- Category: CELEBRITY NEWS
- Published on Monday, 30 May 2011 11:24
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Citizen reporter, Elizabeth Obisanya, conducted an Interview With New York Based Nolly Wood Director Rasaq Ajoa – ( dir American Jolommy, Omon Afo Ju (wt) , Babalawo In America.) Here are excerpts of the interview exclusive to elombah.com
Hello Good morning. Please can I speak with Mr Ajao ?
You are speaking with him
Oh? Good morning, You sound still asleep
Please what time is it there now?
10 past 10 in the morning
Sorry would you like me to call back or shall we just do the interview now?
Where are you ? which part of the states are in you?
Yes we can just do it . I am in New York
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with me
You are welcome
First question – who is Rasaq Ajao?
I was born in 1963 and grew up in Kwara State..in 2002 I came to the United States, I am married with kids boys and girls. I am now based in New York.
When was the first time you went into movies?
I first went into movies in 1980 or shortly after that after secondary school , I starred in the Yoruba Nollywood film called “ODA DA DA”© ( The culprit) which was directed by Yinka Culdrey.
I am working on a project now( OMON AFO JU© – “BLIND MAN ) working title “ and have just completed another one called BABALAWO IN AMERICA.©
I am getting ready to premiere BABALAWO IN AMERICA in London. We have a date of June –July in Dublin and hoping to get a date there for the London release.
What is the story about?
It follows 3 families who compromise towards the Babalawo, they don’t want to do the Oroile before having a baby and forget to do it when they come abroad which causes problems. Anyway in one of the families the woman married an old man and finds that they have to find a white woman to do a sacrifice on.. they find that they have to do the sacrifice and move get back home all within one hour of doing it . Unfortunately for them they are detained by the American Police…
Wow it sounds interesting do people still do that?
How much was the budget and how long did it take you to film?
It took about 16 days to shoot and 12 days to edit
Wow what about the budget for it how much did you spend?
We spent about $30-$35,000
Wow that is a multi million Naira production.
You of course are directing who stars in it?
Many of the stars from my previous movie that I directed AMERICAN JOLOMMY© ( a Ranti Adesugba Film )
AMERICAN JOLOMMY let us talk about that for a minute. I saw the London Premier of the film in London on Good Friday this year and I must say that the film was a very brave one that covers matters that people in Nigeria don’t want to talk about or deal with. Was it a difficult film to direct given the lesbian scenes?
We auditioned for 2 weeks looking for actresses and in the end the lead actress did not want to play it again so the producer Ranti had to play the lead role.
Wow..the show must go on !
RASAQ AJOA :
Yes it was all shot in Maryland and it took us 2 weeks
Did you only use one house location or many locations?
Actually we used 4 houses to film and 1 office.
Wow was it an easy shoot to try and get the actresses to kiss etc and or look as it they were?
No it was not.
The film was given an 18 certification in London .. I mean it did not really hurt it as it was a sell out at the premier infact I have been to many premieres and this one was sold out despite having to wait over an hour and a half for it to start. It did eventually start at about 11 p.m despite being billed to start at 9.30. Anyway we all wanted to see it and no one asked for their money back that they wanted to go home.
Why was it given an 18 there was no nude bodies on the screen and the only rude thing that we did see was the ladies licking a dildo ( fake penius ) on screen.
That bit was taken out in the re-edit so that people can watch it at home on Dvd etc, but the producer wanted to put it back in and so it went in.
It did not make much difference I don’t think as I don’t think you could have a story like that without those bits.
We will soon be ending the interview before we I want to ask you 2 more questions.
As a film maker/director how is filming in the States ( abroad ) different from filming in Nigeria?
Well you have to get permits to film on the street and also the actors are part time abroad unlike at home where they are committed to the project. Here because everyone has jobs they say they can only give you 2 hours or 4 hours when you need to film say 8 hours . And the thing is you don’t want to do half of a film with one actor and then have to complete with another one.
Now here is my last question. If you could direct any actor who would it be ?
I would like to direct Denzel Washington and have him play in a ‘Yooorba’ film.
Really? Denzel ..mmm how would you teach him yoruba then ?
We would not we would get him to say the English and use film software in editing to translate it to Yoruba on screen.
Wow.. With God nothing is impossible. Mr Ajoa I want to thank you again for taking the time to do this interview . Many thanks and have a great day. Bye bye
Elizabeth Obisanya ( screenplay writer and film maker) on an telephone interview with New York based Nollywood director Rasaq Ajoa.
BABALAWO IN AMERICA is out on release in Dublin in June 2011 and later in London in July ..watch press and t.v for details.