Most often than not filmmaking presents us with lots of needs, that will compel us to seek to have partners that will alleviate some of the challenges. The key is that you don’t chose random persons, there are things to look out for, especially in Nigeria.
However, before I delve into the three major key factors to look out for, let me explain that film production require the talents, money, and technical-know how. The first and second require people that are skilled while the second requires anyone with the mind to invest and maybe make money or have his or her products or services receive more exposure, by a way of Advertisement.
If you are a first-time producer or filmmaker, regardless of how talented you are, you will have a few glitches if you don’t have a partner that understand the terrain.
Money can’t always solve your problems, so you need experience and talent all around you to be able to successfully produce a film in the industry.
Hence to pick a partner that you will collaborate with, here are the three key points to look out for:
- DOES HE OR SHE HAVE THE SAME VALUE WITH YOU?
Film is a matter of style; different filmmakers have different styles and their styles are informed by their principles in life and their understanding of the art of filmmaking. So ensure you have the same understanding of what goal you wish to accomplish.
You must ensure that both of you are seeing the same end production value. Some prefer high production value, while some are just into let’s shoot it anyhow. Nollywood is a place where many people are doing riotous things at different times. Some are bent on getting it right, while others are just after finishing and jumping into the next project. So before you pick a partner, make sure you all have the same value or at least understand the value of the film you both wish to produce.
2. DOES HE OR SHE HAVE A REEL?
Like I noted earlier, experience is more valuable than money and most times more important than talent. I understand that all the other two factors are important, but in an industry that is as informal as Nollywood, ensure you are not just basing your assumption, ask to see what the person had done in the past. Sometimes it is not even about how long the time of his past projects are, it is about how the value aligns with yours.
For instance, if your proposed partner is a creative and you see his or her short film, he had done, it will help you to understand how he or she will handle a feature if given good budget. If on the other hand, the partner is an investor, also research into his or her business ideology and why he wants to invest. If you are the type that believes that your film has to go through the entire processes to be able to become a premium content, don’t take money from an investor that wants his or her return in a short period.
The point is that you should see either the reel which is a creative Curriculum Vitae if the partner is a creative or ask for the investors needs if the investor is putting his or her money in the film. It will also help you to manage expectations.
3. DOES YOUR PROPOSED PARTNER HAVE COMPLIMENTARY SKILLS OR WORTH
You have to consider if the person you are proposing to partner with has complimentary skills or worth, so you don’t make your team a set of individuals with same skill set. This means that if you are creative with little technical know-how and money, you should be partnering in those areas.
If you are smart camera operator, you should look for a smart creative director that will compliment you. If you have the technical and creative covered you should seek for the money. What this means is that every one should know what area he or she needs help and compliment with partnership. It will help the production have the best of every department.
My advice is that you should partner with those who compliment your skills or worth and not open up to everyone. It may make you have more than required talent or worth in a given area and have less in another area.
Finally, when you have identified the persons you want to work with, make sure you have a WRITTEN AGREEMENT, signed and tendered. Human beings can change or disappoint, you need what you will use to protect your investment. Regardless of how the person woos you, don’t start without a contract.