Africa – Destination Point For Shooting Notable Hollywood Movies

“Mister Johnson”, a novel by Joyce Cary was converted to a film. The movie was partly shot in Nigeria and was released in 1991. It was directed by Bruce Beresford and starred Mister Johnson (Maynard Eziashi), Harry Rudbeck (Pierce Brosnan of the James Bond 007 fame- Die Another Day (2002 amongst others), Waziri (Femi Fatobi), Brimah (late Chief Hebert Ogunde), Ajali (Sola Adeyemi).

Hollywood movies shot in African countries are carried out to recreate events that occurred at one time or the other (in a country, its people, or life of an individual) or simply because certain Natural sceneries are considered ideal as the setting for original / adapted works.

“The Ghost and the Darkness” (1996), starring Valkimer, Michael Douglas, was based on a true story in1898 with regards to Man eating lions which killed the men laying the Railway tracks. It was shot in South Africa. “King Solomon’s Mines” (1950) starring Deborah Kern and Stewart Granger was shot in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo and the U.S.A. “Congo” (1995) directed by Frank Marshall was shot in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda.

“A Far Off Place” (1993) was shot in Namibia and Zimbabwe, “Sheena” (1984) was filmed in Kenya, “Black Hawk Down” was shot on location in Sidi Moussa, Morocco. “Blood Diamonds” (2006) directed by Edward Zwick, starring Leonardo Di Carprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, was shot in South Africa and Mozambique. “Tomb Raider” was filmed in Kenya, “Out of Africa” starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford was filmed in Kenya and was based on a true story.

“The Last King of Scotland” (2006) directed by Kevin MacDonald, starring Forest Whitaker, was filmed on location in the U.K and Uganda. “Hotel Rwanda”, was a true life story about Paul Rusesabagina, a Hotel Manger who hid Tutsi refugees from the Hutu militia during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It was filmed in Johannesburg, (South Africa), and Kigali (Rwanda).

Unfortunately the movie “Tears of the Sun” (2003), starring Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, was not filmed in Nigeria as most thought since it projected a Nigerian story line. It was shot in Hawaii with Non- Nigerians playing the native roles in the movie.

The Northern African countries have been known to host the shooting of popular movies. Jesus of Nazareth, Lawrence of Arabia, Othello, and The Gladiator were shot in Morocco. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, and The English Patient were shot in Tunisa.

The movie “Phat Girlz” (2006) had a spicy, romantic, Nigerian undertone to it with the presence of Dr Tunde Jonathan from Nigeria, played by Jimmy Jean-Louis. The movie was filmed on location in L.A / California U.S.A and at no time was any scene filmed in Nigeria. The average Nigerian might be puzzled over the consistent preference for a few selected African countries, with Nigeria excluded from the filming location list, despite being endowed with abundant Human and Natural resources.

Good image, International exposure of great Tourism spots, creative stories spun around us, safe and conducive environment to shoot in, willingness to extend hands of fellowship brokering into good partnership deals, support from relevant Government bodies, can stimulate the interest of Hollywood film makers(and those from other movie bodies) to come to Nigeria to shoot movies.

Let’s consider the hit film “Slumdog Millionaire” which was directed by Danny Boyle, produced by Christian Colson, and filmed in India. It portrayed the Indian version of the Game show “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” (Ironically we have the Nigerian version actively sponsored by Telecoms giant MTN). In the movie, the Show plays host to a poor young man from the slums of Mumbai, who relies on his experiences to answer the questions correctly, exceeds people’s expectations, arises the suspicion of the game show host and law enforcement officials in the process based on his outstanding performance, with the juicy package within his reach.

To say the least, the movie was shot in India, woven around an Indian plot and played by Indian thespians. The movie won an enviable number of Oscars, and has opened greater doors for Indian thespians (adults and children alike) with its Industry inclusive. I hope that our local Industry will not fold their arms and adopt a lackadaisical attitude, and watch as other movie bodies harness the products of a symbiotic relationship with the trail blazers of movie productions.

So long…[email protected]

Doomsday 2012 – Mayan Prophecy Turned Hollywood Movie Or Eighth Event to End the World?

The hype cycle of the film “2012”, working full tilt, about the Earth’s impending destruction has been so powerful that Nasa representatives have been shunted out to appear on American talk shows to reassure viewers that it simply that: hype. However, they have far from soothed the general public’s propensity for panic.

The timing of its release has been impeccable, with only a few weeks left before the Climate Conference in Copenhagen convenes. It is said that the conference, although unlikely to reach international agreement due to perceived unfairness over the burden of responsibility facing the undeveloped world, is essential and that the world’s governments must reach a consensus so that a Copenhagen Protocol can be agreed upon, thereby committing all nations to reduce carbon emissions dramatically to prevent further instability over “global warming” and climate change.

