Thursday 20 December 2012


The movie Journey To Self was premiered in Lagos recently and the reviews have been quite positive. Regardless of who the filmmaker is, I have always been a sucker for good films. The interesting part for me though is that the movie was directed by a female and for me this is like the icing on the cake! Would I refer to this movie as a chick flick? I probably wouldn't but because its an all female ensemble you would be tempted to but this movie touches issues that everyone can relate to...male or female.

Tope Oshin Ogun
I had a chat with the Director, Tope Oshin Ogun who has been one of the leading female directors in Nigeria for quite some time. She is one of the directors of the popular MNET drama series TINSEL. Before her journey into the directing world, Tope was a seasoned actress and formidable TV host. Enjoy our conversation.

Amaka Igwe has been one of the leading female directors in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the most prominent. Did she inspire you in anyway to become a director? Also, why the transition from acting to directing?

Amaka Igwe sowed the directing seed in Tope Oshin Ogun about 10 years ago. I was discussing a movie of hers that I was starting in and after the creative discussion, she told me "you should be a director". Of course I thought she was crazy at the time.
My transition from acting to directing happened on its own. My quest to know more about directing got me concentrating more on it and seeking to develop a career in it and somehow, my acting career got sidelined while fueling my new passion.

Why your choice of the director of photography for the movie Journey To Self?

I had worked with Nodash on 3 other projects in the past, 2 of which were my multiple award winning short films. I have a great working relationship with him. He understands my language, style and what I want, so it was just natural for me to choose him for my next project.

What camera did you film with and why?

I shot on the Canon 5D Mk II. I like the unusual, and wanted the challenge and experiment of shooting a whole feature length movie with a DSLR and since I also had a DP that's very much at home with DSLRs, I thought why not?
When you were filming what choice of lenses worked well for you and can you break down why you used those lenses? 

We basically shot on all canon lenses. A mix and match of primes and zooms but mostly primes.

The movie looks really great and the editing was on point. Who was your editor and what program did he use to edit?

Nodash the DP was also the editor. I chose him because I felt he had an advantage having shot the movie and also cos he had a clear idea of what I was trying to achieve. He edited on Final Cut Pro.

What file format did you edit the movie in? Did you have to convert to Apple Proress 422 or did you just edit straight as H.264?

It was shot on 5D like I said earlier and yes it was converted for editing.

How long did it take you to film JOURNEY TO SELF? How long was pre-production, principal photography and post production? Did you have to do any pick up shoots?

Journey To Self was shot in 10 days. All estabs and pick ups inclusive, except for the Abuja estabs which were shot by a 2nd unit. Pre production ran into a couple of months and post pro took a little over 2 months. 
Your husband is known for his amazing writing skills. How do you guys work together (if you ever do)? Also being a mother, how do you balance that with directing?

My husband Yinka Ogun is a renowned screen writer of note, television content provider/consultant and producer. Both my award winning short films were written by him and we have worked together on a couple of other briefs as director and producer respectively. 

Being a mother of 4 boys and a director is not easy but beautiful. I have tremendous support from my husband who makes time to fill in for me when I'm busy and I do same for him. We have a live in nanny but try as much as possible to spend quality time with the children as much as we can. We don't subscribe to surrogate parenting. We are very much hands on as regards the raising and care of our children. At least one of us is always present with them at any given time.

Any tips for women who want to become directors?

Just go for it. See your self not as a woman, but as a human. Equal to any other achiever out there. Get up, get out, develop yourself regularly and be the very best you can be. No holds barred.

Tope Oshin Ogun
Relentless 2008
Eventide 2006
Eternal 2006
Maroko 2005
The Accursed 2005
Blast from the Past 2005
Two Circles 2004
Trees Grow in the Desert 2002
Prize Maze - Mnet new directions film 2002 
Oro Ajoso 2002
Heritage 2001
Didun Iru 2001
Yemisi Owereke 2001
Time to Kill 2000
Fugitive 1999

Whatever It Takes (Super Story) 2007
Behind the Siege 2004
Dear Mother (Guest appearance) 2003
Izozo 2002-2004
Tightrope 2001-2002
An Eye for an Eye (Super Story) 2002
Saints and Sinners 2001
The Mistress’ Revolt 2001
Paradise Park 1998-1999

Women of Owu – a Nigerian adaptation of Helen of Troy 2003
The Divorce – NANTAP’s FESTINA play 2003
Childe Internationale 2000
Ahamefuna 2000
Oyela 2000
The Marriage of Anansewa 1999
Muse Before The Millenium 1999
Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels 1998
A View from the Bridge 1998

One Thing at a Time 2007-2012
Direct Entry 2004-2011
Story Story (Yoruba version) (A BBC radio drama) 2006
ONGA Delicacy (Yoruba) 2005 - 2009
I Need To Know 2001-2003
Shakara -The Dancehall Queen (A BBC radio drama) 2004
See You at the Polls2002 , 2006
Mama Grace 2001
Constable Joe 1999

Maltina Danceall (2) 2008
‘Lagos’ - Documentary for Stanbic Bank 2007
Drumbeats 1999
Youth Magazine on EKO 89.75FM - Radio Presenter/Anchor 1997-1999


  1. I am very encouraged. I really should look into learning how to direct because i seem to enjoy that more than acting.

  2. Francis Ogbemidia20 December 2012 at 07:21

    Wow! I heard that the movie is very good. I love the shot in the trailer that i saw of someone entering the pool. it was done in one take. very good and creative shot. Tope, the sky is your limit. daniel, thank you for celebrating this woman of valour.

  3. I have not meet her but everything I read about her today gave me the zeal that there is more to being a woman and a successful one at so happy reading about a woman with so much courage and means I still have more to offer myself,my children and the nation as a whole