In the Nigerian movie industry, Ramsey Noah is one of the strong pillars representing the sector in and outside the country. He joined the industry many years back and he has been able to become a force to reckon with. He is often known for his lover boy roles before the emergence of the likes of Desmond Elliot, Mike Ezuronye and the rest who came to snatch the roles from him. Recently at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, during the Unveiling of Africa Cinematography Festival,Naijasocietynews.com cornered the fine boy actor for an exclusive interview, where he made us know that he is not in accordance with the old and new Nollywood, among others. Excerpts:
What impact do you think the Africa Cinematography Festival is going to have on Nollywood and African movies generally?
The impact I see and I keep talking about is broadening our cinematography horizon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if we don’t know but there are few who know and now we are trying to make more people learn the processes of proper film making.
Critics of Nollywood have said that costuming, picture quality has improved but the storylines are still the same. What is your take on that?
I will like to analyze this from the understanding that there is a disconnect between the technical works, technical outlooks and performance between the actors and the subjects. There is a bit of disconnect and right now, we have good camera works, flashy lights but there is no connection between the cameras and the actor because the camera is also an actor.
However, because we just show all the flamboyance and beauty of what the camera looks like, we are forgetting that the camera also needs to tell the story like the actor, the depth of the camera needs to connect with the actor. it’s not just about showing that I’m a fine boy and that’s it, just fine and no depth and that is what is happening in the technical world now. It’s beautiful but it has no depth because it has not tapped into the depth of the storytelling. That is what is happening.
How does this your submission affect storytelling because it is always most often the same story but different actors?
Stories are pretty saturated but it’s the way it is being told that matters. Even in Hollywood, you see the same stories over and over again but the way its told is different. They captivate the audience with the way they tell the story.
It is important that producers make the stories feel brand new continuously, and ensure they do not disconnect the camera from the actors just to show that they have fine shots and all that.
Not knowing how the camera should perform in a story is also a problem. Stories are being recycled every other day but once you have that together and the story is well told, you will still enjoy it.
Africa is made up of people with several languages, how do you think a conference of this nature can deliver its promises across its several viewers language wise?
In film making, there are no barriers. You want to tell a story, language shouldn’t stop you from telling that story. If you’re a good film maker, whether you tell your story in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or in Ghanaian or Kenyan language, any of the languages, what matters is the messages you pass across to your audience in a language that most appeals to them.
Nollywood has definitely come of age. How would you compare the old and the new?
I am not in accordance with the old and new Nollywood, because as far as I am concerned, it is still the same Nollywood. The only difference now is that, it is capital intensive to produce cinema standard movies these days, so hence it takes some weeks, months to get such movies done so you cannot be having as many movies as before. This is unlike previous time when it took us just a week or two weeks maximum to finish a full film that just goes straight to DVD.
So then, you have constant scripts waiting for you but right now because DVD market is being pirated and nobody can get anything from it, film makers are now trying to do cinemas and because of that, the concept of new Nollywood and old Nollywood became prominent which is a no. They are all the same, the old gave birth to the new and cinema is an alternative market, internet is an alternative market compared to what we had then.
And when you have an alternative market, it doesn’t mean that the industry should change or have a new name because it got better. The truth is that we are growing, this a growing period, the beginning of Nollywood was good, somewhere along the line there was a nosedive and then we recoup and came back together and everyone is thinking there is a new Nollywood, I think it’s still the same thing.
Ramsey Nouah is mostly known as an actor. Do you have plans to diversify into production?
O yes! There’s a couple of things that we are working on as Ramsey Films. We have a project that we would be starting in 2018 so my fans should watch out.
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