Despite being a green horn in the movie industry, the CEO of Mind Bursters Film Ventures, Emeka Kachikwu, has practically set the social media network buzzing alongside other media platforms with his new movie, Boss of All Bosses.
From one geo-cinema region to the next, the highly anticipated movie is indeed gaining grounds among the populace. Doubling as the executive producer and producer of the comedy movie, Kachikwu opens up on his love for the beautiful art of entertainment, his passion and the journey to the actualization of his dream to produce Boss of All Bosses.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
My name is Emeka Kachikwu and I grew up in Lagos. I attended Corona Primary School, Ikoyi and later Corona Secondary School. I left the country to further my studies in the UK. I bagged a BA in Business Management from Oxford Brookes University and also a Masters degree in Oil and Gas Management from Coventry University. I have worked in various companies including oil and gas, and I’m currently the CEO of Mind Bursters Film Ventures.
Why did you cross-carpet from oil and gas to entertainment?
I have always been a funny person. In fact, two days ago, I met a colleague of mine way back from primary school and when I told him about my forth coming comedy movie, he laughed and confirmed my comical status. I was known as the class clown who made everyone laugh even till secondary school. So, I have always had that natural ability to make people laugh. My passion was so strong for entertainment that I even contemplated dropping out of school during my undergrad days but my parents would have none of it. I’m happy I completed my studies. I did some comedy skits which were broadcast on Silverbird TV and other television stations, and even delved into music for a while. I loved watching movies right from when I was a child. I had been brewing the idea for Boss of all Bosses and then I finally made the move to bring life to the idea. I’m passionate about entertainment and I’m elated about my first movie production.
You wrote the script, produced the film and as well acted in it?
Yes and I was also the executive producer. I was pretty much involved in everything, knowing what we wanted. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but when you create a story with a particular character that you know is you, then it makes it easier to play the role. I feel it is a character that has not been played before and from the feedback I got, I like to think that I did well.
What’s the inspiration behind the movie’s title?
I had that name for a while back. This idea had been in my head for a long time, and sometime in 2014 in the previous place I worked, there was an argument between two employees and it was kind of funny because they were going back and forth on the issue in dispute, and so I thought to myself, this is what usually occurs in the workplace and that’s when the creativity in me kicked in. I said to myself ‘what if instead of two employees, it’s the case of two MDs?’ Typically, the next question was, what are they fighting for? Dominance, superiority? That’s how the idea came and I started building it up little by little. There’s even a video recording I have, I think in 2014, where I was with my friends and shouting ‘boss of all bosses’. At that time no one knew what I was talking about except me.
How long did it take to write the script?
It took me four months to write the script. I conceived the idea way back but it was in 2015 that I decided it was time to finish the script once and for all. I wrote the script at the office where I previously worked when I was less busy. Funny enough, I became like a professor, it was like writing a dissertation. I would walk back and forth with a biro and book in my hand, penning the script. One particular guy who sat beside me would give me a quizzical look whenever I write and then laugh. Each time he gave me the look, I would tell him, ‘you don’t understand bro, the story I’m writing is hilarious’. The office hours end at 5pm but I would sometimes stay till 9pm, writing.
How were you able to get the star studded cast and get them on set at the scheduled times?
I have a good team, so there was a lot of planning, and most of them were reached through their managers. The challenge was getting them to be on set at the same time, because these were big names and they had busy schedules. We had to structure the production in a way that we could get this and that person, or where we needed like three of them, we would let them know. It took us about seventeen days to shoot the film.
Where was the film shot and what was the budget?
It was shot in Lagos, and in terms of the budget, I can’t really disclose the exact figure but it was a decent amount.
How did you get funding for the film especially being your first production?
By God’s grace it was self-sponsored with unflinching support from family and friends.
Many movies have hit the cinemas, what makes Boss of all Bosses different?
