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Life & Work with Samuel Nkwume

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samuel Nkwume.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, starting off my career briefly as an accountant. I had always been obsessed with film and TV, spending a good portion of my time watching behind-the-scenes videos of film production sets. There weren’t a lot of filmmaking school opportunities in Nigeria, resulting in me getting an undergrad degree in accounting. While in college, a friend of mine pushed me to chase my dream and to do what makes me happy, regardless of the societal norms. I eventually started a review website/blog focusing on film and TV. I simultaneously started writing a bunch of screenplays with little knowledge of story structure. I just wanted to tell stories.

Once I was done with college, I became a qualified accountant and worked briefly for a year in Deloitte, one of the big four accounting firms. It wasn’t my passion, my goal was to be a film producer, so I moved from Lagos to Los Angeles for film school, where my journey began. From there, it’s been quite a ride.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
If I said it was a smooth road, I’d be lying. I’ve had my high and low points. The initial struggle was getting my foot at the door, working as a production assistant. Fortunately for me, I started to build a strong network and great connections which goes a long way, coupled with hard work, being good at your job, and having a great attitude. When I started making projects of my own, I faced challenges with getting committed actors, especially when working on an indie scale, location issues, and problems arising in post-production.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I currently work as a Line producer in the film industry. Mostly working in the indie production space, which usually involves developing a prelim budget, finalizing the budget, breaking down of script, estimating below-the-line costs, working with the accounting team on payroll, and other responsibilities. I am currently in production, working on an action feature thriller titled “The sweepers”, scheduled for release in 2022.

I like to think that every problem has a possible solution. Regardless of the pressure I face, I like to think of the positives. Executive producers always want their projects delivered regardless of the worst-case scenario. What sets me apart is, I do not look at issues as being problems. I look at them as hurdles that will make me grow in knowledge. I am more about looking for solutions rather than basking in my worries or problems.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
The film industry is a very competitive industry, especially in Los Angeles. There are thousands of people doing exactly what you’re doing. The only thing that can keep you running in my opinion is your passion and work ethic. It is not an easy route to take and a lot of people abandon their journey and go for other things. Just be persistent, make good connections and let your work ethic speak for itself. This business is mostly about referrals, so put your all into it and let your passion for it drive and motivate you.

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