Ace movie producer John Nwachukwumereze Okwugo alias ‘Iron Tiger’ opens up to Newslegend.com.ng editor IZUCHUKWU OKOSI on what he went through to become a household name in the Nigeria and G. The Ebonyi State-born film maker who is based in Accra, Ghana also tells us his experience working as a foreigner with Ghollywood talents with whom he worked on the set of the blockbuster movie House Keepers. Excerpts.

 

What inspired the movie House Keepers?

I saw lots of Ghanaian movies and people’s opinions about them, and those from other countries. Then I made up my
mind I was going to change the trend of film making in Ghana. Let the change begin from my stable. Actually, I had
another script I had wanted to film. But after a second thought I changed my mind.

Then I began the search of something exceptional from most Ghanaian stories.

Lo and behold this story House Keepers popped up and I started jotting down. First, it was the plotting because I
write scripts having the whole thing plotted out, how each scene should go and the right directions. Personally I do
plotting before writing a script, it gives me a clear direction and also makes the work easier, that’s like laying a
foundation before building.

So what really inspired me was and still is to change the trend of film making in Ghana, letting people out there
know that Ghana still got some mind and breath taking stories.

What are the feedback you have received so far concerning the movie?

I must say excellent feedback and honestly I have been encouraged and challenged to do more even better than this.

Most people through the internet, those who saw the trailer via Youtube, Whatsapp, Facebook, TV. I still get calls
that this is one of Ghana’s best movies ever seen.

After the Premiere in Ghana people walked up to me and told me pleasant things about the movie. Well, all I told
them was that they should be on the look out for something more from Platinum Revelations Company Limited. The
feedbacks are encouraging and I am grateful to God.
You are a Nigerian producer working in Ghana. What has been the acceptance or otherwise in your supposedly ‘second home’?

Being a Nigerian producer working in Ghana has been quite challenging I must say. Sometimes I feel like going back
to Nigeria but I am one person who loves daring things, doing the impossible.

I must say its not been easy with most of us Nigerians producing here. But thank God things are getting better.
Do Ghanaian movie fans feel Nigerian stars take the shine off theirs?

Well that depends on how everyone interprets it. To me both countries movie stars that shine according to their
individual achievements in the business. Today mr xyz can be better and tomorrow it will be the turn of abcd.

So I really don’t think anyone of them outshine the other even though Nollywood do more movies than Ghallywood.
I mean in all ramifications you can cannot compare the two.
Take us through your humble beginning in the movie industry and your previous movie jobs…

Wow. To start with, this is my 16th year in the movie industry. I used 13 years as a sacrifice, to learn, to be
taught, be groomed, and trust me I can beat my chest to say this; I was well trained in this business of film
making.

I started in the year 2000 as a Production Assistant then I became a Production Coordinator, from ‘PC’ I became an
Assistant Production Manager, from ‘APM’ to Production manager.

When I became a Production Manager, jobs were not coming so much and I had to jump to other departments due to the
passion and love I have for film making. I also worked as a Make Up artiste under a notable Make Up artiste,
Costumier, Props/set designer, Camera assistant, Light man, Sound man.

I did Continuity in over 20 movies before I produced a movie with one Nollywood director, it was actually a
partnership thing.

Also I started writing scripts but at a point I had to stop because of Pascal Amanfo as we were together then.

I decided to focus more on production management because I could see that through production I would learn more
about film making which actually paid off.

Then I found myself in Ghana March 2008. I came with my two big brothers, Willie Ajenge and Andy Nnawuhie.

These are two men who God used to bless me in a different way and I will forever remain loyal and grateful to them.

We run a production house called DOUBLE ECLIPSE PRODUCTIONS. Willie Ajenge writes and direct the movies, Andy
Nnawuhie produces while I do the Production Manager and oversee the entire productions. In March 2008 we shot two
movies in Ghana titled : Love Is Wicked and Gambling with Marriage.

It was a Nigeria-Ghana collaboration where we brought together Stephenie Okereke, Nadia Buari and Van Vicker. We did
a joint partnership with Silverlines Films.

After that we went back to Nigeria and returned same year 2008, in September, with Emeka Ike to shoot Against My
Wish and Murdered along with Nadia, and this time around John Dumelo.

I had to stay back to monitor the post production in the studio while my two big brothers left for Nigeria to
organize other things. Since then I have been in Ghana.

In Ghana I have over 70 movies to my credit. Some as Assistant Director, some as Production manager, some as
Associate Producer and Some as Writer/ Executive Producer/ Producer.

My beginning wasn’t easy at all… at a point I wanted quit and go back to the car business which I did before these
whole movie experience but due to the love and passion for the job I stayed back because I know where I am heading
to.

By God’s Grace I run and entertainment company “PLATINUM REVELATIONS CO. LTD. Its all about entertainment and
general merchandise.

I told people I spent 13 years as a sacrifice, this time around I want to start making money. (Laughs)

Your nickname is Iron Tiger. How did the name come about?

I was once into Martial Art. I did Kung Fu and Karate, Kick Boxing mixed with Taekwando. I have certificates on
several competitions I participated in. I am a shouse keepersecond down black belter. IRON TIGER is actually the name of our
Kung Fu club.

Tell us about your upcoming movie jobs…

My team and I are cooking up something, movies and tv series that will change the entire pattern of film making.
Trust me when the movies are out a lot of the producers, writers and directors would go back to their drawing board.

House keepers will be premiered in Nigeria soon. We’ll send the information across soon when all necessary
arrangements has been put in place.