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Film making tips

Adekunle Adejuyigbe popularly called Nodash decides to give film making tips; which may as well be New years gifts on the film set of the recently shot movie with Kunle Afolayan. He said on his Instagram feed that he will try his best to do a diary or summary of events of his days on the film set.

Nodash, the award winning and internationally recognised cinematographer directed photography for films like Isoken, The tribunal and the recently released “The Bridge”. Over the past few years Nodash has grown to become a silent powerhouse within the Nigerian film industry, silently making magic in the background.

The 15-days tip, felt like a crash course in film making.  Nodash shared tips ranging from pre-production, to cinematography, to electrical complexities of cameras amongst other things; The following are a few of the tips for each day of the shoot

  1. FILMMAKING STARTS WITH THE TREATMENTS: The treatment is a document that communicates the head of department’s vision for the story. Ideally all creative departments should present treatments, however; it really depends on who is running the production and the capabilities of the people in charge of these departments. I would advise that you prepare a treatment no matter what. It helps you prepare and it also communicates your ideas to the director.
  2. CHOOSE YOUR PEOPLE WISELY. When your crew and cast are well chosen it saves time on set.
  3. LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR BODY: When making a film your body is going to take a hit, and this applies to the cast and crew alike. When you are on a production, find 10minutes every morning to do basic stretches. You don’t have to be buff to be tough simple exercises will do. Don’t be too macho for yoga… it helps.
  4. SOME PEOPLE DANCE: Being on a film set sometimes feels like being in a re-enactment of The Titanic, there is a lot of pressure but learn to find your own Zen, try cracking jokes -but only if you are funny, carry your team along, your crew will move mountains if you respectfully place it in their hands. And above all…don’t take it personally. Let people vent as long as they don’t violate your basic human rights.
  5. CHOOSING A CAMERA: Contrary to what camera manufacturers want you to believe there is no camera that is good for ALL projects. The three questions you should ask yourself before choosing a camera are “What am I shooting?”, “What accessories are available?”, “What can I afford?”
  6. THE ONE’S WE LEAVE BEHIND: Our job is such that we are working when other people are bonding. It’s quite easy for your career to become your whole life but isn’t that like running a bath and never quite “taking” a bath? So you will have to work extra hard to keep the things you value, some parts of your life will suffer – that’s a fact. The idea is to minimise the damage. Learn from the mistakes of those before you. Everybody leaves something behind and it hurts.
  7. THE GOOD PICTURE RECIPE – PART 1: The way your film looks doesn’t depend on any ONE factor; rather, it depends on getting the right combination of the five principal factors. i.e.

* A director who knows how to work with good DPs (and no, there are not many of them)

* A good DP

* Appropriate equipment

* A strong art department

* And proper preproduction

All d other departments matter but these are the principal ones for good pictures

Please note that “good picture” isn’t the same as good cinematography. Good pictures = “pleasant to watch”. Good cinematography= “expresses the story”

  1. LOCAL VS FOREIGN CREW: It’s up to you (and, maybe, the government) to decide who you hire just make sure they have what it takes to correctly interpret your story.
  2. MARATHON BLUES: Manage your energy. A tired mind is a dark one. Stay positive. Remind yourself of why you are doing this project. You accepted the job for a reason so keep that reason in mind. The stress of the project will pass but the effects on your career will last forever.

Check out his Instagram page @i_am_nodash to catch on the other tips.

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