CLARENCE PETERS’ HEX IS BEST
CLARENCE PETER’S HEX- IS THIS HIS NEW JOURNEY
For starters, here is a caption that strikes a familiar and at the same times to some degree a somewhat hilarious note. At first glance, one might be misled into thinking of it in terms of gossip about Clarence Peters’ ‘’Ex’’ or better still, something from a South-western or Yoruba character with the H-factor or hilarious still, a Falz, the artiste doing his thing. But that is as far as it goes in possible speculation and evaluation of the above caption. From all intent and purposes, Hex is a far, far cry from anything mundane or ordinary, much less comedy. The truth is that Hex has nothing to do with relationships neither does it have any bearing to the H-factor phenomenon. Hex without letting the cat out of the bag too early is the creation of a genius who can be described as a ‘’Nerd’’ in the coolest way imaginable. Clarence Peters’ Hex possesses all the qualities and trappings of not just any Hollywood picture, but the best of it, if his newest project is anything to judge by.
With Hex in tow, Clarence seems set to overrun the entire Nollywood and make every single film maker who has earned our respect over the years to look like a joke. And it would seem like he is set to claim his place at the very top from nowhere, but the truth is Clarence has been there in the thick of film making and Nollywood longer than most. Word has it that Clarence was having a large dose of Nollywood when his peers were perhaps in kindergarten or engaged in hide and seek game that children play. Most do not know it but Clarence’s movie fire was stoked as a child when he used to accompany his mum to all kinds of set for shooting. Clarion Chukwurah is a movie goddess who for whatever reasons perhaps most likely providence, always had little Clarence with her. She admitted in an interview once that her son was a hand full and that she had problems keeping a restless and precocious Clarence to stay still during shoots. Young Clarence had a way of making himself useful on set running around and getting in the way of the directors and cameramen and asking all kinds of questions for a child. The big question then is. Are we about to discover the real Clarence with the coming of the movie Hex?
While we contemplate and speculate about the possible game changing phenomenon that the forthcoming Hex has been touted to wreck when it finally drops, we cannot help but reminisce about the resounding success of his music video making success story. For many music lovers and followers of the industry in last ten years or more, music video making is Clarence’s fort and he has established himself sufficiently in that sector if the myriads of awards under his belt are anything to go by. No doubt, the man has been stereotyped as a director of music videos that the very thought of venturing into the movie sector is something that is perhaps laughable. For Clarence has shot more music videos in the industry than any other director in the game will dream of doing in an entire career, and yet the demand for his services keep coming without letting up one bit in spite of a proliferation of sorts in that sub-sector. Reliable sources from Capital Dreams camp claims that the workaholic director has set up machinery to deal with the crazy schedule in order to concentrate on the forthcoming movie.
But how possible it is for him to replicate his video making success in the movie sector against the likes of Veterans like Tunde Kelani, Kunle Afolayan and the rest is anybody’s guess and only time will tell. It is on record that between Kelani and Afolayan, they have shot some of the most enduring movies like Oleku and Figurine, Irapada among others. How Clarence plans to upset this record and produce a movie that will supersede the intimidating quality set by this few directors in terms of storyline and plot remains to be seen. We probably should not forget that Clarence besides being a part of Nollywood in its formative years as a kid is also a South Africa trained cinematographer who has shot numerous documentaries and TV series and is also a diehard fan of Steven Speilberg and Hype Williams, two of movie finest. But then a pick into Hex might supply a possible hint that may have the propensity to supply a clue into this riddle.
