Sasore additionally uncovered that it took four months of diligent work and exceptional film shooting to prepare the motion picture.
In a short talk, Sasore clarifies how the motivation for the film stopped by and why a ton of embellishments was utilized really taking shape of the motion picture.
What influenced the production of a purely faith-based movie?
At Nemsia Films we decided that the faith-based genre was one we wanted to work in as it seemed underserved – at least on this scale (cinema, big budget, big actors, etc). We started Heart in Motion (HIM) Pictures so we could effectively create infrastructure and content for this genre. The next task was coming up with a project that would be unapologetically faith-based, but have a broad appeal. In developing ‘God Calling’ I thought about the reality of purpose in every person’s life. It made me think of the prophets in the Bible and what a modern day Elijah or Abraham would look like. What if she was a woman? What if she lived in Lagos? What if God used modern day technology to talk to her? And here we are.
Seeing as some would say religion is quite pervasive in Nigerian Film, why is this movie different?
People are passionate about religion, and Nigerians are no exception. You might argue that we are even more passionate. This means there is slight level of faith, inspiration, redemption, etc to our storytelling. We are a little less nuanced about good and evil, and we don’t love grey areas. There indeed are others who have made many faith-based films over the past few decades, and they have become an institution in the space. However, ‘God Calling’ is on a scale larger than any the industry has seen so far.
How long did it take you to work on the script, get your cast and kick off production?
Basically, all of pre-production, between writing 5 drafts of the script, full casting, location scouting, VFX underwater & green-screen tests, etc all took just under four months. It was intensive, but Nemsia has a great team and we made it work.
Tell us about the special effects in this movie, especially in relation to the bridge scene?
Special effects (VFX) are an instrumental part of filmmaking today. When used properly stories can be more effectively told, and fantasy can be more elaborate. It is pretty expensive, and still a new talent in Nollywood, but we believe strongly in its ability to help shape our local stories for a global audience.
At Nemsia we are passionate about getting better with VFX and harnessing its impact when it’s used properly. ‘God Calling’ has a lot of VFX because it is important to move the story forward. In order to feel for someone who is attempting suicide on Third Mainland Bridge, you have to actually see and feel what it is like to attempt suicide on Third Mainland Bridge. That is only possible with VFX. This is why it is such a big part of the production.
What was it like working with veterans and upcoming acts on the set?
Working with the veterans was completely unexplainable. You go in with expectations based on who you think they are and what they will bring to the set, and then you realize you are nowhere close. I was especially fortunate to have the most gracious actors on set, even with the biggest stars. RMD was always early, sometimes arriving even before the crew. Onyeka Onwenu was the most pleasant woman ever and a true ‘mother hen’, she gave the entire crew gifts on her last day. Nkem Owoh is a special talent; he knew everyone’s lines and would give you variations of every choice in each scene. Tina Mba I have worked with on all my productions, and she’s an amazing actress. They all worked with me on their choices and took a direction which was so inspiring. They were actually very vibrant, and as much fun as some of the younger actors!