Secondary school life in Benin, Edo State is a fine blend of students finding first love, boys armed with machetes headed for an inter-school fight, unending assignments, and plenty in between. In the midst of all the chaos, Umia Joshua is finding a way out for his mind, and it is in making movies. All he does is think about movie plots, effects to add, and then more movie plots.
Even though he’ll be writing his WAEC for the next month, we managed to speak to him about his yesterdays, and what he wants tomorrow to look like.
Everyone’s asking, who is this guy making the Akenzua Flash videos?
I’m Umia Joshua. 17, a student of Akenzua Secondary School in Benin, Edo State. I love everything that involves acting, editing and creating sounds. I’ve been doing this since I can remember. We were just trying to do something different from what was common in Nollywood.
Where did you learn how to make movies?
When I was in JSS1, I had an uncle who used to come to our house in Benin to edit church service videos. All he was doing at the time was basic editing without effects, but I developed interest in it, and always stood with him when he edited. Once I watch a Nollywood, I’ll call my friends and we’ll make a short film. So I record and we edit with Videopad. I make a few of the effects on Corel Draw, like lightning strikes. I taught myself how to create effects.
At what point did you realise you needed to make your own Flash movie?
What’s it like for you making a movie?
When I have an idea, I call my crew, just a few of us teenagers. We think up different ways it can be done, and then pick the best concepts. Then one of us draft out the story line, and then we shoot.
You’re very young and still in Secondary School, what do your parents think about this?
You shot Akenzua Flash in school. What did your teachers think about it?
They loved the film a lot! It was a big encouragement for them, because Akenzua has a reputation for serious fighting among students. In fact, it is a school of fighting. Many students come to school with knives, cutlasses and other weapons, so they head to other schools to fight. So my teachers felt good that we were making good use of our minds and doing creative things instead.
What do you intend to do after WAEC?
I want to go into full movie production.
You intend to go to any school to get better at it?
If I get the opportunity, I’ll most certainly go.
So right now, are you considering University?
You know, in life, we have goals and we have careers. For my career, I want to study Computer Science, but my goal eventually is to become a movie producer.
What do you do when you’re not making movies.
I’m probably daydreaming, or making instrumentals. I just connect my piano to a computer and do stuff.
Then I dance too.
So what camera do you use to make your films?