Let's talk about the 'C' word, shall we?

Oje Ojeaga, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Up in the Sky, on the importance of collaboration in script writing.

Collaboration is not a dirty word.

As an African and especially a Nigerian, storytelling is hard-coded in my DNA. And while there are many forms of storytelling, Film remains one of the most impactful mediums in this new world of burgeoning video.

Most Copywriters will tell you that writing a film is usually a series of battles that you're never quite sure you've won. There's the trek through 'Mental Block Bulge', the fight through 'Self Doubt Creek' and then surviving the slaughter at 'Surely Crap Hill'.

 


Ojegaga's credit's include 'Oga John', a visually-stunning short film about mental health released earlier this year.

Say you actually make it through these battles and emerge, bruised but victorious, clutching a script in your arms. Then what?

Then you meet the Director.

To many Copywriters, Directors are yet another challenge in the quest for the perfect film. They come with limitations, unwanted exposition and a tendency to "alter" the purity of the script.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Collaboration between a copywriter and director isn't just a good idea; it is essential. As Copywriters, we usually treat our imagination like the most funded movie studio on the planet. Want 8K drones for a tracking shot from orbit? Done. Want a five-thousand-man crowd for a rousing end scene? Boom. Thought about it, wrote it in.

The Director is the one tasked with bringing our multi-colour madness to reality; within budget, without compromise. And with the experience of seeing where the rubber meets the road, a collaboration between the ideator and the executor is the perfect synthesis of creativity. It is how even excellent scripts can pale in comparison to the finished product.

 


Ojegaga acted as the Chief Creative Officer on last year's moving short film 'Closed'.

But of course, you have questions. Just what is the Director's role in the creative process? Just how much can she change the script - a lot? A little? Is there a workflow for coming up with kick-ass scripts that become critically acclaimed movies?

Our workshop at this year's festival 'From Crap Script to Crazy Film' will show just how this type of creative collaboration can be made simple - yet very effective.

Oje Ojeaga is one of nearly 100 speakers that have already been confirmed for Cannes Lions.