Yoruba filmmakers and actors have resumed shooting following the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in Nigeria.
The president of Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Bolaji Amusan, aka Mr Latin, confirmed this in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES in Lagos on Tuesday.
Mr Latin said it had become necessary to resume movie shoots because it had been difficult for his colleagues to make ends meet during the lockdown.
He also said the relaxed restriction on movie production was in line with the Lagos State government’s relaxation order which took effect from June 1.
He said, “Our industry is not one where you can work solo, you need people around you to work with, you need your crew, the directors, the location managers, the actors, the cameramen, and a lot like that. It is difficult to work while keeping social distance but we are just trying to make ends meet.”
According to him, his industry has put ‘certain guidelines’ in place to ensure strict compliance with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on film sets.
“Now that we have resumed shooting movies, we instructed our members to maintain social distancing as much as possible, to make sure that they don’t do anything that negates the dictates of the NCDC and the ministry of health. They must also comply with all directives from the federal government.”
The actor added that they have also prohibited some acts like “overnight shoots, working in crowds, and unnecessary gatherings”. “Actors must now wash their hands and apply hand sanitisers as frequently as possible while on set,” he added.
He said the association has put in place two disciplinary measures to make sure casts and crew adhere strictly to the rules.
“We have told them that if you break the rule and you are caught by the government, you are on your own. The association will not be responsible for such people. Asides that, we have a standby disciplinary committee that such erring members will have to face,” he said.
Also speaking with this newspaper, Yoruba film director, Adebayo Tijani, confirmed that he had begun shooting movies.
He said it has been made compulsory for every ‘stakeholder’ in the Yoruba movie industry to go to the locations with hand sanitisers and nose covers.
He added that the number of crew members that are usually on a typical Yoruba movie set has also been reduced.
“Every film project that involves a crowd or crowd scene has been put on hold for now. For example, I have a personal project I want to shoot but I can’t do that now because it involves crowd scenes.
“Before now, we used to have like 40 people on set. We have cut that figure down significantly. If you are not so important or play a major role on set, you don’t have to come,” he said.
He urged his colleagues to take the necessary precautionary measures that would protect them from contracting the virus in the course of their work, “as COVID-19 had not been completely defeated.”