Envisioned to sensitize the people, especially mothers, on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the society, Nollywood film producer, Dabby Chimere has set the ball rolling through her yet-to-be released movie, The Sassy One. Produced on the stables of Dabz Movie Production, the film features actors and actresses like: Yvonne Jegede, Shirley Igwe, Kenneth Okolie, Gift Okeke, alongside other acts.
According to the producer, Dabby Chimere, the movie is emotional, but socially relevant that would expose the scourge of drug and alcohol abuse. Ready to premiere her movie this weekend, this aspiring producer goes in detail to explain her rise to fame and what to expect from her most recent movie.
We are very much aware you will be premiering your movie this week. Can you further throw a hint on it?
Yes, this Saturday, I will be staging my first premiere. Not for my first movie, but first movie to be premiered by my company, Dabz Movie Production. It will be holding at Film House Cinema, Leisure Mall, Adeniran Ogunsanya Street, Surulere, beside Shoprite, Lagos State.
What is the synopsis like?
It’s about a mother who loves her drugs more than her only girl child because she is far too addicted. Due to the fact that drug addiction has taken over her life, her child went on to suffer neglect and abuse in her hands. It became an appalling situation that one could not manage, but to pity the child.
What would be the big lesson to learn from your new movie, The Sassy One?
The Sassy One is an awesome piece. It is a movie I want to get out there. I want every family to see the movie. It talks about drugs, and alcoholic mothers. The movie is about a woman who has a child but cannot take care of that child because she is addicted to cocaine and alcohol.
The child grows up too fast, taking care of herself, knowing the things she is not supposed to know yet, because she doesn’t have a responsible mother. The film sends a message for mothers to care more for their children because they as mothers are the first role models the children have.
So, if you are not ready to be a mother, don’t start, face whatever it is that makes you happy, but once you bring a child into the world, you should bear responsibility for that child. You have to sacrifice your desires for that child.
How did your romance with filmmaking start?
I started producing in 2011, and since then I have done eight movies. I started out with VCD movies. I did Deceptive Hearts, Negative Influence, Island Babes and Limpopo Chicks, before I stopped VCD movies and started DVD.
I have produced Unspoken Truth, Misplaced Desires, Second Honeymoon and Friends or Foes will be out on DVD before the month runs out.
What influenced your going into movie production?
I started out as an actress when I was much younger, let’s say, 18, in Enugu. Later, I stopped and went back to school to return in 2011 as a producer, though I feature in my movies.
Why did you switch from acting to producing?
It was just that I wanted to own my movies and bring my own stories to life, do a production the way I want it. I wanted to do stories that would educate people.
How has the experience been?
There have been challenges but right now we are doing well and we thank God.
Which is more rewarding, acting or producing?
For me, producing is more rewarding. I am investing my money and getting back. As an actor, you have to work until you get to a certain level when you can collect a certain amount of money from producers. But as a producer, you can invest your money and have your capital back and still get something out of it.
What is the lowest amount one could invest in a movie production?
Let us say N2 million, to shoot a good movie.
What are the challenges of being a woman producer in Nigeria?
In this field that is mainly dominated by men, we are trying. There are a lot of challenges for you to do a movie that would say something, when we have thousands of movies out there. We release movies every week. The challenge is there but we thank God and we keep pushing it.
How do you deal with piracy?
There is nothing you can do as an individual, you just hope and pray to God for a solid solution.
How was your stint as an actress?
It was really hard to get movie roles then. I went for so many auditions. I got three, four scenes like that, until I decided not to hustle like that anymore.
What is your impression about Nollywood today?
Nollywood is growing and it is good. It is a great industry and a good place to be. It is improving day by day. Nollywood five years ago is not Nollywood today. We have a lot more interesting movies. We have improved in picture quality, sound effects and stories.
What is your vision as a producer?
I hope to own my TV station. I aim high. I aim to produce a Hollywood movie soon.
Do you have a set of actors you use in your movies or do you select them randomly?
When you get a script, you go through it and think of the actors you feel would take up the characters. I am for the DVD market. Movies that go to the cinemas are later released on long pack, that is DVD, but I don’t go to the cinema, I release directly. I go for that face that will interpret a particular role very well. I don’t go for the Alaba Face.
How do you cope with men?
I am married, I have two children and I respect myself very much. When a man approaches me, I tell him I am a married woman with children; if you want us to be friends, we can be friends but anything apart from friendship, I can’t do that.
What inspires you?
God is my number one inspiration and my children; they are my number one fans. My family too keeps me going.
Are your stories true-life experiences?
I write my stories myself; my sister writes too. Some are true-life experiences, some we gather.
What advise do you have for up and coming producers?
They should just be committed. Let them have God as their first partner before every other thing. There is no condition bigger than God; and then they should be focused with their vision. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas. Take the right risk; it is always rewarding. You will learn a lesson from it, or you gain.
– TADE ASIFAT