Why I dumped acting for movie productions – Chinney Eke

Behind every great movie is a movie producer at the background supervising and guiding the cast and crew in its creation, seeing the movie project through to its completion. Chinney Eze popularly known as Chinney Love has been credited as one of the youngest starlets to grace the Nollywood movie producing scene. Formerly an actress, the 25 year old plunged into producing with her debut movie ‘The Cartel’. The movie got a lot of buzz bagging 5 nominations at ZAFAA awards as well as 4 nominations at the Best of Nollywood Awards. It featured star Nollywood Actor Mike Ezuronye, Luclay of Big Brother Amplified to name a few. In this exclusive interview with Vanguard, she talks about her career and Nollywood.
BY DAMILOLA SHOLOLA
When did you start producing movies?
My first movie that I ever produced was in 2012. ‘The Cartel’. It was a cinema movie.
What other movies have you done apart from The Cartel?
I’ve done Maduka Daughters. I’ve done Sisters Quest. There’s a comedy I just did called Okrika and now, I’m working on a movie that I’m supposed to start in 3 weeks’ time but no title yet.
Why did you decide to go into movie production?
Okay, basically I started as an actress. I did a couple of movies. I think I acted over 12 movies first then I thought to myself, I’m a business person. I’m a core business person. Maybe it’s because of where I’m from, Anambra state. So I told myself, why don’t I just go into this part of management. I’ve always liked to manage, I’ve always liked to put things together. So instead of always being in front of the camera, why don’t I just put things together since I’m good at that. So I tried it, I did my movie. It was a big movie. A movie that had cast from all over Africa when I did it, it came out big, it came out well. I loved every bit of it so I just thought that this is it. This is what I’m doing. So I quit acting
How was it like working with the cast & crew of The Cartel?
I loved working on that set. It was amazing. The Cartel comprised of artistes from all over Africa. I had an artiste from South Africa, from Ghana, from Tanzania then I had a star artiste from Nigeria. These people, I’m not trying to downplay our artistes here, have a kind of discipline when it comes to work ethics. They keep to the core time, there’s nothing like a celebrity thing. If you say 7am, it is 7am, it doesn’t matter how hard or late they worked the previous night. I didn’t have to start battering ‘Oh now come and shoot now’ and stuff like that. They knew their job. They knew it was work so it was quite easy for me. They knew what they came for and they did it well. Everybody was on point I would say
Your new movie is Maduka Daughters?
That’s not the latest. Maduka daughters is already out. Maduka daughters is a family story and I had to shoot it in the east because of the kind of story I was trying to sell and it was for commercial value. So I looked at a story that would appeal to our commercial people because this Nigeria, 60% of Nigerians live below the poverty line so I just did a story that would appeal to them. Basically it’s a family story. I used artistes like Michael Godson, he’s raving at the moment now. Artistes like Moyo Lawal, Chinyere Wilfred and Walter Anga
What has been the high point of your career?
You know when you actually do work and you get appreciation for it and people are like ‘Are you the one that did this movie? I love your movie,’ it means people appreciate you. Those are the most amazing moments. When I know that I just did something that people love, that people can associate with and can’t get enough. To me, that’s the most amazing thing ever. Doing something that appeals to the society.
How do you view Nollywood in general?
We are growing but we still have a long way to go. We still need a lot of discipline, a lot of schemes that have not been applied like distribution strategy after doing a movie. As a producer, you should be able to get returns but I think that our distribution system here is not as strong as its supposed to be so we still need to work on that.
If you could change one thing in Nollywood, what would it be?
I would stop the piracy stuff. It’s killing the business. I’m talking as a producer because I’m not an artiste. You would do your work, spend money and then you don’t make as much as you expected because little boys on the streets are pirating your movie. It’s a ripoff. It’s really painful.
In terms of movie production, who is your biggest inspiration in Nollywood?
Basically, I’ve never met Emem Isong before. I’ve met her a couple of times in premieres but I don’t know her one on one but I like her spirit. I like the fact that she just gave it a try and there’s no going back for her. She’s doing it big and she’s one of the biggest Nollywood producers in Nigeria. So I saw it, I liked it and I said let me follow her trend. When I see her movies come out day in day out, month in month out, she inspires me to want to work.
Are you currently in any relationship?
No, I’m single. Right now, I’m just facing my career
What qualities do you look out for in a man?
I like guys that are very funny, I like witty guys. Great sense of humor. Aside God-fearing, a funny guy that can make me laugh and I’m fine
What’s your main philosophy of life?
Be the best you can be. Don’t let people dictate to you. Just be the best you can be. Don’t listen to people. Don’t let negative comments bring you back. Just do what you want to do, do what make you happy and everybody else that does not like it can jump inside the river
Which actor/actress are you looking forward to working with in the future?
I would love to work with Majid. I think that’s the only person I want to work with very soon
What more should people expect from you?
They should just expect lots and lots of good things. All the movies I’ve done have always had positive comments, so just expect lots of good stuffs. A lot of good movies coming from me. I’ve just started and I’m going to get bigger and better.

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