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BN Exclusive: Jackie Appiah, K.D. Aubert, Todd Bridges, Oge Okoye & More – Dramatic On-Set Photos from the movie “Turning Point”

BellaNaija.com

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Turning Point” is a new movie directed and produced by Niyi Towolawi and co-produced by Egor Efiok.

African-American actress Lauren London was originally cast in one of the lead roles but she was replaced by K.D Aubert. K.D joins the US/African cast including Jackie Appiah, Oge Okoye, Enyinna Nwigwe, Ebbe Bassey, Todd Bridges, Ernie Hudson, Joe Estevez and Cynda Williams.

BN caught up with the movie’s producers and this is what they had to say.

The Movie Making Experience
Niyi: Shooting “Turning Point” was definitely a magical experience. Hollywood is a huge melting pot of creative talent from all over the world and people struggling to get jobs there would literally command industries elsewhere, so such is the competition and expertise in America. This was evident even at the casting call back when I sat in with the casting director to make a selection. The dedication people had put in to read for small roles was shocking. One of the cast, who was currently shooting with Robert De Niro, auditioned and requested that he had grown his hair for a year for that role and whether we could accommodate it.

The film is a registered SAG (Hollywood’s Screen Actor’s Guild) project with loads of rigid procedure so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew I had a film to make so that was my focus. I did expect an element of divaness from the Hollywood stars but no such thing. Everyone was courteous and professional and one would be unable to tell that we weren’t making a $100m picture. I quickly concluded that the “diva” is probably someone that’s recently “arrived” but still unsure of their status so acts in that manner to test limits.

The crew were great; a hand picked dream team of a “Mission Impossible” style bunch of Hollywood veterans that had worked on huge blockbusters yet took on my humble film with equal gusto.

Working with Nollywood Stars
Niyi: It was an absolute blast working with almost all the actors. There is a visible style difference in how the Hollywood and Nollywood actors approach a character but the end result is the same, bullseye delivery on every take. While the Hollywood actor had perhaps been formally trained, nurtured and grown with carefully managed guidance, the Nollywood talent is pure, explosive energy.

Jackie Appiah is simply phenomenon. I have never seen a case where a subdued, professional crew would break into applaud take after take as Jackie was able to conjure up. There was a highly charged scene that I knew that regardless of how much rehearsal or blocking would have to be largely improvised, and that’s where the Nollywood actor owns the stage. Jackie would repeatedly hit marks, while stumbling backwards and in a headlock, all the while making goading noises to be beaten further.

Oge Okoye’s character, “Ebony” is very trashy yet complex, and she absolutely owned the character. I had done extensive research of the type of persona but Oge’s manifestations were things I had passively observed but could never articulate. She was initially uncomfortable with the character but took it on and it became confusing if she was an African-American ghetto woman pretending to be Nigerian or vice versa.

Ebbe Bassey (though of Nigerian parentage is not a Nollywood star as she) lives in the US and came in from out of state. She arrived on location already in character, with two suitcases full of her own wardrobe. She’s been in “Law and Order” and clearly used to working at that level.

Enyinna Nwigwe, asked some deep questions about his character so that he could establish a proper back story of “Steve”. He had been living/working in LA for a while so again was well accustomed to the environment.

The experience regardless isn’t the sort of expectations you’d have of Nollywood actors who perhaps aren’t typically given the opportunity to explore their characters in such depths.
The cast couldn’t be better.

Co-Producing as a Rookie
Egor: Niyi has said it all. For me as a first time producer, it was a learning curve and I must admit, not without its difficulties; so I am thankful to have had Niyi (my very own Nerd) to guide me where needed. With this project, we both bring something different and unique to the table to complement each other. The hard work left me lethargic most times but hey, you have to sow to reap.

The best experiences are the ones you learn the most from, so all in all, I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained through this experience and I thank God for the professionalism exuded by all to make this movie a success.

Special kudos as well to Oge Okoye, who despite having had just two days to read the script and study her character, and then being ushered straight on set and into make-up as she arrived tired and flustered from the airport, proved that she was a professional actress by delivering big time.

