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#BNBehindTheScenes: 10 Questions with Chinedu Arinze, the Location Manager of Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart”

Muna Okey-Nwosu

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We hear so much about our favorite movie stars but rarely anything about the people working behind the scenes to make sure the stars have the best lines, the best lighting in movies, the best costumes and more. There’s too little on the people behind the scenes.

Apart from the talented actors, what really makes a great film?
Is it the storyline? Great characters? Cinematography?
Well, the answer to all of these questions is – Yes. And more!

With this in mind, BellaNaija‘s BN TV section has kicked off a monthly interview series tagged #BNBehindTheScenes, where we speak to some of the great minds behind many Nollywood movies… from the ace directors to scriptwriters, to the makeup artists and producers, right down to the lighting technicians.

For our maiden edition, we spoke to one of our favorite Scriptwriters, Dami Elebe, who is the genius behind some of the great shows we currently stream on BN TV: Skinny Girl in Transit, Rumor Has It, and Jemeji.

In February, we chatted with Hakeem Onilogbo, who is a special effects guru. For March, we spoke with Isioma Osaje The Go-To Talent Manager, April was action man, Femi Olagoke, May was 22-year old Izzy Odigie, June was Xavier Ighorodje, July was Oluyemisi Falaye and August was Adedunke Gomina.

This month of September, we’re chatting with location manager Chinedu Arinze.

As a location manager, your primary role is finding and securing locations to be used as well as obtaining all fire, police and other governmental permits, and coordinating the logistics for the production to complete its work.

Chinedu, who was part of Genevieve Nnanji‘s latest production ‘Lionheart‘, sits down with BN TV to discuss how he got his start as a location, the skills, and qualities required as well as what he wishes could change about Nollywood, and a whole lot more.

Read what he had to say below!

How and when did you get your start as a location manager?

I got my start in the year 2008. I have always had a passion for filmmaking, and so immediately I finished school, I envisioned myself doing something in the movie industry. Then an opportunity presented itself when I accompanied a friend to the set of “Missing Rib” I overheard the producer saying he needed a modest location that is befitting for Ramsey Nouah’s character in the movie. I gladly offered him my services without charging him a dime but I was fulfilled that the location I got was able to portray the true image of the story and the producer was satisfied. After then, I was offered more jobs as a location manager.

In your opinion, what skills and qualities are required to be a good location manager?

A good location manager should have excellent communication and sociable skills, this will enable you to relate with people well, which is a key factor. Also, be enthusiastic and reliable, this helps in convincing relevant authorities, property owners to permit you or approve their properties to be used as locations for a shoot.

Take us through the process /steps of finding the perfect locations?

The first step to finding the perfect location is reading and understanding the storyline and its plot. The next step is to call or reach out to the Director to know what image he has envisioned for the scene. You should always get a conducive place.

You worked with Genevieve for her new film Lionheart, what was the experience like?

Working with the veteran actress was a wonderful experience as I also played a small part in the movie.

What is one thing you wish you could change about Nollywood?

Payment. I wish I could change the system, people behind the camera should get paid equally and treated well as well, because, in all honesty, the success of a movie boils down to the crew.

What should the industry be doing for location managers right now that it isn’t doing?

The industry should recognize and celebrate them like other departments in filmmaking because they’re the backbone of any production, and provide very important security. I remember in the early days of my career I got beaten up because of something on set that got damaged in a house that was leased to me.

Before I die I want to…

Have a studio that will reduce the workload for location managers in Nollywood.

If I could anything about a production, I will change…

The storyline and payment issue.

Share one surprising fact about yourself?

Wow…I am an okro soup addict. I really cannot go through a full week without eating okro soup. A well-prepared soup garnished with stockfish, smoked fish, goat meat and Eba can revitalize me after a hectic day of shooting. My colleagues and every other crew member know I do not joke with that. Whenever I am working on a set, I always ensure that the welfare manager/producer has okro soup on its menu timetable.

See more photos of Chinedu on Set

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Want to know more about Chinedu Arinze?Keep up with him on Instagram (@chineduarinze1) | #BNBehindTheScenes will be published every last Thursday of the month in 2018.

Photography, Nneka, African Literature, Film...these are a few of her Favourite things! Follow her on Instagram - @munachi_Follow BellaNaija Instagram - @bellanaijaonline Twitter- @bellanaija Facebook - Bella Naija

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