Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

5 February 2013

Tanzania: Movie Makers Reminded of Professionalism

THERE is what it takes locally to reach the required standards in making a good and professional movie. The problem is that people don't want to reach these standards, the Assistant Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Edgar Ngelela, said.

For the country's true potential to be seen, he maintains, there has to be a move away from approaching movie-making in a relaxed manner and the adoption of a more professional one by practitioners. Hearing these requirements for making a good movie brought the independent Beauty Consultant, Fidelis Madaha, to reality.

He told the 'Daily News' that he found the entire presentation challenging, because now he knew what it would take for him to move into the makeup section of a production crew on a film-set.

In fact, Ngelela's presentation, at the Arts Council's (BASATA) Jukwaa la Sanaa platform revealed to him the high degree of planning required before setting out shooting a film. Now Madaha fully understands why he will have to go back to study specifically for this area before he can stand a chance of fulfilling his dream. Ngelela had explained the three phases to making a movie.

This was how Madaha came to understand the first phase, preproduction, has to be handled to an acceptable level before moving onto the production and postproduction ones respectively.

In conversation with the 'Daily News' after the presentation he explained that both members of his establishment and the weekly meeting organisers thought this topic suitable for this platform because they wanted to stimulate a change in the chain of local movie production.

"We had noticed that most people do not concentrate on the preproduction stage, but actually focus much on production. They don't know much about the preparation that will make the production to be something valuable to be watched.

So by the end of the day you see this level of Bongo movies where the graph is not coming up but remains stagnant and flat," Ngelela clarified. He directed those present, who wanted to take on this challenge to the Tanzania Film Training Centre (TFTC), here in Dar es Salaam, as the place where locals can be trained to be different actors, who bring out what a director wants them to.

There are mistakes which are made here that need to be ironed out first, he said, for the end product to be of a higher quality. Whereas he has no objection to radio plays, he does feel it's wrong to handle a film-set as if it's being broadcasted on the radio.

He finds that it is often forgotten in local circles that movies are based on action, so the emphasis is on what is being seen at a particular time and not what one imagines. "The script should not be like that of a radio. We have scripts that have a lot of dialogue, which makes them resemble something for radio, which you only have to listen to know what is happening.

On the screen you're not only listening, you're listening, while at the same time you're watching, so you're getting everything at the same moment. So there has to be a difference," he specified. On a personal level he has reduced the number of local movies he watches because of them being so limited.

He singled out the recently released "Chumo" as being one of the better local movies. Another is "Chungu" that has been done and cuts across the mistakes that are usually met in too many local productions, he finds.

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