film “Odum” produced by Amaco Productions in Oguta, Imo State. That was my first time going to Oguta Lake. Whereas we had been on the boat going to location, we handed the place Ulasi River and Oguta Lake met, however couldn’t combine collectively. It appeared as if there was a skinny line dividing the 2 waters. I learnt about Oguta Lake in elementary and secondary college. Seeing it was one thing I don’t suppose I’ll ever neglect.
I had the worst day of my life after we shot the film “Slaves” produced and directed by Chico Ejiro in Ezillo city in Abakiliki. Considered one of my finest associates, Emeka Ugo, whom I launched to the film trade, misplaced his life within the course of although he was on set when the incident occurred. He was really drowned in Ezillo River. Watching someone drown, particularly someone near you and also you couldn’t do something to avoid wasting the state of affairs, might be actually devastating. It was actually a foul day for me. What was the expertise throughout COVID-19 lockdown final 12 months?
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a devastating lack of life nevertheless it has additionally devastated individuals’s sources of revenue. The lock down messed all the things up. Because of the lethal nature of coronavirus we didn’t wish to take possibilities. one must be alive to have the ability to work and make a dwelling. Nollywood was enormously impacted that each manufacturing was placed on maintain to assist curb the unfold.
What does being within the sector imply to you?
Being an artiste and a part of Nollywood means rather a lot to me. I’ve a ardour for performing. Nollywood reshaped my life in too some ways. It introduced out the professionalism in me. I had the chance to work in a quick paced surroundings as an actor which was an added benefit to what I’ve turn into as we speak. Generally, it will seem as if you’re in a boot camp. There are particular issues I could wish to do particularly in public however after I keep in mind my career I take a step again. In Nollywood, you get to study totally different cultures. You get to know and work together with individuals of various cultures, tribes and background whereby we study rather a lot from one another. Movie making is a make-believe enterprise. While you play sure roles in films, you get to know and expertise a selected life fashion. You’re portraying a personality, as an illustration, when taking part in the function of a CEO of an organization, a legal, native physician and so forth. In case you are locked up in a cell or placed on handcuffs in a film, you get to know the way it feels to be locked up in actual life.
What do you contemplate because the turning level in your profession?
Turning level is a crucial time in our lives after we make large choices that would change our life. If I can keep in mind it was proper earlier than I obtained admission into the college that I used to be invited to an audition which I didn’t wish to attend on account of nervousness. Finally he satisfied me and I attended. I secured a task within the film ‘SCHOOL OUTLAWS’ immediately. After the film was concluded I decided to offer all of it I obtained. That was my turning level.
What recommendation do you have got for younger individuals who wish to go into the sector?
Deal with what you possibly can management. spend your power on the issues you possibly can management like making ready for an audition, dealing with rejection, creating your character and studying your strains. Generally, it’s extra essential to deal with the right way to react to a state of affairs than the state of affairs itself. Don’t fear about what the casting director is pondering.
Many individuals contact me on Fb stating that they wish to be like me, that I ought to put them by way of in Nollywood. The a million greenback query I’ve requested them was, have you ever attended any audition? The solutions had been often ‘no’ or different flimsy excuses. Film roles are usually not handed on a silver platter. You set to work for it.
What are among the new issues that you’re engaged on?
I’m engaged on some films and plenty of extra affords have been coming.
What concerning the different issues that occupy your time?
Household and enterprise occupy my time. Household comes first in all the things we do. I spend time with my stunning spouse and fantastic children. Above all I spend time with God.
What modifications would you prefer to see within the trade?
Higher pay can’t be achieved with out authorities involvement. I say authorities involvement within the sense that they can assist the trade deal with the problem of piracy. Producers free some huge cash to piracy and thereby actors can’t be nicely paid. It goes each methods more cash into the pockets of producers, more cash into the pockets of actors.
Additionally authorities funding and or grants would go a good distance in serving to us shoot higher films with higher tools, higher submit manufacturing and promotion which might entice higher patronage from internationally and which means more cash to the producers in addition to actors. Additionally there ought to be higher working surroundings. Irregular energy provide can be a significant problem I’ll like our authorities to handle. Use of mills often influence on the standard of sound amongst different features of manufacturing. If there’s regular provide producers might not fear about added price and time due to make use of of mills. Authorities may construct movie villages in every geo political zone for the leisure trade on the whole. I like to recommend common coaching for filmmakers particularly arms on and discipline coaching. There may be the necessity to additional prepare actors and manufacturing workers to develop higher understanding of the job.