On the making of King of Boys, Netflix’s first unique Nigerian sequence

2021 was a 12 months that got here with many nice surprises, high of which was the discharge of the sequel to the 2018 thriller, King of Boys.

In contrast to the primary film, which was launched within the cinemas and raked in a whopping ₦245 million on the field workplace (second highest-grossing Nollywood film in 2018), the sequel–King of Boys: The return of the King—was launched on Netflix as its first unique Nigerian sequence. 

The King of Boys sequel (KOB 2) picks up 5 years after the occasions of the primary movie, with the protagonist, Eniola Salami, returning to Nigeria after a five-year exile and diving straight into fierce competitors for the seat of the Governor of Lagos State. Directed by Kemi Adetiba, the sequel retained some lead acts from the primary King of Boys film, with refreshing additions like musician Charly Boy, and veteran actor Richard Mofe-Damijo. 

KOB 2 was properly acquired by film lovers because it topped Netflix’s top-ten film charts for a lot of weeks. Thought of by many as a fantastic addition to Netflix’s expansive library of TV sequence and movies, it helped the streaming big achieve extra subscribers within the African area.

Forward of the discharge of a documentary concerning the making of the King of Boys franchise, TechCabal spoke to Michael “AMA psalmist” Akinrogunde, the director of the documentary, who was additionally the manufacturing coordinator and one of many second unit administrators of KOB 2. Akinrogunde is notably the director of Ghost and the Tout 2, the very best grossing nollywood film in 2021 and a 2018 Africa Magic Viewers Alternative Award (AMVCA) winner.

Daniel Adeyemi: So, I’m going to begin with a plot-related query that everybody’s been asking. When did Makanaki and Eniola Salami meet to settle their variations?

Michael Akinrogunde: Effectively, it is dependent upon the way you watched the film.

DA: However I watched it greater than twice. 

MA: I can solely say what has been proven. (laughs)

DA: Okay, truthful sufficient. What was totally different about creating this film in partnership with Netflix?

MA: Curiously, as on the time we began taking pictures KOB 2, I don’t assume it was confirmed as a Netflix unique. Nonetheless, it didn’t have an effect on the way in which we shot it or how skilled it was, as that’s at all times been Kemi Adetiba’s model. The manufacturing was already set to be a world-class one, whether or not Netflix was going to be on board or not.

DA: Contemplating that this was Netflix’s first Nigerian unique sequence, how a lot technical help did Netflix usher in?

MA: I wouldn’t say there was a lot of that as a result of Kemi already approached the film with the mindset that she’s making it to worldwide requirements. So, we have been utilizing the perfect cameras and lenses out there to realize the pictures we wanted. We additionally labored with a number of the most gifted crew and solid.

DA: What was the distinction between taking pictures an everyday film and a 7-part sequence?

MA: One other factor that’s noteworthy is that, once we completed taking pictures King of Boys, no person knew we had shot a sequence. On the script, it was an everyday film and, as you will note within the documentary, it was transformed right into a sequence as a result of the film was too lengthy and there was no half we felt we might minimize. Even after it was transformed to a sequence, on the finish of the primary minimize edit, the entire sequence, based on the editor, was about 9 hours lengthy, not the seven hours that was launched.

DA: Wow! 9 hours. Perhaps that’s the place you narrow out Makani and Eniola Salami settling their variations?

MA: I don’t know. (laughs)

DA: Honest sufficient. What’s one thing that was delicate within the film however impacted its notion by the viewers?

MA: Personally, it was the sensible lacing of drama with motion. The film was structured in a means that gave an motion film really feel, with few stunts and combating scenes. Having loads of guards, weapons, and machetes proven in several scenes made viewers really feel like they have been watching an motion film.

DA: Trying on the motion scenes, how did the crew obtain the sequences?

MA: I noticed first-hand how unimaginable Kemi is with blocking. I additionally assume the crew discovered inventive methods to make it work. If there’s something Hollywood has, it’s in all probability extra stuntmen who can do extra flips; and extra robotic gear, which we didn’t essentially “want” on this film. The explosion scene was computer-generated imagery. Within the scene the place younger and outdated Eniola have been talking on the similar time after the elders had been shot, we used a welding machine to create the sparks-of-light impact which we fine-tuned in post-production. The explosion on the desk was accomplished with a kind of protected bomb that explodes with colors. The stunt specialists marked out protected areas; we might do a number of rehearsals, after which shoot the scenes.

DA: Have been there different scenes the place you needed to improvise?

MA: Sure, positive. Taking pictures in the course of the pandemic meant we needed to improvise. For instance, the scene the place Makanaki goes to fulfill the babalawo, that wasn’t shot in a forest; it was in a lodge corridor. Additionally, the snake that was on Odogwu Malay’s automobile wasn’t actual.

DA: What was it like taking pictures round Lagos? 

MA: It nearly felt like a Lagos tour, which isn’t typical for a Nollywood film since you’d often attempt to maintain the manufacturing value low by limiting motion. With KOB, it was no matter was wanted to make the scene occur. We shot for about 63 days, excluding a number of days once we couldn’t shoot due to the #EndSARs protests and the climate. 

We shot on the mainland and the island—Lekki, Ajah, Ijora. We shot in locations I didn’t even know folks have been allowed to shoot, however the crew, being resilient, obtained the required allow to shoot.

DA: How did know-how assist in the coordination and manufacturing of the film?

MA: The KOB 2 set was a big set. We had about 60–90 crew members, relying on the manufacturing wants on a selected day. On some days we wanted extra folks due to the scenes we have been taking pictures. Many of the communication was accomplished by way of walkie-talkie due to the necessity to talk adjustments and normal updates to crew leads. For instance, say we deliberate to shoot set scenes 1, 3, 4, 5, after which there’s a visitors delay for the solid coming in, or there’s a wardrobe malfunction, you may’t simply maintain manufacturing ready. You may have to shoot a scene that wasn’t deliberate earlier than. We additionally used WhatsApp and Cloud storage. We needed to do loads of collaborative work throughout totally different time zones, as a result of one of many key producers, Remi Adetiba, wasn’t within the nation. So, we needed to share the movies shot by way of Google Drive and do some video calls to maintain the present operating easily.

DA: What was stunning concerning the response from the viewers to KOB 2?

MA: I don’t assume there was something that was essentially stunning. I used to be extra blown away once we began topping the charts on Netflix earlier than it was launched. That blew me away; it meant that individuals have been ready for this.

Personally, I had a small worry that individuals may not open their hearts to it as a result of there’s a normal worry that individuals have about film sequels that include a unique storyline or characters. Followers are likely to personalise issues that they love. They are saying issues like, “Don’t spoil our film; go away it the way in which it’s.”

I used to be skeptical that individuals may not perceive some issues I noticed within the non-public screening with different crew members, however then to see folks go even deeper into analysing the film is thrilling to see.

DA: Are we getting one other KOB sequel?

MA: That is fully as much as the creators of the present! Nonetheless, I believe most individuals are anticipating a sequel due to how KOB 2 ended. Identical to the primary half, the film ends in a means that hints at a follow-up. Nonetheless, for now, let’s all simply benefit from the magic of the second!

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