Behind the Scenes of The Other 360
In an industry cluttered with movies that have a part one through four, The Other 360 is a short film written and produced by Dele Ishola. It is set in modern day Lagos and begins with a woman’s desire to return the N100,000 she found, to its rightful owner. The film goes on to explore the complexities and consequences of the ill treatment of our fellow man and neighbour in the day-to-day life. The film was launched on the 5th of June and already has over 800 views on YouTube.
The Other 360 is the title of your film. What inspired the title and the plot?
The Other 360 was the “best title” we (Obii and myself) could agree on after going through a sea of various titles. I felt it was able to explain the concept of karma, which is the basis of the film, without giving away the suspense of the story. Karma in itself being what goes around (one 360) comes back around (hence … the other 360).
What is Say Something Africa?
Say Something Africa is my production company. Its core purpose is television and film production, content provision, audio production and almost everything mass media related. It is the platform I intend to use to visually express my thoughts, beliefs or rather to SAY SOMETHING to people all over the world about my ideas. It’s just my little way of contributing to the human race.
I remember I was on my way to work one morning in a keke maruwa, when the idea punched me in the face.
The lives of the characters in The Other 360 intertwine in small and in big ways, revealing how the smallest action can affect those around us. Nigerians can be said to be very self-involved in their day-to-day lives; would I be right in saying the film addresses this?
Yes indeed, I would say you are right, but I would prefer to say Lagosians in particular, and not Nigerians in general, are more self-involved in their daily hustle. Little things, both positive and negative, that we say or do, go a long way in affecting how other people respond or react to us.
The Other 360 is only approximately 18 minutes long, but it packs a punch. Did you choose the short story medium, as opposed to a feature length movie for this reason?
From conception, the medium for The Other 360, was short film media. I chose it based on certain conditions that would not be favourable in trying to make it a feature. Also as a new filmmaker the choice of shooting short films gives me room to experiment, make mistakes and ultimately make corrections that would be avoided when I start making feature films.
How did you select the actors for your film?
Hmmm! I try to believe everyone can be a decent actor (decent as in 25% of being a great actor), it’s the picture in the director’s head for the entire project that matters. Most of the actors had never acted a day in their life (…well, except for drama club days back in primary school…laughing). Femi Brainard and Ify Brown were the only cast members with acting history and current careers. I chose some actors based on personal relationship and availability, while others were based on their personalities. Femi and Ify were cast based on their pedigree.
You jointly wrote the script with Obii Ifejika; what perspective was she able to bring to the story?
Obii “Obidara” Ifejika is probably one of the most intelligent human beings I have met in my life and what I get from her is raw originality. She came up with the idea for the taxi driver and pregnant lady. We shared and exchanged ideas over a couple weeks to build it to a satisfactory level. Chris and Patricia Ihidero supervised the script development and contributed to the story making process.
What message would you like the viewer to receive?
My message is quite simple. Be good at least try or pretend to. At the end of the day, putting a smile on another person’s face will cause you to feel better about yourself. Life is a series of chain reactions and sometimes it’s the energy and the vibe you put out, that you get in return. Of course, this does not always apply to everyday life, but to a certain level, we all know it happens.
What has been the reception towards your movie so far?
It has been amazing so far. Several people have called me, both local and foreign, and even posted messages on social media, just to say how they understand and appreciate the message in the film. It’s different emotions from different people, and all of them positive. The reception is good. I do feel blessed.
Financial constraint was a major issue, which is a common challenge most filmmakers face. It took quite a while to raise funds. I shot the crew, for about 35% of the entire shoot (the taxi driver story). I was triple tasking; operating audio, cinematography and directing at the same time. It was ….CRAZY.
Not only did you write the screenplay but you are the producer, director, actor, cameraman, and so on, of your movie. Did you learn all these skills in an institution or were they self-taught?
Yes!! Thank you, Thank you (takes a bow) … I am actually the real Superman but I just decided to live among you humans as Dele Ishola… (laughing). I taught myself cinematography ‘cameraman’ and audio recording, and the learning process is still continuous. The rest, I studied as a film student under the great and almighty, Mrs Amaka Igwe. May God rest her soul. Coming from Kaduna/Jos where I had lived a large chunk of my life, I knew something was missing, and meeting Chris Ihidero, who later got me to attend Mrs Igwe’s film school, gave me the much needed in-depth knowledge of the world of directing, producing, story-telling and so on, that I would otherwise have been oblivious to, but today has become the greatest asset I have acquired for absolutely little or no cost from the legend herself.
What is the next project that you have in mind, will it be another film?
I can’t say specifically for now. All our energy is focused on getting The Other 360 out, so everyone can see and enjoy it, but I assure you that a lot more films both, shorts and features, TV shows, drama and series will go into pre-production stage very soon. We intend to SAY SOMETHING for as long as we have air in our lungs.
What is your writing process; do you have a particular room you work in or a particular time of day?
My inspiration to write can come from anywhere; it could be from a scene in a movie, a line from a song, a quote from a famous figure, an argument in the office, a pretty face, or something I had seen. It basically depends on my mood and location.
The Other 360 manages to avoid many of the gaffes that Nollywood is well known for i.e. too-long plots, poor post-production and overly complicated storylines; did you make a conscious effort to avoid these blunders?
I made ‘INTENTIONAL’ and fairly expensive, conscious efforts to avoid a lot of blunders associated with Nollywood, though I do not dis-associate myself from Nollywood as I am a Nigerian and Nollywood is our filmmaking identity all over the world. Being trained by a legend like Mrs Amaka Igwe, I cannot for any reason drop below the standard of quality she set for me. “Filmmaking is a process,” she would always say, “and there are rules and guidelines you must all learn and understand, before you go on ahead to break them.”
What would you say to other Nigerians working towards producing their own films?
I would say that they should first and most importantly GET TRAINED, that’s if they haven’t been already. In whatever department of the filmmaking business you want to get your feet into, it’s important to get trained. Try to get hands on experience by visiting other film sets to listen, observe, watch and learn, because, I assure you, it’s better to know what you will be dealing with on someone else’s production set, than to go blindly into your production without any prior experience.
Lastly, go out and shoot your project, after all, poorly done is better than nothing done at all. You will get better eventually…
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