Filmmakers should get the necessary training they need to be effective – Helen Samuel

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Helen Samuel
Helen Samuel

Filmmakers should get the necessary training they need to be effective – Helen Samuel

In an interview with Wale Adegbuyi, Helen Samuel, a promising actor, who hail from Cross Rivers state and a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from Lagos State University (LASU).

Helen, rated Bimbo Akintola a natural actor and she took her as mentor, she feels the sector of the economy need to be restricted to achieve its set objective and she made calls to the managers of most of the associations and guild as well as Federal Government to work together to make the industry better and more encouraging because Nigerian film industry dubbed Nollywood is a future citing Bollywood as a good example.

Excerpt:

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Helen Samuel. I am from Biase local government in Cross River state. I read Industrial relations and personnel management in Lagos State University. I’m an Actor and a talent manager. Right from when I was a child, I have always wanted to act. Although, I didn’t get the opportunity to until a few years ago. I am seventh child in a family of thirteen. Growing up wasn’t easy. We were mainly into farming and fishing.

“Another challenge is the craze for popular faces. The actors who are very popular today were once unpopular. If they were not given the chance when they were not popular, nobody will know them.”

What was your parents’ reaction when you decided to choose acting as a career?

Well, they all knew I had a talent in acting especially after watching me act in Church. So when they heard that I wanted to pursue a career in it, they supported me

Helen Samuel

Who was your mentor and how did you join the industry?

My mentor is Bimbo Akintola. I thought of her as brilliant and natural actor and I wanted to be like her. Some people came to film around my area and I was just watching what they were doing and I wasn’t really okay with what they were doing. So I told one of the actors my humble suggestion and she was thrilled. She thought I was an actor. So she asked if I have been acting for long and I told her that I don’t even act. Then she invited me for an audition and I was picked. That was how it all began.

I joined the industry in 2008 and left a year later for personal reasons. Then I came back in September 2016 and it’s been great ever since. I have had to do jobs with little or no pay but the passion kept me going. I left because I needed to go to school and needed to focus on schooling. I didn’t really need any motivation to come back. I was done with school and it was time to face acting squarely. By the way I exited in 2009.

What lead to your exit in 2009 and what motivated you back in 2016?

I left because I needed to go to school and needed to focus on schooling. I didn’t really need any motivation to come back. I was done with school and it was time to face acting squarely.

So how has it been since you joined the industry?

Poor or no pay of actors. It is sad that most producers do not have the intentions of paying actors. And they go on to make so much money from it. I know quite a lot of actors that have quit acting because of poor pay. It is extremely difficult for someone without a side job to cope with acting in Nigeria. In as much as one has the passion for acting, one’s got to pay bills. Another challenge is the craze for popular faces. The actors who are very popular today were once unpopular. If they were not given the chance when they were not popular, nobody will know them. I remember been cast for role and ended up not playing it because they needed a more popular face instead.

Helen Samuel

What do you think we can do, to make the industry better?

First of all, STRUCTURE. I think everyone needs a proper orientation on what it takes to do what in the industry. This should be the work of the guilds and not just to make money. With a proper structure in place, actors will not be surcharged. Everyone both the crew will know what they’re worth.

Also the government has to come in fully. The film industry has a lot of prospects but the Nigerian government is not seeing it. Bollywood is what it is today because their government was fully involved. Filmmakers should get the necessary training they need to be effective. It doesn’t have to be formal training. Informal or formal, just be knowledgeable about any endeavor one wants to pursue in the industry.

What has been your challenges since you return to the industry?

Poor or no pay of actors. It is sad that most producers do not have the intentions of paying actors. And they go on to make so much money from it. I know quite a lot of actors that have quit acting because of poor pay. It is extremely difficult for someone without a side job to cope with acting in Nigeria. Inasmuch as one has the passion for acting, one’s got to pay bills.

“I left because I needed to go to school and needed to focus on schooling. I didn’t really need any motivation to come back. I was done with school and it was time to face acting squarely”

Another challenge is the craze for popular faces. The actors who are very popular today were once unpopular. If they were not given the chance when they were not popular, nobody will know them. I remember been cast for role and ended up not playing it because they needed a more popular face instead.

Do you think online television and DStv has done well for the industry?

Of course it has. At least I know a lot of independent producers that have been able to stay afloat courtesy of DStv and online TV. At least most filmmakers now make an honest living from online. Also their contents now travel father than when it was only consumed via local TV stations and marketers

Helen Samuel

Are you married?

Yes I am

How do you manage a demanding acting career with your tasking family life as a lady?

I have always found a way to create the balance. My family understands my career and they are supportive. I try to make sure that I’m always there for them when they need me and thank God for technology. There is no barrier in communication.

“The film industry has a lot of prospects but the Nigerian government is not seeing it. Bollywood is what it is today because their government was fully involved.”

How do you manage terrible make fans?

I try as much as possible to stay real. In the first place I’m nothing without them. It is a privilege to be appreciated for what I do. So I try as much as possible to keep them entertained.

Helen Samuel

What is your opinion about Movietainment Magazine?

It keeps me informed and updated on trending issues revolving around entertainment. I love it. There’s a lot to learn from Movietainment magazine especially the interviews. There is nothing we want to do that someone else has not done before. So by hearing their stories, it motivates us to keep pushing.

Thanks for the audience, looking forward to another time in future. Love to your family

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