Aarinola Odimayo: Women Break Friendship over Little Things


Women Break Friendship over Little Things

Aarinola Odimayo is a lawyer and film producer. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, she talks forthcoming movie premiere and challenges and a lot more

I just produced my first movie

I  just produced my first movie and I’m still pretty new in the industry. I haven’t deviated into movie production, as I am still a Lawyer but I just don’t do litigation. I do writing, drafting and proof reading, except going to court.

Being a lawyer 

There is a property side of it, family, and drafting. So, it’s got different phases and you just pick whatever niche that works for you. Even when I was in the Law School, I just never liked Litigation. Litigation is a more radical part of law which some people enjoy but I focus more on other aspects that other lawyers come to seek me for.

My journey into movies

That was when I got interested in writing scripts, and you know already, I do agreements and all of that. From there, I learnt a lot in my spare time and just think out loud on various things. And I think four years ago, I sat down to write a script which I didn’t write like a story, but like screen writing, and that’s how I started writing the first script. I sent the write-up to my cousin who lives in London and asked her opinion and she would ask what I was trying to do and go through it, add her thoughts and then send it back. We went back and forth, and over the years I wrote about seven scripts.

Memoirs of 4 is the title of my movie

Actually when I finished writing the scripts, it was titled 30s; that was its initially title, but while I was going into the production I had some financial hiccups so I had to pause for a while to put myself together and go back to it. Between the time that I paused and went back to it, ‘Fifties’ came and it had four women as well, but then I thought about it and didn’t want to release it so that it wouldn’t be thought that I want to ride on the vibe of that movie. So I changed it from 30s to Fluke and by the time I had finished the first set I was looking for people that would like to come on board to finish up with me. So, I was introduced to another lady who was interested in working and she said she would like the film to have a different name. During one of our meetings, we thought of names and that was how Memoirs of 4 came about.

How I started out the casting

My younger brother’s friend came around one time and asked about my writing, and he then advised that I should not play with the ideas I was having. He told me we could have it going.

He mentioned he had featured in Tinsel and convinced me that he had a couple of people we could bring together. Later, I met with Tana Adelana and she introduced me to someone who was like a brother to her and at this point I didn’t know which of the scripts I wanted to shoot. She gave me Frederick’s number and I went back to Afeez my brother’s friend and we went through some of the scripts. Then we made a choice of the one we shot after we looked into every other script. He cost it and then we started.

I hope my choice of cast will help push the movie

I know Adesuwa Etomi is big now, and I also have some veterans on board too, such as Aunty Tina Mba, Aunty Remi Surutu, Joseph Benjamin and a host of others. And by God’s Grace it would be a major success.

I had a hitch earlier when I started shooting

I had to pause because of funds, but I won’t really want to go into details. 80 per cent of the movie was shot in 2015 and the reason I went back to shoot some more scenes was because I was the writer and noticed some things were missing, which I needed to see there. For me, it made some sense if they saw some of these things rather than just hear it.

The people I worked with tried to convince me to go ahead, but I was bent on getting it perfectly done, and even when they told me it would cost so much money to have to reshoot, I didn’t mind. So, I had to start gathering them again.

The baseline of the movie is friendship

We women usually like to break friendship on very little things, and in the movie, I tried to show our folks that we can’t all be the same, and in that adversity, we should be able to tell ourselves we messed up but that it’s okay. So, I tried to emphasise that with the efficacy of prayers. I tried to put together someone who believes in prayer and someone who doesn’t but prays and it works.

It also buttress the power in togetherness and how as one we can solve a problem together. And we tend to find help when we open up to people and get assistance.

Every cast member did well on set

Everyone did fantastically well, and I also took a role in the movie. I didn’t plan to but I had to come in for a friend of mine that was supposed to play a particular role, and we just had to improvise at that point.

I didn’t take many roles; I got there and couldn’t just remember the lines. It took me time and I took a lot of cuts.