A revolution is set to happen in the movie industry, according to the executive producer of the much anticipated N37 million movie, Dark Side, Dare Dada. The business man in this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly speaks candidly about his foray into the movie industry, his game changing new flick, Dark Side and why it took over two years to shoot the movie. He also bared his mind on the N3 billion federal government grant among other issues.
What is your new movie, Dark Side all about?
Dark Side is just as the title implies, about the dark side of life. It’s the story of a man who tried to play God. A man who had everything going for him before he suddenly became blind and people around him changed. It’s an interesting story of how people behave when things go wrong for you. Even his childhood friend started sleeping with his wife in his house.
The interesting twist is when he regained his sight and he kept pretending to be blind and he was seeing all the things happening around him. The movie is full of suspense with a fantastic storyline. The production is the best you can find anywhere around here. I have huge expectations from this movie.
Who wrote the story?
It was written by Akin Tijani, a prominent writer in the movie industry and I doff my hat for him for the way he loaded the movie with suspense.
What about the cast?
We have Sylvia Ehiogwu, a former Face of LUX, Joseph Benjamin and veterans such as Yemi Sholade, Nobert Young, and a host of others. A movie that has this calibre of acts tells you it’s not child’s play. Then we have the director, Bayo Alawiye who also played a lead role.
How much did the project cost and how long did it take to complete the production?
The project cost us nothing less than N37 million. These are funds that we sourced from different people and from my savings too. Even my partner, Bayo Alawiye had to sell his jeep for the success of this project. That’s why it is unfortunate that corporate organisations do not support the movie industry enough. We started shooting the movie in June, 2011, which means it took us over two years to produce this movie.
When exactly will Dark Side be premiered and where?
It will be premiered on October 11, 2013, and we hope to have a very successful outing. The premiere will be in Genesis Deluxe at The Palms in Lekki, Lagos. We have about seven cinemas across the country that will show the movie in Lagos, Calabar, Port-Harcourt, Abeokuta, Ibadan, and Abuja. We also plan to take the movie across West African countries. We’re looking at Ghana, Sierra Leone and hopefully in London in November this year. We equally have partners in Canada and the USA who are ready to take up this movie because they’ve seen the quality of what we’ve done that is different from what they’re used to in Nigeria. We intend to take this movie all over the world to make a point that we have something of the highest quality to offer in Nigeria.
What was your role in Dark Side?
My name is Dare Dada, I’m a venture capitalist and I’m the executive producer of Dark Side. I produced Dark Side in conjunction with a very good friend of mine, Bayo Alawiye. He’s the director of Project Fame and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire shows. He’s been in the industry for a very long time and I’m very proud to have worked with him.
Can you shed light on your being a venture capitalist?
A venture capitalist is somebody who finances a business idea. You have a business idea, you bring it to me, and I look at the prospects and see how we can make the idea a reality. This is my very first time of venturing into movies and I’m passionate about taking the industry to the next level; international standard so that whoever sees our movies out there will know that something good is happening in Nigeria and in Africa generally. I’m here to revolutionalise the movie industry.
How did your romance with movies start?
I’ve seen a lot of Nigerian movies and you cannot deny the fact that there are lots of movies that are not up to standard. The quality of the production is very low and when you consider these things and you do a comparison with the foreign movies that Nigerians troop to watch at the cinemas, we see that we can meet up with the international standard and that is what we have done with Dark Side.
What’s your take on the facility from the government to support the movie industry?
When you look at the calibre of people in the industry and the requirement to access the soft loan from, you’ll realise that you cannot access the funds if you don’t have collateral and you wonder how somebody who’s just coming up and has a very good idea and is desirous of producing a high quality movie will get the collateral. We’re talking about somebody who might not even have a car or a bicycle.
So, what can be done about the accessibility of the funds?
The government could make it a kind of equity financing where the Bank of Industry will not disburse the loan directly to the producer of the movie. You bring your proposal, they look at it, and then the Bank of Industry can pay directly to the equipment supplier, the cast and other expenses. This is a good monitoring system that can work.
– DANIEL FAYEMI