Not to sound over-confident, this is arguably the funniest or one of the funniest movies. The things done in this movie are new, the story line is new, it is highly powered by creativity. The comedy squad has never been assembled in any other movie in Nollywood history. You’ve never seen Okon and Akpororo in the same movie, now picture not just Okon, or Akpororo but Mama Gee, Eniola Badmus, Nedu of Wazobia FM, Senator, Sani Danja, Babatunde Charles (Chinese Oyibo), and Adunni Ade – all doing hilarious things in the movie. This is a mind-bursting film and it’s one that can make you fall from your seat if you’re not careful because of an overdose of laughter. Every individual that has seen this movie loved it. There was a time we invited movie critics to watch it, I won’t say who they are, and these are critics that if your movie is bad, they’ll tell it to your face, they don’t care. Even when they came into the screening room, they came with their game face on, no similes. They sat down, started watching this movie and were rocked with laughter. One thing a lot of people have said about the movie is that, it’s not the regular story, it’s something new, colourful and we paid attention to details.
When will the movie be released in cinemas?
It will be released in cinemas across Nigeria on June 15, 2018.
What’s your box office forecast?
I’d rather not say because I don’t want to jinx that. Sometimes it’s good to be quiet and let it play out. We are doing our best in the marketing drive and trying to create as much awareness as we can, and hopefully, it will turn out well.
Is there the possibility of a sequel?
We plan to turn it into a franchise, but at the same time, I’d like to take things one step at a time. Boss of all Bosses is not the only movie idea I have in mind. There are a lot of ideas I have and that’s why I went on to register Mind Bursters Film Ventures so that I could have a platform to release many movies. I’d like to take things one step at a time. Everything is a process and I’m not a fortune teller.
Will your next movie still be comedy since you’re passionate about that genre or would you delve into another genre?
Hopefully, we’ll diversify but at the same time you have to be careful. There’s a saying in business that the customer is king. Nigerians love comedy, so sometimes diversifying can be good, and it can be risky as well. You have to be careful.
Why the choice of Babatunde Charles (Chinese Oyibo) and what was his role in the movie?
My character, Tony, is actually the villain in the story but in a comical way. He is the love or hate him kind of character. He is selfish, arrogant, he believes people should worship the ground that he walks on. Babatunde Charles (Chinese Oyibo) plays the role of one of the people in my team battling the rival Managing Director (Nedu Wazobia) and his team. When we were researching for the cast, my cousin’s husband showed me a comedy skit where Babatunde Charles featured in. He told me he had been in Nigeria for a long time and had done a lot of skits. I watched the various skits and laughed. I knew instantly that I wanted him on board, we met and he accepted to play the role.
Sani Danja is a Kannywood star and he is also part of the cast, was that intentional?
Funny enough it wasn’t. I remember when we were getting ready my team and I was going back and forth as to who to include in the cast, as there were loads of names. There was an advert Sani Danja was always on and I always laughed when I saw it. I asked my team and they showed me some other works he had done, so I said ‘put him on board’.
Did you write the script with certain characters in mind?
The only character that was certain was my character (Tony). Like I said, while writing the script, I knew this was what I was looking for. At a point, I didn’t think anyone else could pull it off the way I wanted from a writer’s perspective because I understood the character from A to Z, and from what people have said, I’d like to think I really delivered.
You’re coming into a competitive and risky industry, how ready are you to face challenges that would come your way?
In life there’s nothing that is not risky. This is what I have had my eyes on for a long time. You can only try and hope for the best. We are doing everything possible to avoid piracy.
Do you intend acquiring knowledge in the art of filmmaking and do you have your eyes on directing?
Yes, I intend doing that and I definitely have my eyes on directing someday.
Is there a star that inspires you?
Yes, and that is Jamie Foxx. He started as a stand up comedian and then switched to music, and acting as well. I like the diversity.
What’s your assessment of Nollywood and how best can the government come in?
I‘d like to say that I’m happy with the way the industry is right now. Definitely you can’t compare now to how it was ten years ago. Movies have improved in terms of picture quality, story line and I like the fact that cinemas are supporting by exhibiting the movies. I still feel that there’s still some work that can be done particularly towards anti-piracy laws and making it more structured. You see how foreign markets are, their industries are well structured. I’d like the government to see and harness the potentials of this goldmine industry.
What’s your advice to up and coming filmmakers, actors?
Stay focused, work hard, don’t give up on your dreams and believe in yourself.