Making Nigeria’s biggest scale film: Producer Zulumoke Oyibo reflects on Up North
Slated for release this Friday, December 28 in cinemas all over Nigeria, Up North is perhaps the most anticipated film of 2018, and according to Executive Producer, Zulumoke Oyibo, Up North is the biggest scale film Nollywood has made.
Shot predominantly in Bauchi and a week in Lagos, Up North tells the story of a rebellious son Bassey (played by Banky W), who is sent off to NYSC in Bauchi by his controlling billionaire father (Kanayo .O. Kanayo), in the hopes that the time away from wealth and privilege will make him more obedient. Bassey however embarks on a journey of self-discovery and navigates life, love, friendship and purpose in this feel good coming of age drama.
Up North made history with cameos from an Emir and the Governor of Bauchi State, making it the first Nigerian film to feature a sitting Governor. The movie recorded a total of 41 shoot days.
According to the producer, there was a clear vision when the team set out to make the movie “We wanted to make a film that was cinematic, a film that screamed scale. We wanted to blow people away with the beauty of Nigeria and more specifically Bauchi. We wanted people to leave the cinemas in awe.”
The scale Up North was attempting to achieve had never been attempted, the production had to film scenes with hundreds of horses, thousands of background actors and cover sets spanning thousands of kilometers. The crew, which were mostly hired from Lagos, had to quickly adapt to shooting in the high energy and wide scale environments Bauchi presented.
“Expectations were ambitious but thankfully we had a director, Tope Oshin, who shared our vision and a team that was willing to go the extra mile. l am very proud of their hard work and that we accomplished what we set out to do. We’ve made a beautiful and heart-warming film and I believe everyone will love it” .
She added, “Up North went beyond the norm, breaking boundaries and setting records. On its biggest shoot day; Up North had over 25,000 background actors, 5 cameras and a crew of 160; including over 50 security personnel, a feat that has never been attempted in the Nigeria film industry (Nollywood). “The scene is arguably the largest one shot for any film ever made in Nigeria.