On the ground, however, public concern about doomsday in December 2012 has grown exponentially and is spreading internationally, causing almost mass hysteria. Indeed, some Mayan and Nostradamus believers, who predict Earth’s ultimate extinction in three years’ time, assert that this date will be the dawn of a new age and “spiritual growth” for survivors. Jokingly, a recent New York Times article mocked these soothsayers with: “It is kind of depressing if you were looking forward to taking a vacation from mortgage payments to finance one last blowout.”

Today, there are literally mountains of conspiracy theories that inhabit YouTube on the subject, most of which suggest an alignment between the Sun and the centre of the galaxy that will bring about a “radical event”, with maximum emission activity storms on the Sun’s surface which will pour out massive subatomic particles, known as neutrinos. All of this, astronomers say, is objectionably absurd, akin the putative black hole at CERN. Moreover, they argue, the Sun and the galactic centre will not coincide, as doomsday theorists would have us believe, in 2012.

The essence of this end-is-nigh school of thought is tied in with predictions that Nibiru, a planet supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. The fallout from this, to paraphrase David Morrison, a CSI Fellow and Senior Scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, is that associated attributes to this event encompass a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, create severe solar storms associated with the eleven-year solar cycle, cause the reversal of the Earth’s rotation axis, long with bombardment by large comets or asteroids, and with a fanciful bit thrown into the mix about the Sun aligning with the galactic centre on December 21, 2012, subjecting us to potentially deadly forces.

This now populist theme, based on the Mayan calendar and ways to survive the coming apocalypse, seems to be causing havoc with the minds of the irrationalists and the huge hordes of the psychologically unhinged. According to one website, many people in Russia are saying they are “anxious by problem Nibiru”, with one woman asking: “Why doesn’t your government put a ban on the TV shows and report telecasting about Nibiru and 2012. If [the] US can [take steps] to protect the world physically from terrorism, why can’t it protect us mentally from [this] news, if they are hoax?”

If it’s clearly a hoax, then mentally we should ignore it. However, according to Wiki: “There are a variety of popular beliefs about the year 2012. These beliefs range from the spiritually transformative to the apocalyptic, and centre upon various interpretations of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Contemporary scientists have disputed the apocalyptic versions.”

Whilst the film’s impact on the human psyche is building up to the “event” in 2012, let’s not be too hasty about denying the affects of climate change altogether though. While the world’s leaders assemble in Copenhagen next month, James Lovelock, a respected voice in the scientific community, said in an article in The Guardian newspaper, “Enjoy life while you can”, and talks about the catastrophe that will “inevitably happen” (for the full article see ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange ). For interest’s sake, let’s look at some of the extracts:

“Working alone since the age of 40, Lovelock invented a device that detected CFCs, which helped detect the growing hole in the ozone layer, and introduced the Gaia hypothesis, a revolutionary theory that the Earth is a self-regulating super-organism. Initially ridiculed by many scientists as new age nonsense, today that theory forms the basis of almost all climate science.”

Lovelock has been dispensing predictions with consistent accuracy since the 1960s, which have earned him “a reputation as one of Britain’s most respected – if maverick – independent scientists.”

“His latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, predicts that by 2020 extreme weather will be the norm, causing global devastation; that by 2040 much of Europe will be Saharan; and parts of London will be under water. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report deploys less dramatic language – but its calculations aren’t a million miles away from his.”

“Somewhat unexpectedly, Lovelock concedes that the [Daily] Mail’s plastic bag campaign seems, ‘on the face of it, a good thing’. But it transpires that this is largely a tactical response; he regards it as merely more rearrangement of Titanic deckchairs.”

Then the pièce de résistance: “There have been seven disasters since humans came on the Earth, very similar to the one that’s just about to happen. I think these events keep separating the wheat from the chaff. And eventually we’ll have a human on the planet that really does understand it and can live with it properly. That’s the source of my optimism.” Why then, I plausibly ask, after seven “events” already, weren’t we the source of our ancestors’ optimism?

However, seven disasters already of this magnitude? Is he saying that the micro disaster scenario, that is to be debated by the world’s leaders next month in Copenhagen, is a complete waste of time? Well, I suppose he is, yes.

He argues in the piece that: “Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won’t make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable. It’s just too late for it. Perhaps if we’d gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing.”

In this quote there is no allusion to a cyclical macro pattern, but in his interview with The Guardian newspaper ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/video/2009/apr/22/james-lovelock-gaia-space-biochar ) he reiterates the coming of the “Eighth Event”: “Don’t forget that in the Earth’s history, while humans have been on the planet – that’s about a million years – there have been seven major climate events of this kind. And I think the geneticists say that at one of those events, we were reduced to a mere two thousand individuals; a genetic bottleneck. If that is true, then they are very violent events indeed. And the one up ahead looks every bit as violent, if not more so than the ones that have happened in the past…”

He continued: “As soon as the system grows unstable, it goes into positive feedback. And as the positive feedback strengthens, then any small perturbations, in either direction, get amplified. So the tendency to cooling will give you a really cold winter,” he suggests. “More extremes are likely because the system is becoming stressed.”

