In life, being a celebrity is a matter of choice and determination. It depends on who you are and what you do. Also, the kind of people you hang out with. For instance, a tailor who sews and designs for celebrities is acclaimed to be recognized as a “Celebrity Tailor”. Thus, this identification creates social popularity and ranking for the designer tailor in society. What about when you are a celebrity?
Reeling stories about people with value in society is worth more than just existing for the sake of welling-up wealth and personal gain. This is a veritable way of creating a healthy lifestyle that would impact the world and help lives.
In this auspices, Runways Magazine tried to profile a quintessential filmmaker, creative director, and writer, Psalm Oderinde, in order to inspire young like-minded people in the world.
Who Is Psalm Oderinde?
Psalm Oderinde is a visual content creator, creative director, scriptwriter, and voice-over artist. I have directed films featuring several Nollywood veterans including Said Balogun, Lanre Omiyinka (Baba Ijesha) Pa James, Tola Oladokun and many more.
I also directed an educational TV show, SCHOOLTRENDZ, on TVC for a while. I have written several scripts for other filmmakers including “Conflict (Rogbodiyan)” which was produced by Success Solomon for Initiative Pictures. I also co-wrote SCARS, produced by Folashade Ayoola and directed by Tope Alake (Director of Picture Perfect). The movie featured; Lilian Esoro, Lateef Adedimeji, Chelsea Eze, Deyemi Okanlawon, and others. My short films and documentaries have also been screened at both Local and International Film Festivals.
My track records successfully secured me an invite from Olarotimi Ojo, an Associate Lecturer in the Theatre Arts Department of the University of Ibadan, to adapt a novel to screen. The novel titled The Saint was originally written by Dr. Tunde Adedigbin of the Dept of Philosophy, University of Ibadan. It’s currently at the pre-production stage.
How did you come about your choice of career?
I have always wanted to tell stories. As a primary school pupil, back then, I used to write novelettes and short plays. A classmate then would help me do pictorial illustrations. This creative lifestyle of mine increased my popularity and acceptance by teachers and other pupils in the school. It continued until after my secondary education.
My first year at Lagos State Polytechnic was indeed an eye-opener. I learn a lot. That was when I realized that I could tell stories through visual mediums. At this point in my life, I began to read a lot of books on filmmaking. I was opportune to be tutored and mentored by veterans in the industry, including; Tunde Kelani, Said Balogun, Steve Anu-Adesemoye, Tunji Afolayan and a host of others.
What motivates you?
Well, I am motivated by my environment first. Then, my burning passion, which is to let the world see my films and see life from an entirely different perspective.
Let’s focus on Celebrity Tailor, what is it all about?
Well, Celebrity Tailor is an online sitcom series set against an average Fashion Institute in South-western Nigeria. It reflects the life of students in the institute, their attitude towards work and life in general. It’s full of moral lessons and jokes, or either of the two concepts. It is 9jahint TV production. 9jahint is owned and run by a topnotch cinematographer, Simeon Hellah.
Simeon Hellah contacted me and told me there’s something he wanted us to work on. That was how it all began. So, I wrote the first few episodes. We shot the pilot of the movie series. And the trailer, magically, had over 15,000 views on Facebook alone in 24hours of publicity. I mean, that’s a big deal.
Recording the massive turn-up, we proceeded to shoot a complete season. And we are still on the principal photography as we speak (As at the time of publishing this post).
What’s the rationale behind the movie series?
Like I said earlier, the producer called me for a meeting with the 9jahint team. They gave me the brief and I simply created the bigger picture. It should be put into cognizance that Celebrity Tailor is basically to entertain and make people laugh. It’s a wrap of comical actors and scenarios.
What inspired the Celebrity Tailor as a movie series?
It is actually the first comedy film I’ll be working on, both as a writer and director. The day-to-day activity of the average Lagos residents inspired the screenplay, while my experience over the year inspired the overall direction. It has not been easy, I must say, writing over 50 episodes and 75% of the scenes happened in a single location the fashion Institute.
What issue(s) do you intend Celebrity Tailor address in the Nigerian society?
The Nigeria of today is full of pandemonium and one chaotic occurrence or the other. A lot of Nigerians are sad, and many more are depressed. Celebrity Tailor is the comic relief to the unfolding tragedy in, not only Nigeria but, the world at large.
How do you generate new ideas?
I generate new ideas majorly by talking to people. When I go out I meet new people and ask questions. (Laughs) Anyone who knows me would attest to my addictive inquisitiveness about almost every information that flies past my hearings. I also generate ideas by imagination. I am always thinking.
How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Well, (I market my business) through referrals. My core job is to get funds from producers and create visual content for them. I go from having the story idea to the final video editing. It is left for the producer to devise the market they intend to sell to.
However, I maintain a personal relationship with the producers I have worked with by critically analyzing the intended-market. This is because a Netflix intended movie will maintain a different standard compared to a movie made for home video, YouTube channels, and other media.
What has been the most satisfying moment in your choice of career?
Every time I deliver the final cut and the general public embraces it, that means a whole lot to me.
What’s the constant challenge you encounter as a filmmaker?
The issue of finance cannot be over-emphasized. Sometimes you want to produce a particular film and the rough estimate will cost a fortune. Therefore, getting investors and sponsors who believe in such stories is rare. Most investors want to put their money on drama, romance, and films. Because it is believed to attract more viewership and acceptability, compare to movie series like what we have.
Another encounter is when a producer has a story in mind that s/he so much believes in, and you as a professional see that the story lacks depths and ask to do little addition and subtractions, the producer refuses to see from your angle, they just want to tell a story. Probably a personal story.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Nature, great filmmakers across the world, and the man I see every time I look into the mirror.
How do you define success?
When my projects are accepted, even in countries I have never been to and I receive calls, emails and text messages commending my effort, that is a success.
If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in Nigeria?
I will impose a strict law on copyright. I will ensure that the (Nigerian) National Film/Video Censors Board is the most effective, compared to other industries.
And where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I see myself as a household name in Africa and beyond. The truth is that I am not there yet but it can only get better.
What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. The nature of things in your community or country should not make you lose hope or sap your drive to become who you are destined to be in life. All take is to make constant efforts to move from where you are to the place of your perfection. Have any question for the filmmaker, Psalm Oderinde, concerning Celebrity Tailor, you can reach him via Instagram and Twitter @Psalm Oderinde or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.