Movie Production: Let’s Appreciate Behind The Scene Professionals

blankObserving the commentary that has come up after Sparrow Productions, producers of ‘Scorned’, ‘Life and Living It’ released their latest movie “Prefect Picture” into the market. The movie was met with mixed feelings.

Just like politics, the movie has alienated Ghanaians with views coming from all quarters, both good and bad; with some being too lame (I call them typical Ghanaian). Ghanaians can be indeed very annoying. Like doctors, Ghanaians can diagnosis problem or know when something is amiss but can’t find solutions for that problem. When you talk of football, you can say Ghanaians are made up of budding coaches and knows which player must play.

Usually, I don’t waste the ink in my pen on less important issues like this one, yes I mean it’s trivial, but then the hubbub it has triggered is just phenomenal and merit my attention. I am not reviewing the movie Perfect Picture per se but I needed to mention it to buttress a point after all that movie it is touted as a well produced, well directed, and well acted movie.

From my perspective, when we say a movie is well produced, directed and well acted, some professionals behind the scene contribute immensely to the success of that movie be it movie from Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood or Gollywood but in this case Shirley Frimpong Manso who was the writer/producer/director Perfect Picture is getting all the accolades.

One person can write a story, develop it, produce it, direct it and even play the leading role (which is common in Ghana, Harry Laud, Bob Smith, Augustine Abbey (idikoko), my lookalike come in mind) but it doesn’t end there as the writer needs an equally important team to execute that project just like we are saying about Perfect Picture. It is very intriguing how Ghanaians are quick to declare their stand; a lot has been said about that movie. People have gone to the extreme, claiming it’s by far the best movie yet and well-written movie (I hear this all the time).

I am sure Shirley’s head won’t be puffy yet as this same people flattering her will be the same people calling for her head when she’s not able to meet the standard she has set for herself and Sparrow Productions. The Ghanaian can always be predicted and can’t be trusted.

Nevertheless, I have not seen that movie yet and am not in any hurry or not under any obligation to see it. Movie production is not only about the director, producer and actors/actress, as some of us perceive it to be. When movie fans are about to watch a movie, the following roll on their screens one after the other: Story, Screenplay/Casting, Location Manager, Transport Manager, Make-Up, Costume, Props/Set, Still Photography, Theme Music, Soundtrack, Production Assistant, Soundman, Graphics, D.O.P, Editor, Production Coordinators, Production Manager, Producer/Executor Producer, Director.

After the beginning credit, the question you keep asking yourself is, what role do these people play in movie productions? Initially, I was very naïve by then but I have since educated myself on each role they play in order of importance in movie production and hope you have done the same. (If not, who cares?).

Movies are make-believe and actors play an important role in this regard but the roles of the above-named are particularly essential, because without them there will not be a movie to watch.

Seriously, it is easy for movie fans to notice movie stars when they see or meet them on the streets, ask of autographs and their numbers and blah blah blah but how many of us recognize the directors, who directed the so called best movies? Even if we acknowledge them, do we give a hoot about them?

Most of these directors look stupid, especially when they are with these actors, because movie lover just ignore them through no fault of theirs, and the actors get all the action and attention. Even though it’s the actors faces that sell the movies, each role played by the other crew are worth of mention.

On top of that movie fans pay huge sums of money to invade the various cinemas just to catch a glimpse of their favourite actors/actresses in their latest movie as if their life depends on it. Most of them who are not able to get a ticket form a long queue at the entrances to pay directly.

Some also go to the movie market, purchase their favourite movies and watch them at home with their families and loved ones. Emotional ones also show their emotions and frustrations as they watch these movies without taking a minute or two to talk about the crew who behind the scene.

After watching a movie, thought the actor was that lousy? You immediately get angry and said to yourself; oh gosh I can play that role much better?  And wished you knew the route to his house, where you can go and slap the hell out of him for wasting your time? You wished to get a refund because you feel he didn’t deserve your hard earned money?

As if by design, after watching a movie, you asked the next person beside you in the cinema hall of the producer’s cell number (this is very dumb), you actually wanted to call him and vent your spleen on him, “$%!@#, Hey, you are a bloody liar and a thief; you can go to hell and stay there” why? Because the movie you have just seen is the exact copy of (call it Ghana version) “Deliver Us From Eva’ movie you watched years back? Just chill.

One annoying thing about watching a movie with a Ghanaian (why a Ghanaian? Because am a Ghanaian) is, that immediately ‘The End’ or ‘In God We Trust’ appears, he or she gets up. Watching the end credit suddenly becomes a prohibited.

There are movies with horrendous picture quality and bad sound but movie lovers are quick to acknowledge that there is in fact a cameraman and a soundman who are not doing their job well. We must stop this hypocrisy. I urge movie lovers to have the patience enough to watch the end credits after watching a movie, I believe with that the would be able to appreciate the behind the scene officials and love them more.

By: Ebenezer Anangfio Jnr./


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