When mention is made about the movers and shakers of Nollywood and the Nigerian music industry, one of the persons that readily comes to mind is Uzodinma Okpechi.
Okpechi is one of Nigeria’s versatile filmmaker and pioneer music video director.
With 20 years of working experience in Nollywood and the music industry in Nigeria, Okpechi did not set out in life to be a filmmaker or music video director.
That notwithstanding, Okpechi moved on to become one of the most decorated filmmakers of Nigeria.
In this interview with African Entertainment, he shed light on his film career, its ups and downs and how he has managed to build himself into a household name in Nollywood.
Tell us about your self please...
I am Uzodinma Okpechi, a proud filmmaker.
What made you pursue film making?
Passion and the pursuit of excellence made me pursue a career in filmmaking.
What roadblocks did you faced when you were starting out?
The many rejections and having many ideas without been able to develop them and make them come alive.
What is your greatest achievement till date?
Knowing that God loves me, being alive and healthy is my greatest achievement till date.
Why your films always feel so serious/ dark / pacy ?
My films are vehicles of entertainment first of all. They have pace, more visual than dialogue oriented and maybe visceral. I like delving into realms yet not conquered and bring out a story fiction or not.
How do you pick yourself up after a failed film ?
After a film which has not done too well in return of ROI, I remind myself that you make films to make more films – Walt Disney
Can you tell us more about your upcoming project(s)?
Currently producing Gulder Ultimate Search Season 12. Finishing post work on ‘Kamsi’ a feature fictional narrative.
Can you tell us about a funny anecdote regarding the any actor that you had worked with?
I generally have a good relationship with my actors. As a director, directing actors and getting a believable performance from them is my major concern. If I am prepared enough, I probably would get a believable and memorable performance from them.
Can you tell us about the greatest moment in your film career?
Yet to have my greatest moments in film. Again the reason for filmmaking has greatness surrounding it. So being a good filmmaker is greatness in it’s own way.
Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful film maker?
Filmmaking has to be learned. It does not just happen. It can be formal or informal learning. It can be self tutoring. It can be through watching the jobs of filmmakers you like. But there must be learning. So yes, filmmaking has to be learned.
Which particular film maker has influenced you the most?
Steven Spielberg has influenced me the most.
Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?
James Hadley Chase Novels, Things fall apart, by Chinalumogu Achebe, Biafra Soldier’s wives
If you got the opportunity to remake a classic , which one would you go for?
Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator.
If you got the opportunity to go back in time and change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie and what changes will you opt for?
Going back in time affords you the opportunity of vision 20/20, I generally would make my former projects better.All of them.
Do you have any advice for young film makers out there ?
Young filmmakers are advised to be focused on their craft because in a democratised space like filmmaking everybody can be a filmmaker, not everybody will be good at filmmaking.
Do you have any advice for veteran film makers like yourself?
For fellow filmmakers, my advice is that we should be bold and audacious when filming. We should not settle for quantity but quality, because at the end, quality stands out.
Thank you for your time…