One thing that the upcoming Hex is bound to do when it finally drops is that it is going to expose another ruthless and mindboggling side of Clarence as far as pictures are concerned. The truth is that Clarence as far as creativity is concerned, has always been a rebel, an anti-establishment of sort who his contemporaries are probably spending more time trying to figure out than they pay to their art. Little wonder he is found miles and miles afar from others. This is not meant to discredit other directors who are equally holding it down in the game, but there is something about him, something that we may never be able to figure out, but which keeps him in the top as the most sought after director in the land. Now that notoriety is now being extended to movie. Hex, the movie will debut as perhaps the shortest movie of precisely 26 minute long. Hex is a horror movie which centres on five young people whose careless mistake haunts them even after a year. Five young people after a night out in town, mysteriously knocks down a hooded man. The experience suddenly began to haunt Bola, a final year student, traumatised her and eventually caused her emotional breakdown. The film is written by Clarence and also enlisted the support of Rotimi ‘Rcube’ Oshodi and Victor ‘Sanchez’ Aghahowa and was shot on location in Lagos, Omole Phase One precisely in less than a month. Actual shot was in four days while post production took the rest of the one month. How he is able to achieve his aim with a cast of no name rookies in the game is anyone’s guess that have had a taste of Clarence personally or his work. The deploying of a relatively unknown cast perhaps gives the film a particularly freshness that adds to a kind of mystery that seems to surround the movie and which will determine the kind of reception that it would have by creating a feverish anticipation to see the movie.
Hip TV’s “Trending on Hip TV” presenter, Nancy Isime, is an ex-beauty queen, a model, an actress and a TV presenter. Before “Trending on Hip TV”, she anchored “What’s Hot?” – A technology show on gadgets. She also hosted the 2014 MTN Project Fame Yellow carpet and had been working with Clarence Peters for 4 (four) years before she played the role of Chioma in “Hex”.
Born into a family of five, Nancy is the fourth born and she hails from Ishan, Edo state. She has a diploma in Social Works from the University Of Lagos, Nigeria. She was nominated for Best Model in the female category at the 2014 NMAA. She is a member of the cast in “Daddy’s Girls” and the ongoing “Tales of Eve”, just to mention a few of her current projects. Nancy is good-humoured, straightforward, humble and hardworking.
Winner of 2012 (season 5) MTN Project Fame competition – Ayoola – is a singer, songwriter, stage performer and now, an actor. His role as Bode in “Hex” is his debut performance as an actor. Ayoola was born and brought-up in Kano before he moved to Lagos in 2001. Before MTN Project Fame, he was an independent recording artiste and personal assistant/back-up singer for Mike Aremu, the veteran African saxophonist.
He graduated from Covenant University in 2009 with a BSc. in Biochemistry. Ayoola is humble, funny, energetic and very hardworking. He is quite the energetic performer as revealed in his performance as Bode in “Hex”.
Scarlet, also known as Gbemisola, is an actress, ex-beauty queen, ex-video vixen, a model and an artiste currently signed to KnightHouse. She played the role of Biodun in “Hex”. Biodun is a young student who is dating Emeka, the youth corps member. Scarlet is a fun-loving, easy-going person. She is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Lagos.
She is an entertainment legacy as her father is the Late TokunboShotade, a sound engineer and she is Mr. Sunday Are’s goddaughter. The apple does not fall far from the tree and this is why she is an all-round entertainer. She is a cast in the new action movie series “Casino”. She has also worked in some Africa Magic original films such as “Scarlet”, “Like a Virgin”, “Perfect Imperfection” and “Doll House”, amongst others. She has been working closely with Clarence Peters for over half of a decade in different capacities, as a model, video vixen and now, an actress in “Hex”.
Known in the entertainment industry as “Liquorose”, Roseline is a dancer, model, actress, video vixen, stylist and an occasional poet and songwriter. Roseline is a 200L Christian Religious Studies Education student of the University of Lagos. She is the last of four kids; she is from Edo state but born and brought up in Lagos state.
Her debut performance as an actress was as Charity in Native Media Concept’s “The Johnsons” and her performance in “Hex” is her second in the capacity of an actress. She is currently a member of GGB Dance Crew. Roseline plays the role of Bola, the medical student in “Hex”. Before “Hex”, she worked with Clarence Peters in 2011.