Nollywood vs. Hollywood
Niyi: It’s not exactly a fair comparison as the industries are apples and oranges. Hollywood is a trillion dollar industry with a century’s experience in film production and Nollywood is still a growing industry with limited structure and framework.

I think though that Nollywood would be taken more seriously if the quest became one of quality over quantity. If $10m pictures become the norm, all the criticisms and challenges would suddenly disappear. Nigeria has amazing, internationally recognised fictional writers but none of them work in Nollywood. Stephen King, John Grisham, etc, have had all their published novels turned into films. If directors were paid $1m a picture, better films would be made. I would love to offer Jackie Appiah $2m for a role that takes a year to prepare for; that’s how Oscars are won. The major film equipment manufacturers, Arri, Panavision, Sony, Canon, Red et al, will set up shop in Nigeria and offer free training to ensure their products get a sizable market share. The industry is big enough and the fan base is even bigger.

Bollywood was in a similar position situation not too long ago but realised the potential and now make $50 million plus films on a regular basis. If every Nigeria marketer, filmmaker and actor commits to just one picture a year, then it’ll be a new age already. The cinema sector is thriving and the audience has an insatiable demand that can’t met even if the industry was 10 times bigger. I often joke that I’m a Nollywood filmmaker but in my case, the “N” is silent.

Jackie Appiah “banged up and bruised” by Lola Maja

More Photos from the set of “Turning Point”

31 Comments

  1. cathy

    November 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    kai! a must watch oh, hmmm i like igoni archibong someone pls tell him for me ooo

  2. adanna

    November 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Nice make up job but the photographs don’t look good at all. Geez who took them

  3. susan

    November 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Is it out?

  4. PRECIOUS

    November 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    the girl really looks like angelina jolie with her sexy lips.

  5. Nkem Morah

    November 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Igoni Archibong…thumbs up!!!

  6. Ozy

    November 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    The make up artist is a guru…she really transform Jackie

  7. nich

    November 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    the royal arts academy realized that quality would eventually overcome quantity in due time and so they switched…to quality…

    the same with ghana….ghana is doing everything possible to overcome the stage they are right now

    we must give kudos to nollywood for
    atleast trying to up the game in terms of quality. this is a
    nation

    where they did not get the support of the government and
    yet they have done so well.

    but however ….producers need to up their
    game….technology is growing and nigerians do not want to
    celebrate mediocrity any longer……

    on the maximum i think that nollywood is slightly ahead of
    ghana 9ghaliwood….example is jeta

    amata, the royal art academy clique, lancelot imma
    oduwasin, vivian ejike, kunle afolayan, vivian

    ejike and the rising blessing egbe……but we should
    realize that each of this producers produce one

    or two films yearly..atleast at the moment……yes they
    are cinema movies but because of our naija

    environment..they would not release this movies for sale
    until after 4 or 5 yrs…meaning that if u did

    see it at the cinema…u may never have the opportunity to
    watch the movie…

    but on the average ghana is ahead of nollywood…..ahead of
    asaba film producers and enugu film

    producers in terms of well written script and
    quality….atleast the movies are released to the market
    just after two months of production…..

    after watching the ghanian movie ” WHO OWNS THE CITY” and
    some few others….i have come to the conclusion that
    ghanian producers are more talented and creativie than
    nollywood producers…

    I HAVE ALSO CONCLUDED THA GHANIANS NADIA BUARI IS THE BEST
    ACTRESS AT THE MOMENT ……

    HER KARATE AND KUNFU SKILLS IS SUCH THAT HAS NEVER BEEN
    SEEN IN NOLLYWOOD B4…………I HAVE NEVER SEEN THAT IN
    NOLLYWOOD ACTOR OR ACTRESS SINCE THE INCEPTION OF NOLLYWOOD.
    ………ALL THE KARATE SKILLS THAT HAS BEEN DONE IN
    NOLLYWOOD WITH JIM IYKE HAS BEEN RUBISH AND NONSENSE….

    in all i believe that in terms of quality …although not
    pure cinema movies…i believ that ghana holds more
    advantage against nigeria….

