17 Jun

Invasion 1897

On set ready to film a scene

There is quite a large mission community in Jos, both ex-pat and national work along side each other to archive things for God. One of the tools we use for working and communicating together is a yahoo group mailing list. You send 1 email and it reaches everyone in the group. People use it to share information about events, sell unwanted goods (buy wanted goods) are among the useful things, and a whole host of (in my humble option) useless other things. 1 such (I thought useless email) was asking if any people with British accents wanted to go to Benin city and be part of a movie – no need to be an actor. I deleted said email, but after 3 people forwarded it to me and said I should go, I investigated further. The end result was that me and 2 other guys from our office headed down to Benin City to be part of a movie. Nollywood (Nigeria’s movie industry) is the 2nd biggest producer of movies after Bollywood – yes Hollywood actually comes a distant 3rd these days.

The movie is all about when the Brits invaded Benin city in 1897 – the movie’s title is ‘Invasion 1897’. So we were basically, well the bad guys! I get killed off – in fact I get beheaded in the middle of a fight between the 9 unarmed British trade party and the Benin warriors. I play the character of Col. Hamilton – a historical character. In fact the director / Produced Lancelot Imasuen, was very keen to keep to as much of the historical story as possible. There are several historical characters that you can read about during this period of history, James Philips, Consul General Ralph Moor, and Gallwey to name a few. Needless to say it involved a lot of sitting around, and when certain other actors weren’t up to scratch, it meant I was given and had to learn 5 extra scenes on the fly to make up for lost time.

Too many stories to tell in a blog post, but needless to say as a movie lover, I really enjoyed the experience being part of a movie. I would do it again given half a chance! The movie hasn’t’ got a release date yet, but maybe end of 2013 or into 2014 is what we were told. You can enjoy a selection of pictures here or on Facebook here.

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