'I Have Budgeted N50m For My Next Movie' -Kunle Afolayan
Right inside the cozy office of his Golden Effects Services firm, situated down Ogundana Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Kunle Afolayan, star actor and producer, told our correspondent he had budgeted between N50 million and N100 million for the successful shooting of his next film. The son of late popular actor cum producer, Ade Afolayan (Ade Love), said he needed that kind of money to surpass the height he reached with his hugely popular Irapada.
"To produce the kind of film I would be shooting next year, I would be needing say between N50 million and N100 million. I don't make films because I just want to do so like every other filmmaker, I make films to make statements and represent the country at international film festivals.
"We are limiting our cost at that because we are not employing the services of international actors and actresses but we would be shooting in and outside the shores of Nigeria. We would be making a greater statement with the film that would be produced next year. It would actually take us five months or thereabouts to complete shooting, pre-production and post production. We would be kicking off in February God willing."
If he would be spending such huge amount - by Nigerian standard anyway - on the making of his next movie after the release of his debut, Irapada, one might be prompted to ask for where he intends to source his funds from.
And his reply was simple: "We have top corporate bodies and organisations who are already showing interest in financing our next project and this is as a result of the success we were able to achieve with Irapada. We are already having talks with these top corporate organisations and in the next few months, we would kick off.
"The Nigerian movie industry is going to witness a drastic change from then on in terms of production, script and more. This is why several things are going on in Golden Effects Services and we are just beginning the change."
Many things have been attached to his personality and they range from his looks to his family background.
And what has the dude, who became a prominent face in Nollywood after his success as Aresejabata, a character he played in Tunde Kelani's film, Saworo Ide, got to say about all this?
In his words, the soft-spoken dude began: "Why is everybody always talking about me being good looking? I mean, my father was much more handsome and good looking than I am while he was alive. I don't think I am handsome like many say. I don't know, I think I'm just myself and nothing more.
"If you are talking about how I cope with female fans, then I would just tell you that I cope with them the same way every actor copes with them. I mean, my father had been able to cope with female fans, so also has RMD (Richard Mofe-Damijo) and some other actors, so I think I also cope with them just the same way. I'm just normal and like every other guy, so there isn't any special way in coping with the females than just being yourself and not pretending to be what one is not.
"For my family, I think a lot is going on. There are plans to immortalise my father but I cannot give you full details of what is going on at the moment because it's a family thing but as soon as the family is ready, it would be made public. Well, I have got my sister and brothers in the movie world and we are all doing well for ourselves."
Kunle's younger brother, Aremu was the subject of discourse a few months back as a result of his alleged relationship with a society woman and an actress. Ordinarily Kunle's take on the issue was sought and all he said was: "The guy is my brother no doubt but it should be noted that he is also an adult. He has his life to live and is matured enough to know what he is doing with his life.
"If he were my son or an underage, well, I might have had something to say but simply because he is my brother and an adult at that, there are limitations as regards what I can say about his life or actions. He would be in a better position to tell you why he took the actions he took."
Running a movie production outfit, which has been able to produce a film like Irapada, is a great feat, then it won't be wrong to say that Kunle is making good money for himself. However, he said: "Well, we are eating and we thank God!"
Why did he abandon acting for filmmaking when he was enjoying the buzz attached with stardom?
"I won't really say I abandoned acting because I am not one of those regular actors in Nollywood. If you notice, you would find out that all I do is a maximum of five movies in a year but because they come out at the same time, it looks like I do a lot. I don't like usual scripts, which neither give one challenges nor encouragement to raise your act, so I have decided to be one of the forces that would blow that radical wind of change in Nollywood.
"I am an actor and I will forever be an actor but at the same time, I would not waste the essence of attending a filmmaking school in England. I would always produce my own films and would be glad to act whenever anyone calls on me, and if the pay is right. Although some believe I will charge high fees with the success of Irapada but what many of them don't know is that I could act free if the project is worth it."
But won't he fade with time if he is not always seen on the screen like before?
"I doubt that because acts like RMD have stayed off the screen for sometime and still remain relevant, so I won't mind if all I do is feature in a film once every year and it gives me a great mileage while I still make ends meet through Golden Effects," he said.
How then has it been for Kunle to manage a home and a firm for two years running?
"I have only learnt to be more responsible because you have more bills to pay and more mouths to feed; you always think of giving your wife and child the best they can ever get unlike when I used to be single and could do anything with my money.
"It's not an easy task and you have to think about your staff, their well being and welfare all lies in you hands because you are the boss and you call the shots but in all, it makes you more than a man," Kunle said.
Kunle would no doubt be remembered as the first son of Ade Love, who followed in his father's footsteps after he had severally told many that the senior Afolayan had stylishly won his heart over by taking him to the cinema to watch his flicks.
Is there any chance of Kunle producing some of his father's unfinished works?
"Is there any work that my father didn't produce before his death?" He had asked rhetorically before he continued:
"Well, I do my own scripts myself and produce through my firm. It takes me three years to script a flick and eventually shoot it. I do just a flick in one year and even if there is any of my father's undone works, I can't just pick it up and produce all because I'm his son.
"There are procedures, and, moreover, it's family property so I can't just do it. Aside that, I have my own works to produce, so why the need for the production of my father's unfinished works?"