Light, Camera, Action! The buzz and craze that goes into shooting a movie, adds another sense of excitement to the whole movie production experience.
The novel Coronavirus did not spare any industry in its wake to keep the entire world locked indoors and the movie industry was equally hit.
However, Nigerian filmmaker Obi Emelonye, known for large scale Nollywood epics, such as the disaster movie, Last Flight to Abuja, and the fantasy adventure, The Mirror Boy, refused to be defined by circumstances.
‘Every industry was affected by the Coronavirus as it hit. Some more than others and as I was sitting home feeling very sorry for myself and my colleagues, I just kept thinking of ways to come out of this strong. I remember I got the idea after my wife received a work call from her colleagues on one of the software packages and recorded it. Immediately I thought to myself, I could make this work. I could get a movie using this medium too.’
Obi Emelonye thought of a quick story that would not demand so much and his actors could shoot right in the comfort of their homes during the lockdown.
‘Heart2Heart is a movie of a couple who were stuck in different countries due to the lockdowns. The lady was in the UK to pick up her wedding dress when this happened while the young man was back home eagerly waiting for his bride for their wedding. The movie is, therefore, us, eavesdropping on their telephone conversation, talking about the challenges of separation. In the end we learn that what is most important is not what they have or where they are, but what they feel for each other.’
As simple as it sounded, making the short film was not so easy. Both actors had to find family members who were willing to act as crew to take the videos for me.
‘I had to lecture the girl’s dad and give some tips on how to get this done. After a few lessons, he got it right and helped shoot the video. It got boring and frustrating along the line because the family members thought it did be just one take and then we were done. But after the take, I say, ‘That was a good take, but let us shoot it again,’ and this was very hard for them to understand. But that is the nature of production. It can take up to 2 or three days to shoot three scenes of a movie and you will be surprised all of those takes, will only make about three minutes of the movies after postproduction.’
Obi says everyone who has watched his new movie so far expresses delight at the ingenuity with which he thought about doing something as unique as this, especially during a time when the whole world came to a standstill.
‘I will say it is not the most technical short film to have every been produced but it was definitely worth it, and those 7 minutes give us a lot of satisfaction when we watch it.’
Obi Emelonye’s movie is on YouTube and is slowly raking in the numbers as more and more people are getting interested in watching a movies that features on two people and was shot in different countries during the lockdown.