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How Social Media is Changing Auditions in Nollywood – Baaj Adebule

Stay Safe, Wash Your Hands

Before the Internet, if you wanted to be in a Nollywood movie

you have to seek out when popular filmmakers are announcing new projects and go for their auditions

But today, that is changing. Filmmakers now desire talents that are either internet sensations or have a huge social media following

In this post, we go more in-depth with popular actor Baaj Adebule who has worked on several Nollywood projects before and after the arrival of this thing called Social Media

it’s good stuff, let’s read

Nigerian Actor – Baaj Adebule

Kindly introduce yourself?

Hi, my name is Baaj Adebule. Actor, Filmmaker from Nigeria

You have been in the industry for a while now, is there growth?

We have been growing over the years in the film industry, but it’s a three-step forward, two steps backward kind of growth

So we are moving forward but at a very slow pace

Why did you say this?

I feel we make a lot of good decisions and then as well as bad decisions that end up negating the good decisions; it’s that kind of scenario

As an actor, is it necessary to have a huge social media following to get roles?

Right now, it is not necessary but mandatory

Everyone knows audiences are on heavily present on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

This simple fact pushes filmmakers and directors decisions on what talent they get for their projects – this is cool

But for me, it starts to get bad when they put the social media following first before the craft

That’s when you start having films in the cinema or on TV that have a lot of faces but no substance or no real craft to display

An actor can only do what an actor can do and a non-actor will do what a non-actor can do

which is “Not Act”

That’s really the bad part

You just have to make sure you have a balance with getting an actor without much social media following and also a non-actor with huge social media presence which makes sure the project is not a let down on craft, ability or reach

Anytime I meet a young actor that asks me the question…

“Where to go or how to do it?”

I always reply, work on your craft continuously, Every day!

Keep focusing on getting better

But remember to put that much energy into your social media presence as well because that’s probably where they will get you from

I can’t count the number of movies and series I have gotten off from a picture of a project i was doing or maybe a teaser or trailer that was posted on my social media accounts

Social Media

I don’t even think they watched the actual film

 Does that mean filmmakers only judge based on what they see on social media??

Not exactly, but it plays a part because I definitely still know a lot of filmmakers that are very particular about seeing your showreel but they are very little

There are some that check out your Instagram, like what they see and then ask if you can come in for a reading or screen test just so that they are convinced that you can actually deliver

But some just look at numbers and say oh – this is our guy/lady

Did social media have any impact on your first breakthrough project??

Absolutely not – Social media was barely a thing back then and I barely even had a presence back then

My first project was definitely through an audition and I got cast for the project

Do you think auditions still hold these days for huge projects??

I do know a lot of people that still hold auditions for their projects but it is not as popular as it was

10 years ago it was a common practice

5 years it has reduced

Presently, it has drastically reduced

As time is going more forward. It is getting less popular

The internet has changed the landscaped of auditions, filmmakers these days can easily request for submission of monologue videos

They will watch it there and check out the performances of the actor

Some other filmmakers might see a skit of talents on the internet that has gone viral

Quick they reach out with the mind of “he/she is the rave of the moment” let us ride on it

The above scenarios have become more rampant as opposed to the good old days – where you go for several auditions, wait for callbacks and get called in for a screen test

That’s how my time was, but now it is not so much popular

What’s your take on filmmakers casting influencers for their major lead roles?

(laughs) err I don’t think I am in any position to weigh in on that, I have only done a couple of films, people who have actually done a body of work can start to judge or criticize filmmakers for their choices

But it’s your film man – Cast who you want to cast (laughs)

I am very sure filmmakers have their reasons you know

Each filmmaker have a kind of films they want to make, they know the kind of audience they want to get across to

So to each his/her own

If I were to do my film, for the major roles that actually require actors, I will decide to cast actors

Then for the supporting roles, cameos and other roles that really don’t require actors – They could be played by someone that is funny or influencers and they have like one or two scenes which are not really important to the story but they just help to increase the good feeling about the movie

That’s how I will decide to go about it, because that’s how I want to make my film but if other people decide to do the other way round – to each their own, we are different people

It is established that actors need to build their social media following, what strategy can you share?

No one has really created a specific strategy yet

Everyone is still chopping and trying stuff out

But I would tell you the skills some of my friends use

Become a social media comedian

make funny skits, put it up and hopefully people with large accounts will repost (I actually tried this one but I looked at the video and was like, nope – this is not me but it really works)

Showoff on the internet

Post fly and beautiful pictures yourself, respond to comments and stay interactive

Travel and Tell All

Travel to exotic places and tell the gram about. From day one of getting the tickets to the day you are back in Lagos traffic

Give us every detail – This works too (laughs)

Start A Scandal

Start or get in a scandal of some sort that can make you go viral

This one I don’t support but hahaha it works PERFECTLY. No one is even going to judge for being completely ridiculous on the internet.

Clout chasing culture is really not that bad anymore. Everyone does it these days

Like I said everyone is still trying new stuff and try to figure out what works for them

If you are one of the lucky few who got projects that put them out there like me – Tinsel, Hush, battleground, a soldier’s story, Lekki wives and The men’s club, etc

All these projects i worked on blew up and blew me as well

Baaj Adebule (Rixel Studios)

So I ended up not really needing to do a lot of that so lucky me

Now if this is not happening for you, come up with a skit, travel to some beautiful place, put out pictures do whatever you can but don’t soil your name in the mud whilst try to blow up for roles

So yea. That’ s it

This was a good discussion, thank you for speaking with us

You are welcome

Thank you for reading this

Follow us now on Twitter  @ShockNG  for the latest industry news you don’t want to miss 

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