Playing the role of Emeka in “Hex” is KunleRhemmy – an actor, model, dancer, TV host and the winner of Gulder Ultimate Search season 7 in 2010. OluremiOpeyemiOyekunle, simply known as KunleRhemmy, hails from Ekiti state and was born on October 18 in the 80s. He is an undergraduate of the University of Ibadan.
He has starred in several movies and soap operas. As an actor, KunleRhemmy has a degree in Acting for Film at New York Film Academy, Los Angeles. Some of his past movies and TV shows are: “Shades of Love”, “Garbage Between”, “The Date”, “Romance is Overrated”, “My Creek town Adventure”, “His Will”, “Two Sides of a Coin” and “The Lincoln Clan”, to mention a few.
Clarence Peters, born Clarence Abiodun Peters is a music video director, filmmaker and cinematographer. He is the founder and CEO of CAPital Dream Pictures, a production company that specialises in the realms of the performing arts, new media art, film, television, radio, and video. He is also the founder and CEO of Capital Hill Records, a record label home to Chidinma, Tha Suspect, and Illbliss. He was ranked 2nd on Channel O‘s Top 10 Most Visionary Music Video Directors list. In 1998, he was involved in a Mobil sponsored music video for a documentary on AIDS. He directed 40 episodes of the TV series Everyday People. Peters has directed music videos for recording artists across an array of genres and generations, including Darey, Durella, andWizkid. In 2012, he shot the music video for Shuga‘s theme song which was recorded by Boneye from P-Unit, Banky W., Wizkid, and L-Tido. Peters has also shot a good number of documentaries, TV commercials, short films, and TV features. In April 2014, Absolut Vodka honoured Peters for his creativity.
Peters was born into a celebrity family. He is the son of Sir Shina Peters, a musician, and Clarion Chukwura, an actress. He obtained his primary education from BI primary school, and his secondary education from Government College Ikorodu. After finishing secondary school, he worked at Alpha Visions for three years. He graduated from City Varsity, a film school in Cape Town, South Africa. He majored in Cinematography while studying at City Varsity. Growing up, Peters was a footballer. In an interview posted on the Daily Times of Nigeria, his mother opened up about wanting to abort him while he was in her womb, but changed her mind because of her belief that Peters was the reincarnation of her father who she lost when she was 11 years old. Upon returning to Nigeria from South Africa, Peters teamed up with a group of filmmakers to establish the Alliance Film Company, a company now known as the Allied Film Company. Peters worked with the company for a year, and eventually started his own production company. Peters has cited Steven Spielberg, Hype Williams, DJ Tee, Akin Alabi, Wudi Awa, Kemi Adetiba, Sesan, Aje, and AK 1 as people he admires.
While in secondary school, Peters met Tha Suspect, a record producer and recording artist. The two started a group after becoming acquainted with each other. Capital Hill Records was formed after Peters returned to Nigeria from South Africa. He and Suspect decided to look for a female artist who could rap and sing. At a later date, Peters signed Kel to his record label after being introduced to her by Terry tha Rapman. In September 2010, Kel had a misunderstanding with Peters, which led to the termination of her recording contract. The rapper managed to release her debut studio album, The Investment, while signed to the label. Later, the label partnered with the Goretti Company, a management company owned by rapper, illBliss.
In January 2014, a copyright infringement was levelled against Peters after the release of Tiwa Savage‘s “Eminado” video that he allegedly stole the vintage nature of the “Asinamali” video which was released by Tumi and the Volume to honour the artistic works of Seydou Keïta. Tumi took to Twitter to slander Peters. He urged his fans to shine a light on the issue. Savage’s manager and husband, Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun, shed some light on the controversy. But Clarence denied any knowledge of the video or the concept.
After the release of Ice Prince‘s “VIP” music video on 21 June 2013, Peters was again accused of plagiarising the contents of Slaughterhouse’s “My Life” video and implementing them into the “V.I.P” video. In February 2014, Ice Prince defended the actions of Peters and said he told him the ideas to shoot. He also said that if anyone has a problem with the situation, they should hold him responsible.
