There is a new normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected large gatherings, and closed offices and organizations. Everyone therefore has to think outside the box in order to continue to thrive, and that is just what award-winning producer, writer, and filmmaker, Chris Ihidero has done.
On Wednesday June 3, 2020, over 100 people from Nigeria, Ghana, the United Kingdom, Toronto, Canada, and the United States attended a two hour online StoryStory Special tagged: Ask Chris Anything. A free storytelling workshop, StoryStory is in its fifth year of existence.
In this special session, Chris Ihidero answered questions from musicians, broadcast journalists, artists, writers, copywriters, doctors, pharmacists, brand strategists, dancers, models and poets.
A number of concepts were shared, including how to plot, how to go from an idea to a premise and then to a story, typical story archetypes, how to ensure your script is not stolen by a producer, methods of pushing past writer’s block, telling stories to entertain as well as make an impact, and many others.
Perhaps the most enticing and visual concept that was shared was the Igbo pot of soup theory, fashioned by the late creative industries doyen, Amaka Igwe; in explaining how she ensures that her commercial content caters to every audience demographic, thus being profitable and marketable.
An Igbo pot of soup has fresh fish, beef, dry fish, ponmo, crayfish, stockfish and all the leaves necessary, there is always something for everyone, no matter your preferences.
Speaking on the special edition of the storytelling workshop, Chris Ihidero said, “Our plans to hold a physical session of StoryStory in the first quarter of the year were truncated by the lockdown and the virus. With the Special, we were able to reach people all over the world, teach, share and help them through their storytelling journeys, which are needed now more than ever, even in these difficult times.”
Organised by Nigerian non-profit organization, the Lagos Film Academy, the virtual Story Story Masterclass is a vehicle to aid the growth and development of the African creative industry.
Explaining the reason for the workshop, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Lagos Film Academy, stated that, “Technology has afforded LFA a unique opportunity to reach beyond our borders and continue to grow our community of creatives that we want to see impact the African creative industries in their own way, for the collective good of us all. We are excited and are looking forward to many more innovative initiatives from LFA.”
The Lagos Film Academy is a 2-year old wholly Nigerian non-profit organization seeking to address crucial skill gaps in the Nigerian and African creative industry through non-traditional means of education, in order to transcend borders and catalyse global impact.
In just two years, the Academy has grown to a community of over 2,000 people. In this time, they have held multiple television writing masterclasses with industry leaders, storytelling sessions, post-production fellowships, one on one mentorship sessions, and a producer and actor parley.
The Lagos Film Academy has also run three editions of its ‘Film for Life’ project which seeks to enable aspiring filmmakers make a short film, which addresses social inequalities.