Meet a young talented Nigerian youth who recently directed his first movie PAYDAY, regardless the difficulties working on such big project in Nigeria; the budding Director has made a grand entry into the industry with his film, PAYDAY. The crime comedy film is centered on two roommates who squander their house rent and then realize they need to raise the money in 24hours else they get kicked out of their house. The movie was Produced by Manny Ameh , written and directed by Cheta Chukwu. It stars Big Brother Naija’s Bisola Aiyeola, Baaj Adebule, Ebiye Victor, Mawuli Gavor, Meg Otanwa and Zack Orji among others. His strength to work on such a big project as a young Director got us attracted to him and we at Mediaroomhub couldn’t help but have a chat with him, take a look.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHALLENGES, ESPECIALLY GETTING ALONG WITH YOUR CAST AND CREW?
Of course, I had so many challenges shooting PAYDAY, because I wanted to tell a different story I was very particular about the actors. I mean everything got their challenges, every Director got their vision and I wanted to make sure that mine was achieved. Casting PAYDAY wasn’t easy; obviously the ages of two main actors, Baaj Adebule and Ebiye Victor, I mean it would have been easier if it was Ramson Noah who was going to play Baaj and Jim Iyke, but I wanted to cast people who were younger, who also had great fan base and were great actors too.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE STORY?
It took me six months because basically, I had to do like the first draft, the second draft, and the third draft even until we started to film. Your script is never right and completed until you start to film, so I kept making changes where I thought it could be better.
WHAT INSPIRED THE TITLE ‘PAYDAY’?
This could have been drama or even thriller, but I chose to tackle that subject with comedy and that’s what is different about PAYDAY. If another Writer or Director picked PAYDAY, they might probably write it differently. I felt like its best to tell the story this way, it is a comedy but you’ve got lessons to learn from it. My experience and other people’s experiences inspired this title, but then I wanted to tell the story differently as well.
IS THIS YOUR FIRST FILM?
Oh yes…this is my first film.
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A FIRST TIME DIRECTOR?
I would say it was nerve-wrecking and exciting as well, I have done other projects but this is my first project on the big screen. The first time Zack came on set I freaked out and meeting the other actors was overwhelming. That feeling you get when you work with the people you see
On the screen *laughs*. The actors were amazing, they gave full support and they were amazing.
AS A YOUNG DIRECTOR, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING YOUNG DIRECTORS?
My advice is that you need to be diligent, you need to be persistent; we don’t have that a lot. People are used to jumping from one thing to another. I always tell people not to be scared to start small, because it’s the heart people want to see. If you put your heart into your hard work, people will notice your efforts and that’s how you breakthrough.
WE ALL KNOW HOW DIFFICULT STARTING A BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY IS, WHO TRIGGERED YOU INTO THIS INDUSTRY?
Errrrm… filmmaking has always been my passion; I was a writer as a young man. I have always wanted to write stories.
WHO INSPIRES YOU IN THE INDUSTRY?
I love RMD, Ramson Noah, Genevieve (I love her so much, I am her biggest fan), would love to work with Miss Mo’Abudu too( I love her work).
WHO IS YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH?
I love her.
IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH A DIRECTOR GLOBALLY, WHO WOULD THAT BE?
The first person will be Tyler Perry, it’s not necessarily because of his types of film but I love him and what he does but also because of his business mind. I need to know what he does to build an empire and that’s the level where I am right now.
WHAT ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO REMAIN RELEVANT IN THE INDUSTRY?
I don’t even know if I’m in that league of relevance yet, but I will just say remain true to yourself don’t be everywhere and try to stay away from trouble.
HOW WAS IT LIKE DIRECTING THESES ACTORS WHO ARE WELL EXPERIENCED?
It was a very humbling experience, having them trust me as a first time Director. I couldn’t have done it without them.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON ANOTHER PROJECT?
You guys should first go out and see PAYDAY, so I can make more money for future projects. But I’ve got a lot of projects ahead.