Blessing Egbe: Lekki wives creator dreams mini series
It was a post on the networking site LinkedIn that got us stalking prolific writer, producer and director Blessing Effiom Egbe. The post contained the result of a Master’s Degree in Film with Practice of the University of Kent. In it, we were informed that the busy filmmaker, who is always on call, have just been awarded a Distinction in Master of Arts in Film With Practice of the University of Kent. Congratulatory messages have continued to pour in for the actress and former model, who is famous for directing and producing the popular and best-selling movie Lekki Wives.
So, even as she had her hand filled with writing, producing and directing, the wife and hardworking Blessing Egbe still found time to match theory with practice. Moviedom caught up with the writer and producer of hit movies such as Two Brides And A Baby, Iqou’s Journal, One Room and The Women and she revealed in this interview that Lekki Wives series is in the works….
Not Missing in Action…
It is not true that my fans have stopped hearing from me after Lekki Wives; my true fans are still hearing for me o. Bconceptnetwork has gone on to produce many titles, including This Thing Called Marriage Series, She Drives Me Nuts Series, The Ten Virgins Series, The Women, One Room and recently Coat OF Alms. Perhaps, it is the die-hard fans of Lekki Wives that are asking. Those ones are forever asking more of Lekki Wives. Good news; we are thinking seriously about a feature or concluding Mini-series.
From Cinema and DVD Release to Online Distribution
Well, digital release is definitely the go to release avenue for independent producers like me, who may not want to undergo the stress that comes with releasing a film in Nigerian cinemas. Sometimes, I get exhausted just by observing the many process filmmakers, who dare to go the conventional release route, go through. Dem dey try. Perhaps in future, I will gather enough strength to try again.
For now, YouTube and the likes afford us easy access. And I am doing quite well. Thank God. The challenges do abound, but we keep moving. Don’t we? The Bconceptnetwork Youtube channel was hacked for a whole nine months and we lost a lot of money in that period to the hackers, but thankfully, YouTube successfully reinstated the channel back to us. The prospects are high and that is for me, the motivating factor to keep going.
Studying Theatre Arts, dance and the gains
I miss performance on stage a great deal, and I cannot wait to get on stage again. I shine so bright on there, even if I say so myself. Well, my practical lecturers in University of Calabar would attest so too. Like you mentioned, I have heard some people say that our training as theatre artiste doesn’t add much to what we presently do. The discipline of Theatre can never be compared to anything I have experienced in the film sphere. I could write a whole thesis on this, but let’s just say Theatre Arts practitioners are well behaved on film sets. They keep to time and must show up for work no matter the excuse. Let’s leave it there.
And like you asked, if I have a chance to choose a career, I would most definitely choose filmmaking over and over again, because this is the one craft that allows me recreate a world and invite worldwide audiences to live in it. No matter how short lived their visits, viewers take away something from my creation. Filmmaking is like a microphone one uses to speak to people. I can tell stories and inform and correct ills, all while entertaining. Super career choice!
My Staying Power
My staying power is CONTENT topped by the grace of God. You know that saying/quote “Content is king”? Yes. I endorse it 100 per cent. If you have good content, you cannot be bypassed. Even if you are, in these times, you can reach your audience directly. So na to continue to dey shoot be that in other to prolong the staying power.
Gains and Pains of the Profession
Simply put: the gains are the GAIN one makes. Be it monetary, lives affected for good, and otherwise. The loss? Well, there have been monetary LOSSES too, but overall, I am happy with my work as a filmmaker. I am also content.
Most memorable work as a producer, actress, writer and director
Tough question, but as an actress, I will pick Iquo’s journal. Played a stuck up doctor, who relays both good news of pregnancy to a patient at the same time announcing her advanced HIV status. I remember Kate Henshaw telling me, “Blessing, you are very wicked” during the scene. It only means I nailed it.
As a writer, it will be definitely be Lekki Wives; I created and scripted 78 episodes all by myself. For producing and directing, I will readily pick The Ten Virgins, Lekki Wives and Coat of Alms. These were all big productions that I managed myself.
Coat of Alms was shot in the thick of COVID-19 pandemic; I had to make tough creative choices to make it work. The magnitude of Lekki Wives still beats me to this day, and I was new to directing at the time. The Virgins has to be the most challenging adventure I have embarked on as a filmmaker. A biblical story recreated with music, drama and dance, the story was told in a dated fashion. What was I thinking? I have not been able to answer that question myself.
From writing, producing to directing
Not that the process of collaborating does not have its own benefits, but I find that directing and producing my stories, works out better. From script to screen, the process flows smoothly. I don’t need to explain endlessly to a director the semantics of a scene or its subtle nuances. I can make quick decisions on the spot if things go south. These and many more reasons influence my process.
Any role models and likes and dislikes
God is my role model; man will disappoint you. Know this and know everlasting peace. As for likes and dislikes, I still hate cheats and I still uphold good. And for the question on whether there was anything I did as a teen that pointed towards a career in filmmaking or entertainment and the answer will be a big Yes. I used to sing in church; dance and perform dramas too.
Combining being a wife and a mother to the busy task of filmmaking
It is all about planning. I should be given an honorary doctorate degree in planning skills, if ever there is a named programme like that.
I do plan well and have never gone off a schedule. Hopefully, it remains so. This one old age don dey near.
I will put my career ambition in one simple sentence: to be successful and touch more lives through my work. I also want to back practice with theory and I have started the journey.
Last year, I made a big move to attain a master’s degree in film at the University of Kent. Happy to announce that I have graduated with a distinction, so my fans should just get ready for me.