IN the 90s, notorious armed robber, Shina Rambo terrorized Lagos and its environs. Popular producer and director, Prince Iyke Olisa is set to document the heinous story of Shina Rambo after the success he made with Rev. Sister Ibu. ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with him about it and much more…
What were the goals you set for yourself in 2015 and how far have you gone in achieving them?
Part of what I want to achieve is doing all I can to affect the industry positively by doing quality movies not just for the sake of doing movies, but making impart. Educative stories that add more value. That led me to a movie I am working on now. I believe the year is still unfolding for any movie maker, it is work in progress. We will get there soon. I have two Youtube channels we built for our fans. It is an avenue to reach out to more people. Like I said, we are getting there.
How challenging is it to be a producer and director?
It is quite challenging. A producer is the head of administration, while a director is the technical head. They work hand in hand. It is something I have been doing for over 10 years. So, it is not that challenging to me again. It has become a part of me.
What qualities make a good producer?
A good producer should have eagle eyes to be able to spot good scripts. You must be able to get good people to tell the story. There are a lot of good stories but they are badly told. As a producer, you must be able to work without sentiment, you must be able to manage your resources well. You don’t need to go halfway and break up production, it will affect the production.
Your last movie, Rev. Sister Ibu received a lot of applause from your fans, tell us about it.
The story was conceived out of my encounter with a Rev. Sister that has beard. As a film maker, I thought of doing a story about a man who was a Rev. Sister. I needed to play it down to a comedy and John Ibu was the best name that came to mind. I thank God that the film did not just do well in the market, it has been doing well since, people responded positively to it. It has even taken us further career wise.
We learnt you are working on a new movie, Shina Rambo. Tell us about it.
Shina Rambo was coined from a dare devil armed robber that operated in the early 90s. That wasn’t the name his parents gave him but he adopted Shina Rambo as his name. A lot of people would be curious to know who this man was. I just want people to have an understanding of who this man was, how he terrified people, his activities in general. It is a wonderful movie, it could be a library material to some people.
Who are the cast of the movie?
I had to look for individuals who can bring out that character. It was a bit challenging but I eventually got Sylvester Madu. He is an experienced actor, I also featured in the movie. I have Maimuna Yahaya, Dan Chris-Ebie, Sylvia Anyanwu, James Iyke. They are all action movie actors. A reasonable number of them are known faces.
Are you promising your fans that Shina Rambo will record a better level of success than Rev. Sister Ibu?
I strongly believe it is a story that will market itself. It is a kind of movie people will watch and it will promote itself. It is very educative, I am doing my promotion in my own way.
How much has gone into the movie?
I may not be able to be exact in the amount. We are at the post production stage, which is still part of production. As a producer, this movie has cost me more, it is taking almost the biggest budget. I need to tell the story to my satisfaction but it is quite financially challenging. I can’t fix an amount to it now because we are still spending.
What are your plans for the movie, is it going to the cinema or DVD?
I want to release it directly to the market. If I take it to the cinema alone, I will not reach out to all my target audience. It will still be on my Youtube site. A lot of people that are internet savvy can watch it on net but for those who can’t, it will be available on DVD.
One major challenge in the industry is piracy, have you put this into consideration?
Piracy is an inevitable problem that every intellectual property has. You can only control it. You cannot properly eradicate it. A lot of people have tried to stop it. Nollywood is trying its best to eradicate it too. If we can control it to a great extent, we will be able to recuperate what we invest. Right now, things are being done. We will continue to fight it. I don’t think piracy should keep us from doing what we want to do. We all have our ways of coping but we have to keep it to ourselves.
I believe the product should be available in the market, it should not be expensive as well. I have come to realize that a lot of people cannot differentiate between original copy and pirated copies. Like I said, the product must be available in the market so that pirates will not take advantage. Enlarge your distribution network so that it can go to a reasonable extent.
A lot of actors, actresses just jump into production after featuring in a movie. Before you know it, they will say they are producers. Is that how it is been done?
When you talk about production, I believe it is important to specify the type of producer you are talking about. We have producers and executive producers. Being an executive producer means you are the one who bankrolls the job. Producers handle the administrative part of it. Majority of the people you are referring to are executive producers. I believe if you want something done well, do it yourself. The most important thing is doing it well. Don’t just be Jack of all trade, do it well. If you go for the training, to sharpen your skills, that is okay, just make sure you get it right.
As a producer, will you say you realized all the money invested into your movies?
If I tell you I don’t make back the money, you will ask me why am I still in the business. I will say yes, I have. I may not have made up to my expectations, but it has been rewarding. If I had my mind solely on the money made from production, I would have left a long time ago. The passion is stronger than the money. I feel fulfilled when people talk positively about my movies. That keeps me going against all odds. I cannot quantify them. I place them on higher value than money. I will say it has been rewarding really. If you do your homework very well, you can still beat the tide.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN