In Mother Nigeria Time Does Not Equal Money

A Seemingly Dodgy Casting
20 Feb 2013
First glimpses of High Rollers
8 Mar 2013

Remember that dodgy audition? Well, I was confirmed for the production. Turns out it was actually very professionally executed. The movie is for a Nigerian audience, done by an active and successful Nigerian film-maker, about the youth revolution in that country.

The back-story is that a lot of the resources of Nigeria are being plundered by foreigners with the resulting profits leaving the country. The youth is, naturally, not happy about this situation and protest violently by kidnapping a variety of expats and holding them hostage in a jungle imprisonment. I played one of the prisoners.

While it wasn’t a huge scene, we wound up being on location for the entire day. My call-time was 8am this morning and we all figured we’d be done by lunch but, as it turned out, we only started shooting after lunchtime. This wasn’t because of bad planning. Well, maybe a bit of bad planning, in that the South African production company didn’t quite research how the Nigerian actors do things.

Apparently, in Nigeria, while the film-makers and production crews are quite professional, the actors are not. A casting call is done by posting a notice in a park and then interviewing the public that turns up. This meant that, in addition to our Nigerian actors being late because of a flight delay, by the time they did show up, it was more about socializing than getting down to business.

Normally, I’d have been a bit annoyed but it was an interesting enough experience to keep me happy. First off, I’ve never been fed so much food on a shoot. We had a full buffet breakfast, a substantial burger and chips lunch, and huge platters of finger foods in between the two. And, almost embarrassingly, if my tummy is happy, I’m happy. Plus I got to ride up and down and around in a speeding golf cart. So the delays were not an issue.

When we did finally start shooting, everything was done efficiently and professionally with only a few inconsequential issues from the international actors. I got some decent screen time thanks to my ace performance. More ego stroking occurred afterward when crew praised my acting and emotion. So I was most chuffed.

And, over and above the food, the pay wasn’t too bad for a single scene. I could certainly get used to acting in Nigerian movies at this rate.

Alas, and to my pleasure, the movie will only be released in Nigeria with a minimal probability of hitting our screens simply because there isn’t a big enough target audience here. I should get a copy though so maybe, if you’re lucky, I may still post a scene or two 😛