Wale Razaq, a graduate of Computer Engineering from the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, hails from Bode Quarters, Okeho, Oyo State, Nigeria. He had earned various awards such as 2016 City People Recognition award; Best Director, 2017 Maya award; Best Script Writer in 2017 Omama award; Best soap opera, Campus Life 2017 City People award. Within the Nigerian Yoruba movie industry, he has written many scripts, directed and produced many movies. The PDC Crew had a chat with him and herein is the excerpt of our conversation:
PDC: You seem to have a lot of tract record in the movie industry, how long have you been in the movie industry?
WR: I have been in the movie industry for about 15 years ago
PDC: How did you get into the industry?
WR: I have been interested in the industry since my childhood because we stayed in the same house with late Ishola Ogunshola, Dr Isho Pepper, the renowned actor, at Academy, Ibadan. I joined the industry professionally immediately after my OND.
PDC: Having had interest in the industry, who are those that mentored you in the industry?
WR: I was trained under Alh. Niyi Adedayo of Age Productions and I leant a lot from all the directors I worked with when I was a Continuity Manager on the set of many movies. I must acknowledge the experience gained from my mentor, Muyiwa Ademola
PDC: As a multi-talented person in the industry, let’s know some of the movies that you have written, directed and produced?
WR: I can’t mention all the movies because there are a lot of movies that I have done in the last 15 years. However, some of the movies that easily come to mind are- Buga which I wrote for Femi Adebayo; Pakute Olofa for Muyiwa Ademola, Anike Koloba, Aromimawe, Tomori Fiditi, Ajani Oloko, Gbajumo Alagbado, Basira Beere are some of the movies I have written.
Some of the movies I have directed include- Aromimawe, Sisi Eko, Mopelola, Tomori Fidit, Iyawo Sanyeri, Durosinmi, Kobewude, Bachelor’s eve, Ajani Oloko, Gbajumo Alagbado.
I have directed some soap operas for African Magic as well Ojo, Campus Life and many more. I produced by Orumoju, Ojuloge, Basira Beere, Public Figure, Ole Ilu, Oko Aro and my latest movie is Tade Too Much Money (TTMM)
PDC: What’s the greatest challenge that you have faced in the course of work?
WR: The greatest challenge was concentrating on the job I am passionate about and not seeking for employment with my certificate. So, I really suffered because as an upcoming person in the movie industry, you will earn a little till you are reckoned with as a star. But I thank God today because am getting there gradually.
PDC: It has been alleged that there are times when you will be on location and some people would invade and ask for tips, how do you manage them?
WR: We manage d situation maturely and as the Yoruba adage says, bi eye ba se fo lase n soko e meaning we stone a bird based on its altitude. If they ask with due respect we give them but if they are forceful about it, we ignore them and if they prove stubborn, we handle it legally.
We need the support of the Government so as to stop the disturbance that we experience at location. I can recall when I was shooting Basira Beere, when I had to shoot at Beere centre, I faced a lot of challenges and I spent a lot of money so as to get the support of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and back up from Government agencies. Movies are ways of enhancing the tourism potentials of the country.
PDC: Those behind the scene are more powerful than those in the actual scene, who inspires you despite the fact that you make more people famous than yourself?
WR: As a member of the crew, I am usually behind the camera but I am always happy when I see people showing accolades on the new actor I feature in my film. Like when people watched Ojo and Campus Life on African Magic, some people got fame and a lot of producers and directors called them for other movies. So, I am really happy to make people visible and this inspires me many times.
PDC: The world is fast moving now, how long would it take one to be a veteran cinematographer?
WR: If one really knows what he’s doing, he can takes up to 3 or 4 years. But he would still be learning daily because new cameras are released annually and one need to be versatile by being able to use different cameras as a veteran cinematographer
PDC: Many parents do not want their daughters to be involved in the entertainment industry because it is alleged that there is a lot of immorality in the industry, how do you think this perception can be changed?
WR: I think if any parent should change this perception because people are trained thespians in the University by studying Theatre Arts as a discipline. So, people in d creative and entertainment industry are respectable people who are doing well.
PDC: Investing in a movie production is a lot of money and unfortunately some people sit in a corner pirating movies, what are the way forward to stop piracy in Nigeria?
WR: Piracy can only be stopped and eradicated if the Federal Government support the creative industry and back us up to make the world a better place for everyone.
PDC: As you mentioned, you are also a movie writer, what differentiates movie writing from other forms of writings?
WR: Screen writing is really different from book writing because you have to explain the situation, indicate the camera angles, the shots, the scenery, location, mode either interior, exterior, day or night, the physique of the cast and many more.
PDC: What inspires you to write movies?
WR: I am inspired to write movies because I have been writing scripts since when I was in secondary school.
PDC: There are certain movies made out of books, are you also interesting in promoting the works of other literary writers in this way?
WR: Yes am very much interested in promoting the works of literary writers, because such texts are very captivating; movies like Efunsetan Aniwura, Oleku, Basorun Gaa and others have encouraged people to write because it can be transformed over time.
PDC: Which role comes more natural to you- Producer or Director?
WR: I am adept at both- as a director, I packaged film for others and I double as the producer at location. This dual role makes it easy for me to play both roles effectively.
PDC: If you were to choose another career, what would it be?
WR: I studied Computer Engineering. So, if was not a film maker, I will have remained a Computer Engineer
PDC: Recently, actors are being given political appointments but it is not prominent with Producers and Directors, what are the extra things that Producers and directors would do to project the government?
WR: I think if any Producer or Director has a political ambition is very allowed, he or she may go out to contest for electoral post. I, particularly, has a political ambition and I am looking forward to 2023.
PDC: What are your plans in empowering the future generations?
WR: I have a plan to establish a standard film school that new generation film makers will be trained to become professional in film making both theoretical and practically. I also look forward to establishing a TV channel showcase talents in the creative industry through soap operas and movies
PDC: If you are not at work, how do you spend your leisure time?
WR: If am not at work, I stay indoor and this is the time that I script new movies and I also having fun with my family to compensate them for the time when I am out of the home.
PDC: Describe yourself in three words?
WR: humble, discipline and very hardworking.
Many thanks for reading this interview, let’s now relax by viewing his recent movie- Tade Too Much Money