Nigerian movie lovers are in for an exciting start of the new year, as the long awaited romantic thriller, Beyond Blood hit the cinemas from Friday, January 15, 2016.
The Royal Roots Production film parades an array of stars including Kehinde Bankole, Bimbo Manuel, Caroline King, Joseph Benjamin, among other notable actors.
Beyond Blood, produced by Greg and Debbie Odutayo, is ahe suspense filled story written by Dabo Oluwatumininu. The movie was shot in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. The film is a story about Moji, a young Oxford educated woman with a passion for social justice and equality. As the families prepare for the wedding, a series of unpleasant events unfold and throws everyone into disarray.
Rather than confront the situation headlong, Moji decides to run away to London in search of her brother and rediscover herself but things changed. Beyond Blood is a story of love, betrayal, hope and desire for change irrespective of personal trials.
ENCOMIM Weekly was at the premiere of the movie on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos, and we spoke to the cast and crew.
‘It has been good’ -DEBBIE ODUTAYO, producer
Basically, there were normal challenges. We were lucky, our pre-production stage took longer time. It took us a very long time to prepare. We had everything in place. We did rehearsals and made sure everything was in place. The biggest challenge was fuel scarcity, but when we left for the UK, everything went smoothly.
How long was the shooting?
It took about six weeks because there was a lot of travelling. We had to take all the lead characters from Nigeria to the UK, and some support cast, including all the HOPs from Nigeria to the UK but our major D.O.P was from the UK.
Where did you shoot the movie?
The movie was shot in Nigeria and the UK.
You have produced a handful of TV programmes, is there any difference producing TV and movie?
Yes, there is. Producing for TV is shorter compared to movie. You can shoot an episode a day, depending on the number of characters and TV is always 30 minutes programme. But for movie, you have a wide range of cast and crew and you want everything to be in place. The movie market is different, especially movies that go to the cinemas. You have to make sure the location is intact, picture quality is good. Not that television production is not perfect, I have been producing for television for over 22 years, but seeing my first movie was a massive turnover and I really had fun.
Is the movie director your husband?
I really do not answer that question during the day because during the day he is my MD. We have been married for 21 years and we have been working together for 18 years, so he is my MD between 7am and 7pm. If you ask me this question at 7pm, I will answer you (laughs).
How does it feel working with him?
It has been good, because I was a producer before I met him. He was my client and he was working as an agency producer and I was a TV producer. So, I was the TV producer for his project. That’s how we became friends and all that.
Did he inspire you during the shooting?
No, he did not inspire me but he inspired me to continue. This is what I like doing and I was already a producer before we met. I was out of school and I got married at 28. So, I was already in the business.
‘The cast were specific’-GREG ODUTAYO, director
What inspired the movie?
Beyond Blood is a story that I read. From the first day I read the story, I fell in love with it. The story is highly emotional story. It is about a young lady, who against all odds stood up for what she believes in and stands up against the society in order to push her way. The story took a lot of thinking. It took about five years to work on the script, changed a lot of things in the script because we wanted something different, not an everyday thing. When I gave the actors the scripts and I told them I wanted their opinion about the story, they said, “We must be on that movie when you are ready.”
Who wrote the script?
The script was written by Dabo Oluwatumininu. Debo is a writer based in the UK.
Why did you use your choice of cast?
The cast were specific because we wanted a cast who could deliver on the role which was quite challenging, especially the lead character. We needed someone who would deliver. For instance, the lead character had to speak English, Yoruba and French, so we had to look for someone that could do all that.
Also, it is a family story. We had to look for people that look like a family. If you look at all the people we cast together, they are a family. This made us to go for specific actors and they did exceedingly well. They were not acting from their lips, they were acting with their heart.
Is the movie for the cinemas or DVD?
It is a cinema movie. We are hitting the cinemas tomorrow (Saturday, January 16, 2016), all the cinemas and all over Silverbird Cinemas in Nigeria. Basically all the cinemas all over Nigeria.
What are your expectations from the movie?
I expect that people will come to the cinemas to watch the movie, to enjoy it, because we need people to see the movie. It is important to know that if people do not see the movie in the first week, the cinema owners will pull the movie out. But we believe that the audience should come and have fun. We promise if they do not enjoy Beyond Blood we will refund.
How relevant is the movie?
It is a highly relevant movie in the sense that you and I can relate with it. We also have scenes that are international, we have the scene of the HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, prostitution, etc. We expect people to learn from this and it will help move the country forward.
What should be expected from the movie?
Top entertainment, fun, excitement, all of these are in the movie and we believe the audience will get that at the end of the day.