Submitted by thecritics001 t3_xwfoa3 in IAmA

We are so excited to have an AMA for the second time. (feels like a full circle moment)

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We are The critics, a filmmaking collective based in Kaduna, Nigeria. We are popularly known for making sci-fi films with smartphones.

For the past three years, we have been working on a short film inspired by the god of iron in Yoruba mythology called Ogun. The film was produced in association with Morgan Freeman's company (Revelations Entertainment) and it follows the story of Ola, a brash teenager who discovers he is the reincarnate of a demi-god.

Working on this film has been a very inspiring and worthwhile ride for us as filmmakers.

We got morgan freeman to do a voice-over for the Trailer and we put out the film a few days ago.

You can see the film HERE

We know that some of you might not be familiar with the language Yoruba, its mythology, gods, or even not know it existed. We are here to answer any questions you might have about the film, our lives e.t.c

So let's get this ball rolling, LOL!


Morgan Freeman Proof


Edit: Thank you all very much for the questions, this was fun! hope to do this again.



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omnichronos t1_ir682kq wrote

How were you able to reach Mr. Freeman and what got him interested about your film?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir6khz5 wrote

Well, we were able to reach Mr freeman through our representatives and the rest is history!😁


Canners19 t1_ir6qndu wrote

Hey guys film student in Ireland and would love to say congratulations on making the film. Can I ask who would you say are influences for you guys when it comes to cinema?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir9bsf7 wrote

Hello, just realized our reply to your comment came as a stand-alone so here you go.

Reply: Hello, thank you for the kind words, our major influences comes from the work of filmmakers like Nolan, Tarantino, Michael Bay, Alfonso Cuaron, J.J Abrams, Bong Joon Ho. For most of us on the team, our influences do not only just come from film.

Did you see the film? What are your thoughts?


uburoy t1_ir71fbi wrote

What were some of the challenges you had making this film? Things we would not expect?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir75bf7 wrote

Well, challenges arose at every phase of making this film, a chunk of them were from Post-production. On several occasions, the team kept going back on certain VFX shots just to make sure they helped effectively tell the story.

Edit :

Another challenge was finding the actress who plays the mother, as the project was very low budget we couldn't afford bringing in a professional actress and there was zero to no actors who were available in our vicinity. We had to delay shooting for almost 3months to find a schedule that could work for our available actors , a part of the delay was also finding the right house for our characters, we eventually had to settle for an uncompleted building in which our production designer worked on to look like a house that would work for the scenes we wanted to have filmed.


uburoy t1_ir7niwi wrote

Was the final fight scene in that uncompleted building?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8ny3v wrote

Yes, very correct! the final fight scene was in that building.


NiceAmphibianThing t1_ir6h19v wrote

Will the film's themes and plot make sense to people who aren't familiar with Yoruba mythology?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir6joxr wrote

oh Yes we tried our best to make sure that the film appeals to the global audience both verbally and visually.


Swedish-Butt-Whistle t1_ir93x3i wrote

Have you guys thought about sometime in the future doing a “crossover” film that brings Yoruba mythology together with mythology from other indigenous cultures in the world?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir9bjzz wrote

To be honest, We haven’t thought of that before, but that’d be interesting to see, Thank you for this 😀


amoranic t1_ir7w2n2 wrote

Can you recommend some Nigerian films that in your opinion are interesting ?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8ooxb wrote

Some Nigerian films we can recommend are: 1. Juju Stories: This is an anthology by the surreal 16 collective 2. King of Boys (the first film and the next installment which is a series ) are available on Netflix, directed by Kemi Adetiba, 3. Eyimofe directed by Ari and Chuko Esiri, 4. O town directed by C.J Fiery 5. Lionheart directed by Genevieve Nnaji 6. The lost okoroshi by Abba T. Makama, 7. La femme Anjola by Mildred Okwo


Most of these films are available on streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

We hope this was helpful


amoranic t1_ir9boq3 wrote

Super helpful, thank you. Also your movie is very impressive, very impressive. Good work !


thecritics001 OP t1_ir9bu4h wrote

Thank you very much, this means the world to us.


amoranic t1_ir9k43h wrote

If you are still there, one more question. Is it common to mix Yoruba and English in everyday language ?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir9lgvh wrote

Yes it is common to mix both languages together. We have a language derivative of English called pidgin, it sounds like English if you listen closely but it’s broken. It’s spoken in other countries in West Africa.


pants6789 t1_ir7x6bc wrote

Curious your thoughts on Morgan Freeman's comments about writer directors...

"Too many of them get in the way. You get the title of ‘director’ and you start directing actors rather than directing the movie."

“I don’t like to be directed. The worst culprits are writers who direct their own material. Oh God.”

“When you arrive on set and the director goes, ‘Here’s my idea for this character,’ I go, ‘I’ll be right back!’ Or — and this was told to me by a really good director — he said, ‘Okay, here’s what I think your character is thinking at this moment. "You tell me what I’m thinking? I’ll tell you what I’m thinking. You figure out where to put the camera and the light.

"If you want me to go faster or to go slower, you can say that.”


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8pbz8 wrote

Well, we think that every actor or even any professional on a film set has their process and approach to work, some actors might enjoy the director that says 'Here's my idea for this character" and some actors might not. What's most important in the end is that there is a conversation between both parties (Directors and Actors) to figure out a way to work and bring out the best possible product.


