– Fred Amata, Segun Arinze, Kate Henshaw, Toyin Aimakhu…
– Make pilot cast
Veteran producer/director, Kingsely Ogoro has a big project at hand. The MD/CEO of Klink Studios and Kingsley Ogoro Academy is plotting a performance reality TV show in association with Femi Ayeni’s Ultima Studios.
Talking about the big budget project, for the first time in an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, October 4, 2013, Ogoro shared his concept with us.
He also unveiled the pilot cast and everything you need to know about the performance reality show that targets Nollywood stars and wannabes.
According to the producer of Osuofia in London, Across the Niger, The Return and other flicks, star actors, Fred Amata, Segun Arinze, Joseph Benjamin, Toyin Aimakhu-Johnson, Kate Henshaw and Omoni Oboli are part of it. There is also Jeta and November Records’ Charles Novia.
Created and produced by Kingsley Ogoro, Bayo Alawiye is directing, while Tarila Thompson, Phat E, Sunny Nneji and Lydia Idakula Sobogun would serve as judges. Fast-rising comic act, FunnyBone, we also scooped, is the official comedian of the show that has 2014 Range Rover Sport car as star prize.
Ogoro explains why he embarked on this Nollywood-inspired TV show, even as he addresses sundry issues.
You have a new project at hand, what is it all about?
It is called Nollywood Sings. It is a performance reality show.
We learnt there is a new project on ground now called Nollywood Sings, what is the project all about?
The project is one of those projects that I thought about and it is a unique project. We decided to just create something different from what we have been doing all the time. Nollywood Sings is a performance reality show, using the celebrities in Nollywood like Nollywood actors, producers and all the popular faces in the industry.
And also, not only the popular Nollywood people, all Nollywood people we’ve had. To use them to empower the up and coming next generation. Nollywood is about entertainment, but now we want to take Nollywood celebrities out of their comfort zone to a zone they are not comfortable with, which is singing.
Singing is a natural talent. Everybody can sing, but how well you sing is what matters. They are actors, but they have ways of presenting their voices to the audience even if they can’t sing.
We have professional instructors to train both the celebrities and budding artistes.
Who did you shoot the initial pilot edition with?
The original pilot plan was patterned with Ultima Studios owned by Femi Ayeni, my friend. We decided to do this together to see how it goes, but it came out fantastic. The celebrities were also surprised.
Who are the celebrities involved?
We have Kate Henshaw, Segun Arinze, Jeta Amata, Fred Amata, Toyin Aimakhu, Omoni Oboli, Joseph Benjamin, among others.
What is the prize at stake?
The star prize is 2014 Range Rover Sport car. Another N5 million is for budding artistes.
To acquire a 2014 Range Rover and cash prize of N5 million would definitely cost a lot of money. Where is this money coming from?
I can say I am personally funding it. The Ultima Studios boss Femi Ayeni and some of my friends are also supporting the project. We also have a memorandum of understanding with an automobile company. Sponsors will surely come.
How then can an artiste participate in Nollywood Sings?
It would be broadcast on multi-media platform with all the details participants require. Interestingly, participation is free.
But it is basically meant for Nollywood practitioners including producers. There is also going to be unique auditioning. They can also participate online.
Is it going to take place this year?
The year has already ended but the project has already started. But the full blown project is going to take-off early next year.
There has been so much experimentation in Nolywood with so much hype. How much of that reality should be expected from Kingsely Ogoro’s Nollywood Sings?
Like you have rightly said, there has been so much hype but I always try to make a statement with everything I do. I do things because I want to add my own value to our industry not for the money.
A lot of people would think you would do a show that would promote the declining quality of acting and production. Why a singing talent TV show?
The reason for that is the suspense we are meant to derive from it. It is all about making it different from the expectations of people. The criteria for this is performance. The capacity of an actor acting a movie role as a musician.
Is Kingsley Ogoro’s Academy now completed?
Kingsely Ogoro Academy is a major on-going project. We can’t say it is completed. It is more of a practical thing because I am a practical man. We are concentrating on those aspects that people don’t see directly.
Specifically, what are the state-of-the-art equipment that Kinsley Ogoro’s studio boasts of right now?
Right now we have modest state-of-the-art equipment. Some say we’ve got any technology money can buy. Even the ones we don’t have here, we can help you procure them at relatively affordable cost. Although we have all sorts of production equipment, we are not neglecting the aspect of training because technology is as good as nothing if you don’t train people to handle them. That is what Kingsley Ogoro Academy is doing right now. The federal government recently released N300 million out of the N3 billion Nollywood grant.
Have you keyed into that facility?
I am a Nigerian. I am a filmmaker, I am also into capacity building. We need all the funds. So, we are also applying for the grant.
What is your message to fans who are looking forward to more movies from your stable?
My fans should be watching out for my movies. I believe any film I make has to be of the standard expected of me. I wouldn’t want to repeat the ones that have been done before. We want to change the genre. And we need unique game changers.
A particular young girl from the Lagos State University, has come up with a unique concept we are going to produce as a movie. That would be out soon.
It has been ages without madam in the house, are you now in a new relationship?
Just keep your fingers crossed. You would know when the time comes.
What are you most grateful to God at this stage of your career?
I am very grateful to God for His gift in my life. I also want to thank Him for giving me the grace to achieve everything I have wanted in my career. When I started out, my dream was to be the biggest movie producer in the country, at a particular time and I made it. I also wanted to be the biggest music video producer and it came to pass.
When I achieved this, I said I wanted to shoot a movie and have Mr. President attend the premiere. And true to my dream, President Obasanjo personally graced the premiere of Across the Niger. He was so impressed with the movie that I got a presidential handshake. His only complaint then was that there was no Nigerian flag there.
Kinsley Ogoro also set the record of being the first modern Nigerian filmmaker to premiere his movie at the Odeon Cinema, London. Interestingly, 95 percent of the audience were non-Africans.
I am now asking God to make Nollywood Sings, the premier Nigeria Nollywood-inspired performance show a success. If this works out, I will build him a church.
God has really blessed me. I am comfortable. I have wonderful kids, my daughter is a beauty queen, one of my children sings like her mom, Esse Agesse. And my son is technology savvy like me. So, I cannot ask more from God.
– UCHE OLEHI