Baaj Adebule shares his experiences on the journey to making his first feature film Come With Me now streaming on Prime Video.
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As an experienced Nollywood actor, Baaj Adebule takes on double role as a first-time director in his feature film Come with Me.
Baaj shares what brought about the story and his experiences on the filmmaking journey. There are seven key takeaways deduced from Baaj’s experience.
According to Baaj, he would always write down story ideas because he knew he was going to make films or TV series someday. So he picked up an idea in 2017 and started developing the story. He also wanted to make a movie about Nigerian’s response to armed robbery and murder, so he came up with “Come With Me”.
Come With Me is a romantic crime thriller written by Baaj Adebule and Michael Osuji. This film shows the unassuming nature of humans while also stressing the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.
Filmmaking is a reflection of our daily lives and this film indeed displayed the nature of humans.
Come With Me had an incredible cast and Nollywood faves such as Ayoola Ayolola, Baaj Adebule, Emma OMG, Goodness Emmanuel, Yemisi Fancy, Ric Hassani and Chris Iheuwa.
“Casting was done according to availability, role delivery and acting strength,” Baaj said. He then continued that he wanted Tope Tedella to play his role because he preferred being off the screen and directing but due to scheduling conflicts that did not happen.
Baaj ended up playing a role in the film and was also the director of the film.
In the Twitter space interview with Baaj hosted by Shock, he mentioned that the film had its principal photography which lasted for about six days with a budget of nine million naira and a concluding shoot for two days which stretched the budget to a total of twelve million naira.
“Funding was gotten from personal savings, access to few people who wanted to invest and then support from family and friends” Baaj added.
One of the challenges experienced was the fact that the film locations weren’t in the same vicinity, so they were moving from place to place which was actually inconvenient at some point.
One of the locations was in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
Challenges of filmmaking in Nigeria
Filmmaking is generally stressful but filmmaking in Nigeria can be described as hell as so many unpleasant situations may show up at any time.
This has toughened the heart of Nigerian filmmakers as they prepare for miscellaneous and whatever unforeseen situation that may likely come up. Come with Me shoot was disrupted by the change of location on the eve of production. This caused problems and ruined some plans in the making of the title.
The film was shot in 2019 and the narrative back then was that only romantic comedies or comedy-related films would be accepted at the box office.
Baaj kept pushing for other available platforms to distribute his film.
One important point he mentioned was the fact that he kept going to film festivals (both local and international), taking note of key lessons and mistakes by other producers and actors.
He also shared that he got a mail from Prime Video in 2021 that they loved his film and necessary editing was made before full production and release in December 2023.
Addressing insecurities and kidnapping in Nigeria
The beautiful thing about film and storytelling is that they can be used to convey messages and as a subtle correctional mechanism.
Nigerians seem to have different responses to murder and armed robbery. It is also no news that insecurity is on the rise and concrete actions should be taken on it.
The Final Release of the Film
Not all films make it to the screen and that’s an actor’s worst nightmare. It is not enough to act and get paid, the goal of filmmakers and actors is to see their works being appreciated by people on screens.
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