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CHARACTEER INTERPRETATION IN NIGERIAN VIDEO FILMS: A CASE STUDY OF DAM DEDE
TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of content
- justification of study
- research methodology
- scope of study
- definition of terms
Chapter two: Literature review
2.2 review of literature
2.3 Film in Nigeria: a brief History
3.1 film review
3.2 wounded apple
3.3 December 25th
3.4 razor blade
3.5 married to a witch
4.1 character interpretation: the example of Samuel Achibi Dede
4.2 the actor’s background
4.3 the acting style
4.4 public opinion
4.5 roles analysis
5.1 problems, suggestions and conclusion.
This project highlights the Nigerian home video, especially in the area of character interpretation and realization for easy understanding. I will be using a fore most Nigeian Actor, Sam Dede as a case study.
The Home video industry in Nigeria is actually an alternative to the celluloid format, which became a rather expensive venture, during the introduction of the structural adjustment programme (ASAP): the cost of importing film production materials became totally high, film producers opted for a cheaper and the most available means which was the video format.
Films earlier shot on celluloid in Nigeria include son of Africa (1970) Kongi’s Harvest (1970) Bullfrog in the sun (1971) Dinner with the Devil (1975) and a host of others. No doubt economic sponsorship, the procurement of film equipment and raw stock, became too costly. The ready shift to the video format rather than stage production seems to suggest that the early knowledge gained in television soap operas like, In mu fathers house would have influenced the choice of the video format. This shift has led to the emergence of the video film genre in the place of traditional delluloid films. It is believed that the video film production in Nigeria was introduced by Babatunde Adelusi, but there has been a turn as Living in Bondage produced in 91992) by Kenneth Nnebue is believed to be the first Nigerian video film due to its commercial success.
Acting is serious business, the process of character interpretation must be taken seriously. It is a basic truth that in acting you do not portray yourself but in doing this you are practicing ‘’exhibitionism’’. This is fast becoming a pressing issue where actor do not in one movie but in many movies, I stand to correct this, using Sam Dede, an actor who has various interpretation to different roles, as we see in a good number of films Blood Money (1996) Issakaba 1, 2 and 3 (2000 – 20001) Ijele (2000) Igodo (1999) No one but you (2001) Desperado 1 and 2 (2001) For your Love (2001) etc. Sam Dede’s ability to portray roles differently is what inspired me to look at character interpretation critically, as it is a subject of mockery in most home’s with electrical media (Television and a video machine).
It is a ritual in the video industry that roles are given to actors who do not know the steps to be followed to achieve a character as a good number of them don’t have theatre formal training. When we see an actor play the role of a villain, and viewers hate him, what is responsible for the hatred? It is simply good character interpretation by the actor.
However, I stated earlier on that some actors do not any formal training this not an excuse for wrong character interpretation so I stand to use my work to cut across lovers of art and especially to the up and coming actors what it takes to be an outstanding actor.
1.2 JUSTIFICATION OF STUDY
This project is aimed at highlighting the fact that production process is serious business especially in the area of acting.
I want to create the awareness that a lot of mistakes are being made in the video industry and this can be corrected if certain steps are looked at before taking up a role. The right artiste should be given roles to act not to ‘’old faces’’ as it is called in the industry, this will see to the growth, of the industry, as the producers and director are also factors of bad character interpretation as they stereotype actors making them act similar roles in all film.
This work is designed to correct the general poor nature of acting through the process of poor character interpretation in the video/film industry.
1.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
I culled information from a number of sources, through books, magazines newspapers, oral interview and most importantly from watching a good number of Nigerian home videos.
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
This work is attributed to create awareness in my field of study, as it is a pressing factor in our society. The layman resorts to Nigerian home videos as his means of relaxation and entertainment, as cinema performances are wearing out by the day here in our city Port Harcourt and Television programmes can be very boring.
This project is divided into five chapters, one deals with the introduction, justication of study, research methodology, the chapter two is basically literature review, chapter three is film/character review in some home videos and definitely the background and acting style of my case of study (Sam Dede)
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For a better understanding of this work, it will be appropriate to define some of the operative terms in the context and form in which they are used.
1.5.1 video film: the Oxford Advanced Leaners, Dictionary
Defines videotape s a Magnetic tape for recording sound and vision e.g of televisions programme’’ (Hornsby, 1985:975) video recording equipment.
The word ‘’Television’’ is derived from a medley of the Greek word ‘tele’ which means far off’ and the English word ‘vision which means ‘see’. According to Noah Wsbster in The Neww Twehtieth Century Dictionary of English (unabridged) second edition television is:
The process of transmitting scenes or views of
Events, plays, etc. (While these are taking place,
or from films or tapes on which records have
been made) by radio wave to a distant television
receiving set with synchronized sound (Webster,
The medium of television is ephemeral, episodic, specific and dramatic as it capitalizes on the benefits of an audio-visual mode of communication. It uses pictures to communicate the essence of a story to the audience. According to John fiske and John Hartley in
1.5.3 READING TELEVISION:
…. Television is literally a highly visible medium and it does
seem to influence people’s behaviour, if only to the extent
that more people watch for more hours today than they did
a generation ago… (Fiske and Hatley, 1988: 17)
Through the medium of television however, the viewer can learn to understand his social as well as psychological would and act meaningfully and effectively as influenced by the medium. The advent of television and its receiving set has made communication a global phenomenon.
The advanced learners Dictionary of Current English, Defines film as ‘’taking a motion picture of a paly, Documentary or Drama’’ (1995:324). Technically, film is a roll or sheet of thin flexible material used in photography: it is a film-strip, length of film with a number of photography (of scenes, diagrams, etc.) to be shown on a screen separately (not as a motion picture). Professional motion picture films which are shot on celluloid always come in 16mm and 35mm.
Webster’s Dictionary of Current English, defines production as:
The means, the act or the process of producing
- something or a product
- a work of Art, literature, the Theatre, film etc.
to a desire aesthetics (1980:798)
Film production therefore becomes the process and formation of making or producing film whether on celluloid, or on video, for the consumption of the public. Basically, there are two approaches to film production-fiction and non-fiction films. The fiction films include features, comedies etc. while the non-fiction include documentaries, travelogues, etc.
In the same vein ‘’action’’ is the doing of something or moving, exertion of power or forces as when body acts on another. It is also seen as the effect or influence of something on another or the series of events, acts or deeds in a story or play (Webster’s 1992:8)
In this chapter I have examined the subject matter of this project, which is the acting style in the Nigerian video industry. I have also discussed the need for choosing an astute actor as an instrument of this work
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