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Heaven’s Hell, will raise the bar of filmmaking in Nigeria – Katung

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Image: Katung Aduwak

May.15, 2013


Aside partaking in the Nigerian edition of the Big Brother reality show, Katung Aduwak, is a young man that is hardly known for anything else. But this is about to change with his expected top rated movie, Heaven’s Hellwhich will be released later in the year.  Katung in this interview with Adedayo Odulaja, says his forthcoming movie is a game-changer. He also speaks on his transformation from being the winner of the reality TV show to becoming a producer and director. 

How easy was your transition from being the winner of the popular reality TV show, Big Brother to being a producer and director of one of the most-talked about movies in Nigeria today?

It was quite a transition I must say but, before Big Brother, I had always been a movie guy. I always wondered how they were made as I constantly spotted a continuity mistake here and there. Being a writer, painter and a one time kid stage actor, making films was the craft that tied all my gifts together. So after Big Brother Nigeria, I could afford to go to New York film Academy to learn and that has led me into making, Heaven’s Hell.

Heaven’s Hell? Exactly what is the movie about?

Heaven’s Hell hammers on the fact that not all that glitter, is gold. It also sheds light on the fact that abuse still exists in our homes. It exposes the ills of violence, infidelity, betrayal and other vices that many people in the society today turn blind eyes to.

With the movie taking on the issue of violence and abuses against women, is this not likely to down play the its entertainment value?

The entertainment value is preserved in the style I deployed in telling the story. The subject matter of the story will still hold people spell bound. A lot of work and thoughts went into making sure everyone would be entertained and enlightened at the same time with none overshadowing the other.

How did you come about the title, Heaven’s Hell which automatically raises one’s curiosity about the project?

If I tell you the reason for the title or how we came about it, I would be giving out too much before the movie itself comes out; that I cannot do. But I am very sure you will understand what I mean when you come to the cinema to see the movie yourself once we are done.

How were you able to convince a corporate player like BGL to be part of the project even when nothing concrete was on ground as regards the movie?

People, as I have come to learn in life, will identify with your vision, not your need. I went to BGL with a vision, and met visionaries who saw into the future like I did and as you know when visionaries come together, there’s no stopping the product of the union. This is the first of many for BGL and One O Eight Media.

In terms of line-up, this movie ranks among the richest in the industry. How do you intend to achieve profound character development as well as premium product at the end of the day?

Doubtless, this movie has a great ensemble, of actorsmand actresses rich in talent and experience. I carefully handpicked every actor to fit the various characters. I did a full character breakdown prior to shooting. I went through the character development with my actors so we could all be on the same page and this has since been the case as every actor came on set with their game face on. It’s been amazing working with these super talented and professional actors, they taught me a lot.

The insistence that it is a real life story is profound. Whose story is it and how colourful do you think it is to power a movie that is expected to be so big?

It is indeed based on actual events, my fellow writers and I got permission to tell this story if we would not reveal the identities of the actual persons involved. It is very painful and uneasy for us to raise issues they have left behind, but for the greater good of letting other people know what happened and to help prevent similar occurrences, they have let us expose this. We respect their wish to be anonymous and to remain so.

With movies like IjeTurning Point and others boasting foreign partnerships and impressive equipments, how well do you think your movie will measure up when it is finished?

I must say, these movies have done great work but we are raising the bar, it is left to be seen when we finally release this movie for the viewing public to see. We are shooting with a Sony F-55, which shoots 4k. 4k is eight times what you get with the HD quality. Great story, picture, style and soundtrack are what we boast of inHeaven’s Hell.

With shooting already started for Heaven’s Hell, what aspects of the movie’s development process seem to interest you most so far?

The acting is what has blown my mind the most, it is beautiful how actors have grown into their characters; how they have made the characters their own. I commend them a lot, acting is one of the most difficult things to do and I know what I am saying when I say that.


Article Credit: The Nation Newspaper

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