CONVERSATIONS INSIGHT PHENOMENAL WOMEN

With ‘Picture Perfect’, Set To Continue As A TV Series, Its Producer Tells Us What Lies At The Core Of Her Mission As A Film-Maker.

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From the original movie, released in 2017, ‘Picture Perfect’ is the story of two individuals from different worlds, who, by a stroke of fate, are brought together in what could have been an awe-inspiring union, if their worlds were such that can be mixed without combustion occurring.

Technically, the only fire that was produced by the coming together of the two people involved, was a good, satisfying fire that produced an adorable baby girl who then became a meeting point where the issues which separate the two worlds can be confronted. That seems to be the premise of its soon-to-be-released TV adaptation. The incredible Biodun Stephen, who created the story, tells us about it and more, in this conversation with Roseline Nya.

RN: With ‘Picture Perfect – the series’, we imagine you’re giving the audience an opportunity to see the end of the story?

Biodun Stephen: The series was created in 2017 just after the movie premiered in cinemas. We realized the story had not ended and there was more to tell. Another 90 minutes was not going to be enough, after the audience asked for a sequel. We decided to do even more and that was how the series idea was birthed.  This time around, we are telling a multi-story that centers, not just on the main cast but also, on other parties and how they affect the plot line.

RN: In the movie, the romantic in most of us was kind of hoping the lead characters will end up together and live happily ever after?

Biodun Stephen: Well that is a possibility, but you don’t expect me to let the cat out of the bag, do you? You will have to wait and see.

RN: From a few clips of the series we have seen, and from the movie itself, we see how the two worlds highlighted in the story exist side by side, sometimes maintaining separate borders, sometimes only separated by a tiny line and sometimes not separated at all yet not completely together. Your intention is to portray our society’s real deal, isn’t it?

Biodun Stephen: With every piece of work that I have created, I have constantly aimed at mirroring reality. That is where I draw from and that is what makes it relatable. Film gives you creative license to stretch a truth or embellish a lie. However, it still has got to strike a chord with the audience, hence the need to portray reality, in a relatable manner.

RN: Looking at your catalogue of credits, from Ovy’s Voice to Tiwa’ baggage, The visit, Tough love, Picture Perfect…one thread seems to run through your movies, and that is a spotlight on complex human issues. How and why is that important to you as a filmmaker?

Biodun Stephen: Film for me is aimed at serving one purpose; to speak the truth of another, to spotlight a salient issue, be it societal, marital, emotional, and what have you. While a film must be entertaining, it must also be informative, educative, enlightening and also provide hope and succor, sometimes. In other words, film must serve a purpose besides entertainment. This is at the center of why I make films.

RN: Do you sometimes feel like the world should have, at this point, become a much better place, as a result of the impact of the stories that have been told through films?

Biodun Stephen: Film, alone, can’t change the world. It is a factor of change, no doubt, but it would be unfair to assign such weighty task on film, alone. Film is serving its purpose in the world; through film, many untold stories have been brought to the fore. And many times, such stories have triggered changes in various levels; personal, family, community, national and even international. So yes, film is playing a role in world change, but it is not the sole player or change-maker.

RN: Looking at your journey to becoming a significant figure in Nollywood, you have had a somewhat interesting journey. Do you wish you had it any other way?

Biodun Stephen: I am grateful for my understanding of time, chance and season. My journey began a long time ago, but it didn’t quite happen until a few years ago, because the time was right, the opportunity came and I was ready to cease it and all else fell into place. But it wasn’t an easy journey. It was plagued with pain, disappointment and depression, but it was geared towards finding my purpose as a filmmaker. So no, I won’t have it any other way.

RN: And now, as a producer you’re giving opportunities to yet to be known names. Others might say it is too much of a financial risk.

Biodun Stephen: I say no way. Someone gave me an opportunity. The late Chris Jeyibo of Koga Studios took a gamble on me; an ambitious and driven woman. He saw talent and a hunger to prove myself and he gave me that chance. That was how I made the film THE VISIT. That film opened a number of doors for me. If he; Chris Jeyibo, could take a chance on me, why can’t i do same for someone else? If you have the right attitude to work, hunger and passion that fits the job, I am willing to take such a risk.

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