Adim Williams, top movie director

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Adim Williams is easily one of the directors that stand out in the Nigerian film industry. Nothing short of the best should be expected from him, coming out as the best graduating student in Theatre Arts from the University of Calabar, in 1992.

We got a peep into the making of a man whose name rings a bell in Nollywood. Williams whose film was one of the few considered eligible for screening at the recent BOBTV world-class event said he appreciated the opportunity the occasion provided him to be personally involved.

He said his expectations were met in the areas of good organization, good attendance and assembling many VIPs. While noting that the organizers still have a few things to put in place to compare effectively with some long running festivals, Adim said he would give much kudos to the organizational ability of BOBTV, especially given its age. He gave a first class appraisal of Nollywood, the way he knows it.

Williams Adim, please!
"I am Adim Williams. It should be Williams Adim but people are used to Adim Williams. Adim is actually my surname. It's a large family. I am a director, a very well known director and writer. I also produce, not too many, but few films of my own. But I am mainly under contract from other producers to write and direct their films. And I have done innumerable jobs in the industry. I wouldn't know which ones to mention but there are some which everyone can easily remember - on the Sharon Stone series - Sharon Stone One, Sharon Stone Two, Sharon in Abuja. It's really a big hit; The Abuja Connection Series 1, 2, 3; The Valentino; All the Jealous Lovers of this world. Quite a number."

Flaunt it Please!
"I joined the industry quite early, 1994/95. I studied Theatre Arts in the University of Calabar. I was the best graduating student in 1992. I don't fail to flaunt that. I have an award for that. I served with ATV Yola in Adamawa State, where I was producing and presenting a programme called Trends. After my youths service, I came down to Lagos, worked a little while and went into movies, straight on. I came to Lagos to join the movie industry, basically.

It wasn't by accident. I came purposely to join the movie industry. So, I joined as early as I could. Yes, I can say it has been an extremely wise decision, because I tell you, when I came to Lagos, I picked up a job and worked for one year. When I was working, I was going for audition. And I started participating as an actor. But towards the end of 1995 to 1996, I resigned from my job and faced the movie industry.

Now, within that period, I had two job offers. I had an offer from Franchise Communication, a big advertising agency. I was offered client service executive with so many perks attached to the office. I also had an offer, personnel manager for Chrismatel. Chrismatel is quite big, because I was manager with a subsidiary company, a haulage company. So, they wanted to move me over to a parent company. But I sacrificed all that to remain in the movie industry. And it's been very rewarding. No regrets whatsoever. One hasn't made so much money, but I'm saying that there is much more to achieve."

Let's be realistic
"I'm a very realistic person. I take my things as they come. I raise my ambition as the days go by. It's one step at a time. But my ambition has always been to be at the forefront of whatever business I choose to do. I am an apostle of excellence. I don't like mediocrity in anything. I have always prayed to be at the forefront, to be recognized, to be reckoned with, in anything I choose to do. And so far it's been like that, in that chosen area in the industry."

In search of an enduring legacy
The challenges are too many. Number one is that we operate in an industry without structures, without standards. So, you have to set your own standards, set up your own structures and that is tough to say the least. We are operating in an environment where we don't have until recently, government interest, attention or participation. It's nobody's fault really, because it is a young industry that is moving in leaps and bounds. The major challenge is setting your own standards, set your own structures and work under that and make sure you maintain that. And it is not easy.

It is not easy to be recognized, to call your name and people know, because it is not a flash in the pan.

That means you must have done jobs that span over periods. Your legacy has to endure. I can't go into details when it comes to challenges because it could be terrible. You have to go into basic infrastructure such as light.

Our sounds are bad for the major reason, which is light. You are compelled to use a generator and no matter how far you place the generator, the humming sound must come in. and when you boom these things on bigger screens, that sound becomes very disturbing. So, the challenges are so many.

It is a new thing to our people and many people don't quite understand it, even in getting locations, getting personnel. Sometimes you are shooting and mid way they chase you out. Somebody agrees for you to shoot in his house and mid way his wife comes in and chases you out.