Let’s have a pop quiz shall we? Just one question in it so shouldn’t be difficult.
Question: Pick out the odd group of Groups A, B, C listed below.
Group A: Pete Edochie, Jim Iyke, Ini Edo, Uche Jumbo, Osita Iheme, Chinedu Ikedieze, Dayo Amusa, Nkem Owoh, O.C Ukeje, Richard Mofe Damijo, Kate Henshaw, Desmond Elliot, Monalisa Chinda, Patience Ozokwor, Mike Ezuronye
Group B: Ngozi Obasi, Okey Ikezue, Nelson Okoronkwo, Ausitn Erowole, Biola Oke, Nkechi Ogedegbe, Ejiro Oguma, Uzodinma Okpechi, Temple Adighie, Sedoo Kpaaye
Group C: Charles Novia, Amaka Igwe, Alex Mouth, Jeta Amata, Kenneth Gyang, Chico Ejiro
Cheap isn’t it? I told you it wouldn’t be a difficult quiz. Clearly Group A will be the most recognised of all. The actors and veterans of the big screen. These actors have provided an escape for us. An escape from the noise and busy everyday life. An escape from the problems that have legendarily been plaguing our nation like one of the plagues Moses dealt with the Egyptians with. And just like that same Moses and his companion Aaron, these actors have led us into an escape world of movies. They made us laugh, cry and sometimes realise what we were missing in our lives.
I’ll skip Group B for the time being and jump to Group C. The brains behind our messiahs. An exclusive class of directors and producers. Of course to know this group a bit better, I admit you must be a lover of the industry as some ‘passers-by’ wouldn’t really want to stick around to understand who did the magic, they are perfectly contented with the trick. But if you want to know the Houdini behind the circus, you need to take a peek behind the curtains. If you want get the genie out of the lamp, you have to rub it (the lamp). These directors don’t lack popularity though. They have been duly recognised by today’s society, which is a good thing as there wouldn’t be a movie industry without these geniuses.
Now back to the skipped group. I skipped Group B the same way anyone and everyone would skip those names if they start to appear when the credits of a movie starts rolling up on the screen. This is a group full of unknown people (just a few of them), though once or twice a popular name makes an appearance in place of one of these names. Who are they? They are the elves and magical creatures that make Santa’s toys. They are the hands that help Houdini perform his tricks, they are those who helped Moses and Aaron organise, feed and get the Israelites out of Egypt. And just as we know Santa and not his elves, Houdini and not his helping hands and just as the Bible forgets to mention those who helped with the rallying of the Israelites, we also have forgotten to remember these people who are basically the corner stones on which any movie stands. Who are they again? Well, they are the camera men, the people who compose the music scores, the costumiers, the location managers, the makeup artists, etcetera, etcetera.
Now that you know who they are and the roles they play, do you now understand why I said they are the ‘corner stones’ of every successful (or otherwise) movie production? Do you now realise that you really didn’t pay any attention to their names when you were out at the cinema catch one of Charles Novia’s production that feature the talented O.C Ukeje? Or when you were treating yourself to uncontrollable laughter when watching Ramsey Nouah in Kenneth Gyang’s latest work of art?
Well, these group of people have suffered enough anonymousness that someone has to speak for them. Nolly Silver Screen would do just that. We would carefully explore these people and the work that has to be done that they do and also weigh it up with the form of appreciation they receive. This series will be reconnoitring some of these fields and personnel involved in them. From Costume & Makeup, through Location & Production Managers, Music Scorers/Composers right down to the Continuity Managers. It would be intriguing, so stick with us, as we bring to you the Unsung Heroes of Nollywood.
Written by Innocent Ekejiuba