EVU29 t1_ir7okd0 wrote

Are you going to do a film about the world famous waterfalls from your home town?


[deleted] t1_ir7y9vu wrote

Congrats!!! What has been the most challenging from the project?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8qsc5 wrote

The most challenging things about the project came at each stage of the production.

During Pre-Production, it was figuring out how to approach some of the scenes in the film creatively, and finding our main cast as there are little to no actors and we could not afford the available ones.

In production we paused shooting for about 3 months to find the house that was perfect for some of the indoor scenes in the film, we eventually settled for an uncompleted building that was modified by our Production designer.

For Post-production, Visual effects were the most challenging aspect of making the film, as we wanted it to be very good.

We were working with the mantra "there should be no buts" and we really hope there isn't for the audience. haha

does this answer your question?


Jaded_Ad7376 t1_ir89j10 wrote

Hi, congratulations on your new film and thanks for the link! My question is; over the 3 years of making 'Ogun Ola' did your ideas for the film change from what you had originally envisioned? If so how much would you say?



thecritics001 OP t1_ir8puwi wrote

Hello, thank you!

Our ideas for the film did not necessarily change, we had to modify it down to the level that our budget could afford and that was early in the development stage.

70% of the film remained the same, the one thing we had to really compromise for was the final scene and it influenced our decision on how we approached the scene greatly.

We can go into details but would have to spoil the film, let us know if that's fine.


Hargelbargel t1_ir99k51 wrote

How did you find your cast? The mother was very genuine.

BTW, I quite enjoyed but was expecting not to, haha. I love folklore, and African folklore is an untapped treasure trove in my opinion.


thecritics001 OP t1_ir9bauv wrote

The actor who plays the son came for the audition of a previous project of ours so we had a relationship with him and after the casting call for this particular project didn’t provide us the actor we thought would be right for the role, our producer suggested him and that’s how he got the role.

The actress who plays the mother has no prior acting experience and is also a friend of our producer, after months of searching for an available actress, we settled for her and did a couple of rehearsals and made it work.

We are happy we did not disappoint haha, expect more African folklore from us 😀😀


toolongdidntregister t1_ira5cfy wrote

Congrats! And love the chance to hear about unfamiliar mythologies. Are there any other specifically interesting stories or gods in Yoruba mythology?


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tdzangel t1_ir7r9va wrote

Just watched your film - and it's great! Is there any plans to create a sequel/series following the ascent of the young god, Ola?

Also, have you guys submitted this short to some film festivals?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8obvi wrote

Thank you very much, we are very glad you liked the film. The short is a proof of concept and we hope that we are able to get funding to make the bigger and complete version of this film. fingers crossed!


We submitted to just a few festivals.


TheDanQuayle t1_ir8f4ia wrote

How is it finding specialists in filmmaking where you are in Nigeria? Cinematographers, film producers, audio engineers, screenwriters, composers, animators, etc.?

I’m assuming there’s tons of talent, but is it an easy process to hire a film crew?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8r9p6 wrote

Hello, we think this is a great question. Yes, there's a ton of talent, for us hiring a film crew isn't an easy process as most of them are situated in Lagos, Nigeria and we are based in Kaduna, Nigeria (it's a 12 -13 hour journey by road and 1hr by air) where there are little to none of these specialists available. The good ones are very occupied too, we have resulted to taking most of these jobs ourselves until we can afford to bring in these specialists.


TremblonX t1_ir8qfhl wrote

What were your inspirations for composition or cinematography styles for the film? Do you feel that there is a need to innovate for more camera movements in order to tell unique kind of stories like ones based on Yoruban Mythology?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8rybe wrote

We like to pride ourselves on the fact that our films look a certain way but we can't really tell as you know maybe seeing the footage a million times does something in our heads.

We do not honestly think there is a need to innovate for camera movements, like what other movement is possible in the PTR axis, at least we don't know that for now, but what we do know is that so much has been made in over 100 years of film and i believe its a shared space where one can take inspiration to approach each scene differently depending on the mood and the feeling that should be evoked from watching a particular scene in the film.

We do not honestly think there is a need to innovate for camera movements, like what other movement is possible in the PTR axis, at least we don't know that for now, but what we do know is that so much has been made in over 100 years of film and its a shared space where one can take inspiration to approach each scene differently depending on the mood and the feeling that should be evoked from watching a particular scene in the film.

Innovate might not be the word but we believe that the approach to filming certain scenes should be well thought out.


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8s57i wrote

To be honest with you, we had no idea we had famous waterfalls 😀, where is this located?


DontSuePplPanda t1_ir8tqt7 wrote

Are you inspired by ‘who killed captain Alex’?


thecritics001 OP t1_ir8tus3 wrote

No we aren’t, we had no idea of what captain Alex was until about 2-3years ago


EveryFairyDies t1_ir983cc wrote

Will you be making movies for any other Yoruba myths?! I love myths and folklore and trying to find some of the less popular, well-known myths from non-English-speaking countries is tricky.


thecritics001 OP t1_ir9bg4r wrote

There’s a possibility of that happening, this is just one god out of a couple of other gods, we are looking at expanding this world and focusing on some other characters, it’s going to be interesting journey for us.

Finding these myths can be very hard even for us as Nigerians as there are little to no resources available on them. For this project we had to travel to a state (Ekiti State) to meet with people who worship these gods.


bluecat2001 t1_ir6a8gf wrote

Would you be interested in casting a white actor?