FILMMAKER : Through the eye of a filmmaker

Hone your craft. Develop yourself constantly and stay in touch with the best practices in the world of filmmaking.



Filmmakers know it is essential that they have a crystal clear vision for their movies, they take necessary steps to make the writers imagery into realities, who fits into this description ? Tope Oshin Ogun will be sharing some experience with us.


VOM: You are a multiple award winning Filmmaker; Director, Producer, Actor, Dialogue Coach and Casting Director , what came first?
TO : Acting came first, then Dialogue Coach, then Director

VOM: I want to first ask about your experience in the ongoing TINSEL , and being the only female director of the interesting drama series?
TO : Tinsel being a first of its kind soap opera was an exciting experience for me. Being the only female was an even greater blessing for me. I got my confidence as a director from joining the Tinsel team and directing it through the seasons.

VOM: How did you feel when you were contacted to direct some episodes of TINSEL?
TO : At the time, it felt like the best day of my life! lol! My dream, right there in my palms! The world, my oyster!

VOM: You’ve done a lot of TV, as well. Is there anything particular that you’ve learned from TV that influences the films you have made?
TO : Oh yes! Being trained first as a multi cam director, and working within the multi cam TV system, where everything is planned on paper before you shoot a frame has greatly impacted on my career as a film director, because by and large, you’re done visualising the finished product of your movie even before it is made. This makes it easy to share your vision with your crew/team, and helps shoot go faster and the entire production process down to editing is done in half the time. TV has helped me apply precision to my work as a filmmaker.

VOM: Tell us about your working relationship with the TINSEL cast and crew?
TO : It was indeed exciting. Working with the TINSEL cast and crew felt like working with family. It’s a close knit family. When you’ve worked with people for years, you just grow beyond being colleagues. I’ve missed them dearly for the past 1 year that I’ve left, but we must move on to greater things, greater conquests, new terrains. 

VOM: How physically demanding was working on the production of TINSEL?
TO : It was quite demanding, as resumption at work daily is 6am, to start shooting at 7am. And sometimes, we don't finish shoot for the day till about 7pm. And sometimes, this is inclusive of weekends.

VOM: Lets talk about your background?
TO : I’m a Christian, raised in a Christian home to parents who are both ministers of God. I’m the 4th child and last girl in a conservative family of 6 children. I studied Theatre Arts, T.V. & Film Production at the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos and Filmmaking Techniques & Methodologies at Colorado Film School, Aurora, Denver, Colorado.

VOM: How did this film making journey start?
TO : I started out acting from stage plays while studying Theatre in LASU. Afterwards, I morphed into directing with good encouragement from older colleagues who helped me discover my inclinations and gifting.

VOM: We discovered you had done a few short films, why short films?
TO : Besides being a commercial filmmaker/director/producer, I have a message to the world. I have a voice. So from time to time, in between commercial projects, shorts help me express my thoughts and messages to the world.

VOM: Have your short films been shown at festivals?
TO :  Oh yes, severally. With a lot of awards to show.

VOM: Any nominations of your short films at festivals for awards? If  yes, which festivals?
TO : Oh, you’d really like the list of awards and nominations? Okay, you asked:


AWARDS WON
Special Jury Award
“New Horizons”
AFRICA MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS (AMAA) 2014

Best Narrative Film
‘The Young Smoker’
SLUM FILM FESTIVAL, NAIROBI 2013

Best Director 
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2012 
’Till Death Do Us Part’

Best Film
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2012 
’Till Death Do Us Part’

Best Actress
IN -SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2012 
’Till Death Do Us Part’

Best Short Film (Nigeria)
ABUJA INTL FILM FESTIVAL 2012
’Till Death Do Us Part’

Most Outstanding Female Act
ABUJA FILM FESTIVAL 2012 
’Till Death Do Us Part’

Audience Prize for Best Short Film
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, Lagos 2011
‘The Young Smoker’

Best Editing
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, Lagos 2011
‘The Young Smoker’

Special Jury Mention 
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, Lagos 2011 
‘The Young Smoker’

AWARD NOMINATIONS
Best Short Film Nomination - ‘Till Death Do Us Part”
NOLLYWOOD MOVIES AWARDS (NMA) 2013

Best Short Film Award nomination - ‘The Young Smoker’
AFRICAN MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS (AMAA) 
Lagos, Nigeria, 2012

Outstanding Film in Directing nomination - ’Till Death Do Us Part’
ABUJA INTL FILM FESTIVAL 
Abuja, Nigeria, 2012

Best Short Film nomination - ‘The Young Smoker’
ABUJA INTL FILM FESTIVAL 
Abuja, Nigeria, 2012

Best Director nomination - ‘The Young Smoker’
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria, 2011

Best Film nomination - ‘The Young Smoker’
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria, 2011

Most Outstanding Short Film nomination - ‘The Young Smoker’
THE AUDIO VISUAL AWARDS (TAVA)
Lagos, Nigeria, 2012

Most Outstanding Short Film nomination - ’Till Death Do Us Part’ 
THE AUDIO VISUAL AWARDS (TAVA) 
Lagos, Nigeria, 2012 

Best Screenplay Nomination - ’Till Death Do Us Part’
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria, 2012 

Best Editing Nomination - ’Till Death Do Us Part’
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria 2012 

Best Cinematography Nomination - ’Till Death Do Us Part’
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria 2012 

Best Sound Nomination - ’Till Death Do Us Part’
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria 2012 

Best Actor Nomination - ’Till Death Do Us Part’
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria 2012 

Best Cinematography nomination - ‘The Young Smoker’ 
IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria, 2011

Best Sound nomination - ‘The Young Smoker’
 IN-SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
Lagos, Nigeria, 2011

VOM: Many short films were written , directed and produced by the filmmaker, but some 
people also went ahead to shoot , edit and do sound design, what do you do when shooting short films?

TO : I direct and produce basically. I can do other things, but I chose to stick mostly to these two.

VOM: Can you give us an insight into your preferred filmmaking scenario – favourite kit , locations , crew and actors?
TO :Preferred filmmaking scenario? Great budget! Finish! Everything else is possible when there’s a good money to actualise.

VOM: What are the challenges you face in the industry as a filmmaker?
TO : Adequate funding.

VOM: Any advice for first-time filmmakers?
TO : Hone your craft. Develop yourself constantly and stay in touch with the best practices in the world of filmmaking.

VOM: Are there decisions you took as a director on set which you regret and could have done differently?
TO : Oh yeah. Compromise on a great shot or scenario cos of time, and you realise in edit and when the film is done and out, that those extra minutes you could have spent achieving what you originally planned would have been well worth it.

VOM: What do you do to get the best from your cast and crew?
TO : I carry them along with my vision from the get go. So everyone on my set, cast and crew, are aware of what my goal is and what I’m trying to achieve on the project. We work together as one family and come out with great results.

VOM: What movie got you out there as a director?
TO : Each job I’ve directed has come with its own unique “noise”.

VOM: Your husband is also in the same business – is that a good thing or a bad thing?
TO :  A very good thing. He writes, I direct and produce. What do you think? :)

VOM: How do you view the current filmmaking situation in Nigeria?
TO : Its at an exciting phase, where we are making better movies, better stories and reaching farther.

VOM: Are things getting easier for filmmakers now that technology is getting better and cheaper?
TO : Not necessarily. As technology gets cheaper, the demands get higher and the bar is raised higher. 

VOM: Is there any of your completed projects that will surprise people , presumably you’ve used pretty small budgets?
TO : Answer

VOM: What are the qualities of a good filmmaker?
TO : Vision. Precision. Great manager of talents and resources.

Author : voiceoutmag

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