Filmmakers Global Network ::
Community Spotlight with Ndum Stanisla
Student, Director, Producer, Writer, Actor
I started as a cast member for a friend’s feature film, Ekoneman Kingdom, playing a supporting role in 2009. By 2010, I was an actor/director in another friend’s feature film, Maiden Festival. In 2011, I handled the responsibility of artistic director and continuity personnel in a feature film project, Rose of Sharon. By 2013, I played a dual role as a cast member and director for a TV Pilot, Ndekwai Land. Same year, I played a supporting role in an award-winning short film, Damaru, by Abgor Obed O. In 2017, I wrote, produced, and directed a short film, First Born. Currently, as a student of the Performing and Visual Arts department of the University of Buea in Cameroon, I’m currently working on the production of three short films simultaneously and an on-campus feature film.
I’m a Cameroonian by nationality. I live and grew up in a society where filmmaking is still a daunting profession to adhere to. Still considered as a field of life where people divert to due to frustration. As such, filmmaking for me is still a great challenge. Considering the fact that to capture and change the mentality of the masses to accept filmmaking as an artistic source of capacity building and emancipation. In a 3rd World society where I find myself, financing a film project is very difficult. At times, practically impossible. In my experience, at the availability of a story (script), most of which I write myself, I will audition and cast individuals who are willing to offer their time and energy for free. Frequently, the characters I have worked with are those I picked as green and trained for the purpose I want them to play. As the producer, I prepare the various technical crew most essential. Because I work on a very low budget, some services are offered by colleagues, friends and family members for free. I go for smaller production gear and reserve the small cash for post-production. From editing to color grading and scoring, my table is set.
Filmmaking Challenge and Solution:
Filmmaking, just like any form of art, has its difficult bends. But this will vary from person to person depending on the project. Like a painter handles his brush, the color mixture is what brings the aesthetics to the eyes of the audience. Filmmakers are not different. My greatest challenge in filmmaking is casting. I believe characters are the various colors a director needs to portray what he/she envisaged. Making my film, First Born, I faced a great challenge in casting. The lead role was to be played by a teenage male of grade six. I did the first set casting, during rehearsals, as a writer and director of the project I realized it is not in line with the picture I was struggling to paint. It took me about one year to be able to have an appropriate cast for that character. To arrive to this solution, I dedicated plenty of time visiting many public places like restaurants and play parks for kids. Also, I contacted relatives and ask if there can be a family member of that age. Until I met Frubi Rollins for the character (Langcer Divine), I knew I now have a solution.
3 Film Production Tips:
With the consolidation experience I have acquired, I will boldly share to the world that, there is neither right nor comfortable time to produce a film. Get the story on the board and start working on it. Don’t wait for a comfortable time to start your production. Secondly, you don’t need a huge budget to get started. I have succeeded in very low budget productions. Get a camera, assemble some friends and cast some family members, share the responsibilities amongst them. Shoot something and don’t forget to add their names on the end credit lists for acknowledgment. Lastly, be your first motivator. Filmmaking is a very daunting process and requires time and energy plus finance. In all these, the most required fuel is passion. Don’t go into a production with the expectation of making money. Money and fame are the by-products of your passion being exercised to fulfill a vision.