Nollywood filmmaker, Ike Nnaebue, recently participated in the Lagos Theatre Festival for the first time. He produced, directed and wrote the opera play ‘Off-Key’ which focuses on a successful opera singer battling with mental health. For the play, he cast Ranti, a well-known Nigerian opera singer to play the role. In this chat with The Interview, Nnaebue talks about his play as well as the role technology is playing in filmmaking.
What was your attraction to the opera?
I have always loved all kinds of music. I’m eclectic when it comes to music.
I love all kinds of genres but particularly classical. It is unique and not that copious.
Moreover, I’ve always loved to work with music. This play was inspired by a real Nigerian opera singer.
I was invited to a TV programme and they played previous interviews they have had on the show.
One of them was on an opera singer. That caught my attention.
I thought it would be nice to have a stage play that focuses on an opera singer that can later be developed into a feature film.
How did you meet Ranti?
Ranti was actually recommended. I didn’t want to cast any actor. I wanted a real opera singer to play the part. I got about five recommendations.
Why are you always interested in training young filmmakers?
When I started, I didn’t get mentorship. It was like groping in the dark and hoping to find a way. I made a strong resolve to ensure that I mentor as many young people as I can so that they don’t have to go through what I went through. I love to empower passionate people.
What are some of the changes that technology has aided in the film industry?
One of them is the smartphone filmmaking technology. It is amazing. In the next 10 years, people may stop using the camera to shoot.
This is because 95 per cent of people who consume content are likely to do so on their mobile phone.
You can create, edit and monetise here. Right now, we are working on a couple of series.