While the greenists run about suggesting that we all plant trees to alleviate the impact of climate change, he warns: “This is the trouble with climate science and green actions: they theorise all the time and never do experiments. Now, people have seemed to have forgotten that experiment and observation are at least half of science.” When he planted 1,000 trees years ago he found out it really wasn’t a good idea at all, because “you can’t plant an ecosystem”.

So, while the film “2012” is an obvious and clever marketing hoax – one that is based on the exploitation of human fear in return for quick returns – dig a little deeper into both the micro level (Earth’s biosphere) and the macro level (the course and interaction of all celestial bodies) and the conclusion is that we really haven’t got a clue about what could potentially become reality; unless, of course, you believe in the stern warnings of Mr Lovelock.

List Building and the Hollywood Movie

The head of a movie company sits down with his or her executives and discusses potential movie deals that have optioned. They make a list of the prospects and then reduce the selection to a few they really feel have potential.

The executives take that list and begin exploring ideas with creative staff and casting directors. The most promising films go into development with screen tests, costume and production and the film moves forward.

The day comes when filming begins and a day when the filming ends.

At that point the stars remain available for callbacks while the producer, director and editors begin the tedious work of capturing all the pieces and putting them together with effects and sound.

Someone else has been busy with their own list. These marketing experts are locking in premier dates and additional screens for opening night. Other members of the marketing team are making lists for media interviews for the stars of the show. Still other team members are making lists for what media outlets will be used for advertising.

I’m sure I missed a few lists somewhere, but the idea is that everyone develops lists. For instance, most stores will have information on file that lets their employees know who they don’t extend credit to or who they can’t accept a check from. All stores have a list of vendors.

Service clubs and civic organizations have lists of those who have provided charitable giving and are likely to do so again.

Political candidates have lists for contributors and those likely to support them in a public way.

In each case these individuals worked organically to devise their list. They research prospects or draw from an already established pool. The success these individuals have with their lists is in direct proportion to their ability to make sure they have the best information for who should be contacted.

When it comes to list building the same idea is applicable. You need to have a good handle on your recipients.

This may mean you have to pay closer attention to detail. It may also mean that you only work with those who have either purchased your product or have expressed an interest in receiving information about your company.

List building is not about the cold call, but rather is an extension of the tentative trust given by those on your list. Those who receive information from you should not express anger at receiving your email. They may not be interested at the moment, but they should recognize you as someone they have willingly done business with in the past and may be more than willing to do so again in the future.

If we revisit the movie analogy we can see that there were multiple lists for multiple efforts in reaching one goal – a successful movie.

As your business grows you may find that you may need to build more than one list to cover the more specific needs of your consumer base.

Take time to manage sound list building strategies. Your efforts will be much more successful if you do.

New Rules Of Hollywood Movie Stars – How To Rise To The Top, When Everybody There Is Already Famous

Think you’ve got talent. You’re not alone. The power of the internet, YouTube and reality television has created a big pool of famous and not so famous people. So how do you rise to the top in Hollywood, when it seems so crowded above? These 3 tips will help you make the moves to super stardom and stretch your 15 minutes of fame as a movie star into an hour.

Get trained.

What separates the actors from the imitators? Their respect for the craft of acting. Before you spend money on head shots, find the best acting, singing and dancing classes in your area and invest in your career. The most talented people in the business continually train with acting coaches to prepare for roles. They don’t take their gift for granted. It is quite possible to have the innate talent for a particular art, but the successful entertainers who continue to work in the entertainment industry have developed their art over time.

Acquire multiple skills. Become a Jack or Jill of all trades.

The stars of the future will write, produce and direct their own projects. Don’t get lost by having only one skill that can make you money. Become an actor/director/writer/producer. Can’t write? Collaborate with a young filmmaker who needs an actor or fresh new face, for his or her projects. The top money-makers in show business look for ways to increase their market share and find opportunities to promote their multiple skills. You must diversify your talent to stay relevant.

Create your own products. Be a trend setter.

Want to be the next Berry Gordy, Steven Spielberg, Mark Burnett or Oprah Winfrey? Create an amazing product. Become an expert in your field. But you can’t be a trend follower, you must be a trend setter. Don’t better the worst product…better the best. Gordy is a musical genius. Spielberg is a film mastermind. Mark Burnett is the whiz kid of reality TV. Oprah is a successful talk show maven and a new products’ best girlfriend. Find a niche, create products and sell, sell, sell. But the products you create must be PHENOMENAL. Not average. Not mediocre. Think like the greats. Improve upon their successes. Create amazing products that your audience can’t live without.

Famous people of the future are increasing their knowledge, creating products and diversifying their talents. Some of these innovators are stealing the thunder from established stars that are still following the old rules found in the star-making play book. Use my suggestions to stay ahead of the next group of reality stars and home video masterminds. If not, you might disappear before you even enter the game.

Copyright Al Mallard.com and MallardMgmt.com 2007