As we continue with our #VIRIDiaries series here on the MMPR blog today we go behind the camera to present you with one of the directors on the film who is a very well known name within the Cameroon Film industry.
We catch up with Enah Johnscott, a native of Wum in the Menchum Division of the North West region of Cameroon and the second to the last born in a family of 10.
Please read below to find out more about him…
MMPR: MOST TIMES WE HEAR ABOUT THE DIRECTORS BUT WE MAY NOT REALLY KNOW WHAT A DIRECTOR’S ROLE IN A PRODUCTION IS. PLEASE ENLIGHTEN OUR READERS.
EJ: The director is the creative driving force in a film’s production acting as the crucial link between the production, technical and creative teams. Directors are responsible for creatively translating the film’s written script into actual images and sounds on the screen – they must visualise and define the style and structure of the film, then act as both a storyteller and team leader to bring this vision to reality. The director’s main duties include casting, script editing, shot composition, shot selection and editing.
MMPR: WHO THEREFORE IS THE DIRECTOR MOST HANDICAPPED WITHOUT?
EJ: I believe the director needs every one in a production. It is like a chain, if one knot is off, the chain is bound to fail and if one is also weak, the chain is in threat. In other words, a director is ruined with a weak d.o.p, equipment and alot more.
MMPR: WHAT PROJECTS HAVE YOU PREVIOUSLY WORKED ON?
EJ: “Triangle of Tears” will forever have its place in my heart since it holds my directing debut. Other films I have also placed a stamp on are; “Whispers”, “Decoded”, “The African guest”, “My Gallery” among others.
MMPR: HOW WAS IT LIKE WORKING ON VIRI COMPARED TO YOUR PAST PROJECTS? DID THE LOCATION OF VIRI HINDER OR FACILITATE YOUR WORK SEEING AS IT WAS A CHALLENGING ONE?
EJ: The location of VIRI did not hinder the job in anyway, instead it pumped open new directorial feelings and creativity was at its peak. I am first of all a village lover, a very common man, so I got a chance to finally exploit my love for nature and the common things. So, I was smiling within me!
MMPR: WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED ON THIS PRODUCTION?
EJ: The movie VIRI came with a lot of challenges on like the others.Challenges because a great deal of the movie was done in the dialect, a dialect I myself had to learn so as to make the chain very feasible and know exactly what the movie needed. I must say, it was a film that brought another push in my career, It was such a good adventure in my profession. Learning the dialect of the Bembe (njare) people was quite tough, plus, I was severely ill, but thank God the Producer was always set with his medics. Aside that, it was a story telling project with lots of fun and laughter.
MMPR: MOST TIMES WE KNOW ACTORS CAN BE A GREAT INFLUENCE ON A DIRECTOR’S WORK. WHAT WAS THE CASE WITH VIRI AND HOW OFTEN DID YOU LOOSE IT ON SET? (LAUGHS)
EJ: It was quite difficult especially when some were unconscious of the call time.
MMPR: WE JUST LOVE ICONIC SCENES IN MOVIES,THE KIND THAT WILL BE TALKED ABOUT FOR YEARS TO COME. DOES VIRI HAVE THAT?
EJ: Hahaha, yes ofcourse, VIRI has got those kinds of scenes, but I believe the scene a lot of the viewers will keep in mind is the very last scene of the movie, a scene where Desmond Wyte finally gets to …… his one year old fiancee Stephanie Fonachi in front of all the villagers and by a fire side.This scene has a lot of drama going on in it and I will not want to let the cat out of the bag beforehand!
MMPR: WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE VIRI’s CONTRIBUTION TO THE CAMEROON ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?
EJ: VIRI is that kind of a movie that will force a lot of movie makers and writers to think out of the box. I would like to seize this opportunity to say great job to the script writers, Itambi Delphine and Nkanya Nkwai as well as the conceiver of the story, Bechem Melvis.
MMPR: WHERE IN YOUR OPINION ARE CAMEROONIAN DIRECTORS FAILING AND/OR EXCELLING?
EJ: We fail as directors because we do not discipline our actors when they act off, we also fail when we put sentiments in casting as well as when we decide to stay quiet when approached with a weak script. Cameroonian directors have to learn how to stand up to some producers who always want to impose the wrong cast and poor scripts on them. We have to learn to be DIRECTORS!
MMPR: LAST WORD?
EJ: This is what a wisdom filled father told me…”nothing fails like success.”
And that brings us to the end of our catch up with Johnscott. Check out some images below…
Follow the producer on Twitter: @NkanyaNkwai
Like the VIRI page: http://www.facebook.com/VIRI-movie
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