    • ovbiedo

      November 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Oya see trophy plus crown carry, wear, do watever. Pscheew!!!

  8. Barbara & 1923

    November 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    My dear Lola Maja in her element. Big ups to her

  9. Egor Efiok

    November 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks a lot Bella, God bless. Please check out more photos later tonight on http://e4pr.blogspot.com

  10. Dolly p.

    November 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    dis is really gonna be nice, cnt wait

  11. mini

    November 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Just proud of Igoni keep up the good work 🙂 !!

  12. eye

    November 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Cnt wait

  13. Bolanle

    November 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    looks interesting! may have to try and watch it!

  14. tochi

    November 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    nawa, i really can’t wait to see this movie. i’m excited

  15. ama

    November 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    @ Bella Naija
    Pls Jackie Appiah is Ghanaian…not a nollywood actress

    • Honestly

      November 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Ama,
      We know Jacky Appiah is a Ghanian but she acts in both the Nigerian (Nollywood) and Ghanian (Gollywood) film industries. No? And this movie “Turning point” is a Nollywood production even if it has Ghanian actress Jackie in it. I don’t know why people like you make a big deal out of nothing. Even the Gollywood movies are mostly produced by Nigerian producers living in Ghana. For example, Frank Rajah Arase who has directed several Gollywood movies is a Nigerian for your information but you don’t see us Nigerians making a big deal out of it. Chill abeg! It’s not that serious.

    • LindsayLohan

      November 23, 2011 at 5:57 am

      Ah, she can never be from Nollywood. But if she remains in Ghana, how will she eat?

  16. Tobechidaniel

    November 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Lola Maja is a beaut!

  17. didi

    November 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Ama leave them alone sha. They want to define the whole african movie industry under one umbrella called Nollywood. What a joke.
    And to the person who saids nadia or jackie is a good actress what is ur definition of good acting. If threy r good as u term it then V, Vicker should win 10 oscras.. Name one movie that either of these actresses gave a phenomenal oscar winning unforgettable performance. Move away from defining great acting by how good the person looks. Its just ridiculous

  18. e-bukun

    November 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    You don’t need to be Nigerian to be a Nollywood actor/actress, you just have to affiliate with the industry. It’s not a country, it’s an industry. That’a why Canadians and Irish actors like Ryan Reynolds or Kevin McKidd who aren’t Americans can still be a part of the industry

    @Nich please who claimed Nadia Buhari is the best actress out there? What movies have you been watching? I cringe every time I watch her make her act. When there are actresses like Kate Henshaw, Nse and the likes.

  19. Naya

    November 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    @nich, jor o! lol. Now that you have finished, can you talk about THESE pictures? Thank you!
    Makeup is on point, cast looks good. can’t wait to see it 🙂

  20. mary007

    November 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    This is what we are talking about

  21. ochi isabel

    November 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    wow pls i cant wait.is it out

  22. Flossy

    November 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    OMG, Jackie is soooooooooo beautiful!

  23. Sylvia

    November 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    A must watch!!!!!!

  24. Neno_MacQueen

    November 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    i love lola maja

  25. faith

    November 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Why make a big deal about who is nigerian and who is ghanaian afterall we are all africans and that is what matters most . lets appreciate a good work done instead of thinking about imaginary territories/boundaries created in our own minds. Beautiful people u all!

  26. ama

    November 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

    well i just wanted to point it out…she was described as a nollywood actress but shes ghanaian…and that must be acknowledged….u these nigerians kraaaa….always on the defensive…mtcheeeeeeeeeeeeeeewww

  27. lily

    December 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    i can’t wait to watch that movie as well as ‘stigma’, ‘make me a heart’, and ‘a night with her’. i love you jackie from new-york.

  28. Kwame

    December 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Jackie is simply phenomenon. She is the best African actress at the moment with immeasurable beauty and brains. I love all her movies and will keep watching more of her movies.

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