“I get this question a lot, a producer on a media set is responsible for all the underground works, everything that makes a movie or a show a success is the job of a producer” Tola is a Mediapreneur (just as she likes to word with) who is very invested in all the different categories of the media industry, she believes consistency, resilience and the readiness to evolve should be one of the key things to consider as a young creator
Hi, Tola can you introduce yourself?
My name is Tola Okodugha, I am a producer, a content creator, a volunteer advocate for children (most especially the girl child) I’m also a talk show host.
Let’s talk about you producing, for the life of me; if I was asked the role of a producer on a set I would probably give a ridiculous definition. So, please help me out, what do you do as a producer? Also, what projects have you worked on?
I get this question a lot, a producer on a media set is responsible for all the underground works, everything that makes a movie or a show a success is the job of a producer. A producer is one, who coordinates all activities from the crew members to cast members to organizing the activities during production and post-production, ensuring that the cast and crew members are on set at the right time. Also, the producer is responsible for running a budget for the show/movie. So, take me for example, I am a producer at a TV production company here in Lagos, for the show I produce, I am in charge of getting the celebrities that would be interviewed, I ensure that all my crew members are aware of that date and coordinate the activities/time of my presenters, and it doesn’t just end there I also follow up with the video editors to make sure that they achieve my visuals and goal for the show. Basically, the producer is there from the start of creating the magic until the end.
Projects I have worked on? I am currently the producer for Trending and Top Five on HipTv, I have also produced a movie called ‘The Therapist’ and I have also been on a few TV commercials as well
I am particularly excited about your first movie, ‘The Therapist’. How did this dream of yours unfold and what was your experience through the movie production?
*Sigh. Let me tell you a little secret, I still don’t know how that unfolded I just know it was God. I was working for a film production company at the time as a producer, we wanted to shoot some movies to sell to some platforms in and out Nigeria which I was in charge of, I had to look out for scripts while at it, I came across the script for ‘The Therapist ‘written by Prisca Okeke; the storyline was very dear to my heart, I also felt like people could relate to it. It was my first movie production, a dream come true; cast and crew members were amazing. The experience was second to none although it was quite challenging along the way has given it was my first big production and I was very adamant in making sure nothing flopped so, it took a lot of sleepless nights, I could never forget my daily intake of coffee or Redbull. Producing ‘The Therapist’ was one of the best things to happen to me in 2019. I also learned the nits and grits of production
Is the movie out now and where can we watch it (I want to be on the famzing train) *laughs
Yess! ‘The Therapist’ is out. It’s on IBAKA TV and it was also on AFRICA MAGIC SHOWCASE! Yea that was a very exciting moment for me knowing that people were watching what I produced
Do you think there is a progressive ratio of women in the production team?
Wow, definitely there is an amazing growth of women in the production industry, currently, at my workplace, we have six female producers same as where I had formerly worked, we were all female producers. I mean there are the likes of Jade Osiberu, Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, Biodun Stevens. I get that in the past there was more male concentration in the production team but now there is an encouraging influx of women in the team. I was on Instagram the other day, someone was announcing a new movie and 70% of the crew members were females and it’s pretty amazing to see this.
You were running a talk show before ‘Talk with Tola’ and you are also very big on presenting. Why did you transition from presenting to producing?
I get this question a lot, so, I did not leave presenting. When I graduated and moved back to Lagos, I wasn’t thinking to do production full time, the idea was to just test out production for a year, learn and understand how producing works, I didn’t want to be that presenter who just showed up in front of the screen. The dream is to be a ‘Mediapreneur’ and being that requires not just one aspect of media but knowing how a production/media team operates and the business side of it. I didn’t leave presenting, I am just taking the time to learn new skills that would be much needed for the future; so ‘Talk with Tola’ is in the loop now and I plan to come back with a bang!
What are the key things you think every young creator should have in the back of their minds?
I think it would be, consistency, resilience, (I say resilience because the industry would drain you) and also be smart (not just hard work) be ready to evolve because the industry is ever-changing, be ready to take up new skills. Personally, it got to a point I had to take up courses in marketing, not because I enjoyed it, I just knew I needed it to push my contents. And lastly, never be afraid to take the first step
What is your best movie of all time?
I don’t have any movie of all time but I love classic movies, I still watch really old movies
Asides media, what would you do instead?
I would definitely be a doctor if I wasn’t into media; I love the fact that doctors can give people second chances
Tell me something people don’t know about you?
Even as a producer and being all about media, I still sleep off while watching movies I don’t watch a movie till the end, I probably would see it like five times till I get to the end. A two hours movie could take me 7 hours to watch. Also, I am a very shy person, I just know how to disguise well and I’m also a big introvert.
This conversation with Tola almost felt like it was just for me, very insightful (I mean now I can say who a producer is with my chest) and also listening to how much work and dedication she has and still putting into developing her craft is so inspiring.
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