Amanda Ebeye, who is presently on the set of her new TV series, It’s a Crazy World, is ready to do anything to protect her son and their bond.
In this interview with the Pearlsnews.com , the Delta State-born filmmaker shares her worries, challenges that come with film production in Nigeria, child adoption and lots more.
It’s A Crazy World, why did you decide to opt for that name?
I decided to go with the name because of the content of what I’m shooting. It’s a comedy series. It has lots of competition for women. It has lots of struggles. It’s funny and at the same time too much to learn from, touching every aspect of life. At first, I wanted to call it The Wives, when I created the story but lots of movies with similar names out there. I wrote the script but I have writers who write for me. However, there are still some episodes I wrote.
What’s the general message you want people to learn from the story?
We are tackling an issue which has to do with social media. We are trying to make people see the vices of social media. It’s unarguable that it has made people rich, it has changed the lives of some people. It has connected the world together. But then they are some other bad sides of social media. It has destroyed a lot of people that don’t know how to use it. People get intimidated and depressed over the fine photos they see on social media.
So It’s A Crazy World has been put in the screen for you to see what happens on social media, behind those lovely, smiling photos.
Did you have any personal encounter with some of the vices of Social media?
I’m on social media all the time. I’m an actress. I’m an extremely private person, so to smile and take photos to put on social media is a lot of work. So, I understand what’s its like to stay relevant to those new platforms.
How many hours do you spend on social
To be very honest, in a day I can spend 20-hours on social media.
What’s your favourite social media?
Instagram. I like Twitter but I won’t choose it over Instagram.
How did you pick your cast for the series?
I developed the Treatment in 2017 when I was in film school in Canada. I just want people that respect in the industry to be in my movie. Over there I thought to myself, who could pull off the role of Don in the movie and I know it would be Bob-Manuel Udokwu. Because he is very good at what he does. He is one of my best actors. When it was time to look for the wives, I know Grace Ama would always play the Kemi role well. Then other ones I picked also fit into their roles perfectly.
How easy was it for you to get them to be on your set, altogether?
It was Okay. We thank God for Instagram. Most of them, I sent them Direct Messages (DM) and they responded. I got their contacts, chatted them up.
Bob-Manuel was the only person I wouldn’t get on Instagram because he is not on Social media. So, I got his contact, called him up, spoke with him and he came on board. He didn’t give me any stress.
How has the chemistry being on set, it’s obviously going to be a long shot?
It has been amazing. Talking about working with these professionals, it has been brilliant. because they just know what to do. For them, acting is just inborn. They take their lines so smoothly because they have been in the game for so long. They put themselves into the character and deliver perfectly.
From the look of this beautiful location in Victoria Garden City (VGC), we could tell you have spent a huge amount of money to achieve all these, can you put a figure to it?
Thank God you know. Everything I’ve spent and still spending is close to 30million naira and over.
Are you doing this alone or collaborating with some investors?
I couldn’t do this alone. I had to sell the idea because I had to go from budget to budget. I started with N10m, then 15, then 25, now I know it might surpass N35m. I pray I make my money back and also be able to pay my investors. They trusted me with their money, so I don’t want to disappoint them.
What’s giving you the confidence that you will get your money back?
I’m very spiritual. I tell God the little one I have, please use it to bless my hustle. I put in my money, my sweat, so I believe God will bless me abundantly.
When is it ready for people to enjoy?
June. It would be ready for all.
Where do you plan to air it?
Right now my target is African Magic Showcase, family and Netflix
Why did you decide to go into production?
I told myself, I don’t just want to be an actress because no matter how you act, you can’t be richer than your producer. So, I went back to rethink. So, I am now I’m an actress, producer and filmmaker.
Now you have taken a huge step into film making, it is over for you for Asaba movie roles?
Well, its not over for me for anything. I just like following my life, steps by steps. I do plan my life, but sometimes you see yourself doing what you had planned never to do again. But right now, I have the right to tell my own stories the way I want it to be. I now have my own world, to do my own stories. I still like Asaba, I am not saying Never to anything. That’s still where the money are made.
What are the challenges of being a first time TV series producer?
The challenge is budgeting. The light situation. We are shooting for 30 days. When I went to make inquiries to rent cameras and lights, the amount I was told was so shocking. I had to start buying my own equipment to add to the ones I already had.
Then feeding all the cast and crew for that number of days, it not an easy one. They are my responsibility till the shoot is done.
What about your son, how do you create time for him?
My son is not here. My mom went to Canada to stay with him. So, my family is always there to support me.
What would you say is the proudest thing you have done for yourself?
My son. That’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. That’s the only thing I can’t regret. The only person I can’t trade for anything in the world. I can trade this production if the worse comes to worst (laughs). But my son, never!
What would you regard as an addicted bad habit?
Well, I’ll say going late for meetings or an appointment. Then I have Sweet tooth. I love chocolate, and other sweet stuffs. I have to struggle to keep fit.
What is that one thing you can’t wait to tell your son?
I tell him I love him everyday. But on a deeper level, I can’t wait to tell him that no matter what he does, he would get married someday but he should always have a place in his heart for me.
I pray everyday that my daughters in-law would be good to me. I just don’t want anyone to turn my son away from me.
Are you scared that one day, a lady would come and take your son away?
I get scared of that all the time. Then people tell me that, maybe I should try to have another child. Because it’s always my son all the time.
So when are you having more kids?
I’m not a regular everyday girl. My dreams and aspirations are different.
What other women might be dreaming about, is not the same thing I would want to become. When it comes to giving birth, I really don’t think I want all my children to come from me. I would wait to see what happens in the nearest future. I want to adopt.
Right from when I was much younger, I dreamed of the day I’d be able to say this; that I want to adopt kids. I look at those kids that don’t have parents and I keep wondering why we have to keep giving birth, when there are already lots of kids out there to take care of. Adoption is my priority than giving birth to my biological children.
What kind of role do you play at this stage of your career?
I play all roles but I cannot be nude.
Do you have regrets, looking back at some roles you had played in the beginning of your career?
There are lots of them I can count. Then when everyone wants to be popular and pay bills. You just pick up any roles given to you. That’s why I tell people don’t let this industry pressurize you to do what you don’t want to do.
They have been movies that I had done in the past, but if you bring the scripts to me now, I’ll turn them down outrightly.