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I Communicate Via Movie – Desmond Utomwen

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producer and a trained journalist who is also the publisher of Fresh News. In this interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, the Abuja based movie maker speaks on why his short films are more informative.

Scriptwriters and also the actors are doing the right thing especially, looking at the kind of movie that is been released in the market?

There are different categories of movie makers, there are those that are for the commercial purpose and there are those that believe they need to communicate a message to the people.
As a movie maker, you need to research on the topic; you don’t just write because you can produce the movie no you have to research deeply. There must be a message in any movie you are producing, if not it’s as useless as tissue.

Most of your movies are short films are you working on any feature length film?
If you are a student of movie making, you will know it’s advisable to start with short films before going for the all-encompassing so that if there are errors, you would know how to correct it. We started with Shared and even though it was our first movie in our icons and legends, it didn’t look like a first movie from somebody in the industry, we have been getting recommendations and the reviews are very encouraging. Shared is already in various movie festivals. And we are hoping that we would have some god fortunes when others open. We have done other movies, short films like On Pretty which I starred in, trying my skills in. on pretty tends to mirror the society about man inhumanity to man. We also did Broken Homes; it’s a major syndrome in the society and we also have other projects we are working on.

Since the inception of this government, lots of movie producers and stakeholders in the industry have been complaining that they have not been given support to excel in the industry. Is there any particular thing you would want the government to do for the industry now the economy is in recession?
For the movie makers we will like the government to give us better environment, we have little or no encouragement from the government which we can understand because of the economy recession and all that, but aside the money there are a lot they can do.
Let’s look at the challenges in the movie world to know where to situate it properly in line with what we require from the government. Location is a very big challenge in the movie industry in this country, if you go to other countries their government help in the location. There is nothing bad for the police and other security agents to help in a location that needs security. The last administration tried to help the industry, and this government should make sure that what the last administration did for Nollywood is carried on. There is different between intentions and actions and their intention though has not been bad, we want the manifestations to come as quickly as possible. There is nothing wrong with us building film villages where we could do anything. The government should partner with private sectors so they can bring money and support and help to create mutual development in the industry.

How are you enjoying journalism and movie production as n entity?
Both of them are communication tools, you communication in different ways and reach different audience using different media, there are some people who cannot get your message no matter how beautifully crafted they would never open the newspaper to read even when you have screaming headlines on the cover, but when its communicated through movies they sit back and enjoy it. There are those who can be reached through that medium especially the elites while others need to see the picture that’s why we are into movie production. And my experience as a journalist has really helped me in production. The youths in the society don’t get their news from the newspaper, they don’t subscribe to the traditional media, they get their news from the movies, online etc. They are a good blend, but when I can’t communicate via the news side of the media, I communicate via the movie. For example when I communicated a message of Pay Your Tax, it pays to pay your tax, you could write that over and over in the newspaper people will not be willing to read it but some of these things could be communicated through the movie. It would also reveal what your tax can do for you and what you suffer by Not Paying Your Tax; you package it and give it to them. Same thing goes with health issues and there are other moral issues that you carry on newspaper and people will not read it. In movie form, which is different from newspaper is what you see that instils in your mind.

Tell us about your background and how you started off?
I’m first of all a journalist, movie producer, I do everything within the media circle, I am trained to do read mass communication Auchi polytechnic and I went further for and had BSC in Sociology from University of Abuja. I work within that area that wants to talk about society and what it holds for humanity. That has been my drive in everything I do. I do that with pen that’s for the journalism and with my background with sociology, to also have a better society and using what is at our disposal to create a better society. I started journalism 2002, firstly with Temple Magazine in the day of the military era and I later went to the News Magazine; there I worked as a full time staff until 2013. I also got into public relations services as a media consultant. Current I’m the publisher of Fresh News. It’s an online magazine and a web TV. I’m also movie production and other related services.

What should we except from you?
We want to be able to communicate message and also maker our money back. We want to give quality content to people that can be viewed in classes or meetings. We want to revolutionize the industry and make so much difference and also raise people that will make difference in the society.

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