Those who believe that Abuja can and indeed transform into a film-making destination for Nigeria and beyond, can proudly point at Sam Presto as a perfect example of a young Filmmaker, who has broken free from imposed and self-imposed blockades that usually dragged behind, most independent and content producers from achieving their dreams in Abuja.
Born Samuel Ikechukwu Osondu in Imo State; Sam Presto is a passionate Music Video/Movie Director, a Cinematographer, Editor, Drone Pilot and YouTuber. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sam Presto Films; a content and independent production company based in Abuja, Nigeria. There, he drives excellence in quality Music Video and Film-making.
Sam granted The World Satellite Magazine an interview and it; he sheds light on the scope of Film-making, the role of Sam Presto Films in making Abuja a Film-making destination. Read Excerpts:
I want us to start by asking you to give a general overview of the movie industry in Nigeria
The Movie Industry in Nigeria or Nollywood has progressed from the traditional industry of the old. It has really transformed in the sense that our indigenous films are being showcased as Netflix Original; example is Lion Heart by Genevieve Nnaji. In addition, so many other Nigerian movies that could be compared with Hollywood abound. The likes of “Soldier Story“; produced by Martin Gbados and Directed by Frankie Ogar, which I heard the sequel, due to be premiered in December this year, is an intercontinental project. Am really proud to be part of this creative industry called Nollywood.
Sam Presto Films has been adjudged one of the fastest growing production companies in Abuja and beyond; how has it been able to climb the ladder and sustained it?
It’s been God all the way. Though the journey has never been easy, but we strive against all odds to deliver an excellent output on every production we are involved in. Service delivery and customer satisfaction are some of the foundations that have helped us. There is this saying that ‘a satisfied client is a potential marketer’.
Although we have had our setbacks, which we are trying to improve on, but on the whole, technological ingenuities and innovations have been our driving force. Sam Presto Films is well known in Abuja and beyond today because of our consistency in service delivery and not being afraid to try new ideas or concepts.
Film-making, especially in Nigeria could be quite challenging, briefly highlight some of these challenges and what you are doing to overcome them.
Challenges are opportunities for you to rise above and to do what needs to be done. Being a Film-maker in Nigeria generally is really challenging. One of the problems we all face is funding; as an indigenous filmmaker, getting a sponsor is not really easy. Even when you have some credible movies to show for it, people still have this doubt of knowing if their money will yield returns.
Another challenge is getting the best hands to work with you; getting the best loyal crew. This is because when once someone trains under you, after sometime, they feel they can stand on their own and just want to open their own production houses.
May be because of the economy, everybody wants that quick cash in the quest for survival. Nobody really stays long serving or being a crew member, everyone wants to be a Director the moment he or she learns something.
At Sam Presto Films, we have been advocating and pushing forward in writing to some sponsors. Currently, we have some close friends who have indicated interest to help in funding. We have written so many proposals that are on the pipeline right now, everything is working fine and at the right time we will kick off and start shooting some films
In the area of getting best loyal crew, we decided to start up a Home Training Initiative to groom those we think have the potentials of being good in film-making. I engage them and give them some written agreements while I waive it off for some.
Therefore, when they become good, they tend to be loyal because they know they did not really offer anything compared to what is being charged out there to learn film-making. So far it has been working for us and we have some good hands working with us.
More so, being in Abuja as a film-maker in Nigeria could be quite challenging, but the Abuja industry too is growing. People are getting to know film-making as a big lucrative industry that can really generate huge amount of revenue if funded. So far, I have been in Abuja and we are doing well.
Quality Assurance and Customer Service differentiate a company from its competitors; what would you say is your strength at Sam Presto Films?
Our strength is in our people and our attention to details. Technology is very important and of course, enterprise solution is in servicing the client. We are investing in that, and we are also trying to upgrade to more recent technologies and software that will make our clients get even more than what they are paying for.
Because we are a growing production company, we are not very much concerned about making profits now, rather in making a good name for ourselves, which stems from getting good quality outputs
Therefore, quality is something we try not to compromise on. We try to give every project our best so as to give clients that wow moment. Most times, when we deliver our jobs, the excitement that exhumes from the client when they watch their project is something I cannot really explain and that gives us a whole lot of joy.
Recognizing the need for a readily and easy channel of communication, we always try to respond and deliver as quick as possible, we try to hear from them, get their complaints and give them the best solution for their complaints.
Generally, I would say that we have been good, but we are not perfect yet. This is because structurally we have a lot to put in our customer service so as to give the best customer service any production company could give.
Professionally, how many years have you been doing this, and how satisfied are you?
I have been in this industry for more than 15 years; I have done a professional video that is about 15 years now. Looking back at my works no regrets so far; it has just been from glory to glory, from one stage to another and I give God the praise.
Being a film-maker for me is inbuilt. I can tell lots of stories and I can visualize a lot in my head. There is even a part I am still working on, which is on cartoon animation series. I don’t know any other thing I would have done to make me this happy, because being around media production gives me joy.
By and large, I thank God for his grace over these years. My jobs speak for themselves; the later jobs are better than the former in that order and I keep enjoying the growth. We are not where we are expecting to be, but we are not where we used to be. So far, its bin great and we have more concepts and ideas to put out very soon.