Production jackets emblazoned with PAU logos adorning the back of students and faculties alike; students carrying boom-mikes, tripods, gimbals, lights, light stands, cameras, and lenses, a palpable excitement in the air. The rest of the university community looks on with piqued interest wondering what blockbuster will eventually spew from the seemingly frenetic but organised activities.
Yes, we are once again at that season when the students enter the field like gladiators to put their acquired skills to the test battling with the challenges of the creative world of filmmaking by leveraging the lessons they have imbibed in the classrooms throughout the semester. It is the Masters in Film Production (MFP) production week, of the School of Media and Communication Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos. The film production weeks: two weeks of pure excitement.
The smiles on the faces of the gladiator students say it all. They are truly happy to be where they are, to be doing what they have dreamt of doing long before they were granted the chance to be in Nigeria’s most serene and exotic university campus, the Pan-Atlantic University, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
Their carriage, poise, and professional demeanour testify to a world-class training that inspires confidence: A confidence that emanates from knowing precisely what to do at every given second to be able to meet the target even in the face of a highly constrained schedule. A schedule deliberately engineered to simulate a much higher constraint than what they will eventually encounter in the boisterous and hectic world of the Nigerian film industry when they go out there.
The Masters in Film Production Programme of the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, devotes two weeks of every semester to practical examinations. Chief of such examinations is the capstone course; the Film Production Workshop, among other courses that have practical components. In the Film Production Workshop I, II, or III, the students are expected to produce up to seven different types of film to complete their portfolios. The films are the short film, the adaptation film (drama) the adaptation film (novel), the documentary film, the Sabido methodology serial film, the music video, the TV advert, and the feature film.
The students organise themselves as a film production crew, deciding among themselves who takes up which role in the film production value chain. This may depend on their areas of specialisation or areas of interest. The Director, Scriptwriter, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Production Designer, Editor, Costume Designer, Wardrobe Supervisor, Welfare Manager, and each of the role-players in the value chain oversees the generation of the necessary documents during the preproduction phase of the exercise.
The documents will be analysed, adjusted and ratified within the preproduction days. Then the production days start in earnest and each person performs his or her designated function to earn his or her marks. The production phase which involves the actual shooting of the film, may last for six days after which the post production period starts. The editor takes charge of the post-production along with the sound designer, the visual effect supervisor and the colourist under the director of course.