In spite of all the Ice Prince and Tiwa Savage controversies, Clarence still remains what he is, the number one video director in the land. We dare, with all sense responsibility, for anyone to contradict this submission. The evidence is heaped sky high like the very proverbial Pyramids of Egypt. What’s more, the man is only human and controversy and success is inseparable and it is not peculiar to Clarence. But in the final analysis however, we cannot wait for the new Clarence to unfold to perhaps herald a new dawn in Nollywood!
It’s no doubt been a whirlwind climb to the top for Clarence in music video making, but how he intends to capture so much and hold our attention in just 26 minutes, a time allotted for an typical episode in a series still remains to be seen, and that incidentally will form a self induced basis for evaluating and judging the movie. Is Clarence trying to achieve the proverbial eighth wonder of the world by sort of defying gravity? Is he about to shoot himself in the foot and play himsself? Could he be jeopardising all that glory achieved in music video sector? Much as the movie has created much anticipation already by waking up our naïve movie instincts, it also evokes the nagging questions above too. Time, thankfully is a luxury we all can afford including Clarence as we endure this tortuous suspense that hex is already stirring.
DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY INTO CINEMATOGRAPHY
‘I was literally born into the act. I was born to parents where my mother is an actress and father is a musician. Literally, I was conceived while they were on set. Consequently after I was born, I was always around actors, actresses, poet, musicians, instrumentalist, and producers and down to stage. My life as a young boy was evolving around cinematography and production. Being around this field does not mean it was a journey I wanted to be part of. If you are around sometime and you get used to it, that doesn’t mean that’s what you are.
Early on, I never wanted do film because I don’t want to be in the shadow of my parents. I chose to play soccer but that did not work out because I woke up one day to realize they are more than five players on the field better than me, so that did not make sense. I decided to give my career path a re-think. This process made me realize that I personal love the entire process of film making itself. The very first time I step on a film set was when I was age three or four. I was running around the whole set because everything felt like home partly because I know almost everyone on the set; it felt like a comfortable place for me to be in.
I particularly really got fascinated by the technical crew that handles the lightning and cameras. That was my first encounter on set but my first encounter with production, was not on set. It was during pre-production. Actually during the writing stage, when was privileged to be in a room where writers will be brainstorming on idea of a script, shows or film. That was my first encounter with script, actors and the entire process of stage productions. My first encounter with the art was with stage which transcended to me going on set for films. That inevitable push me to ask myself if that the career path i wanted to take. I came to the conclusion that what I am passionate about. From then on, at the age of nine, I started going on set unofficially to do Personal assistant jobs until I was thirteen when I began to get paid.
Acting started for me when I acted in Ami Orun. A film byDudu productions. Coincidentally that was Dudu’s first film and he’s also known as a music video director. I moved from that to Sola Shobowale’s first film, then after to the film version of family Circus where I played a character called Oscar. It was shitty acting. Behind the scene was where my strength was. After the film, I decided not to act anymore to focus on production’.
YOUR BRAND NAME IS SYNONYMOUS TO MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTING, WHAT WILL YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW YOU FOR?
‘I want my brand name to be tied to my pedigree, my history with film, television and stage. Most people know me for music video because of works that has my brand name tied to it as Clarence Peters which coincidentally, television station didn’t want me to do at first (laugh). I had to force that in after I was convince it was a good idea. I have being a DP for films, done photography for films. I have shot short and feature films. I have directed short films but most of all, I have consulted for most feature-led films, most of which people don’t know about, in a very unofficial capacities.
I am a film and television person; not generic television but festival television of about thirteen episodes of mad and thrilling television content that does to feel that you watching television but every episode feel like a film. I have spent the better part of the last ten years trying to create a structure that will allow me to try telling stories the way I want those stories to be told. A structure that will allow me to synergies sound, pictures with stories and characters that makes it look and feel real like super heroes. That is one of the reasons we all want to watch films, to see characters that are real but also inspire you to the point that it evokes some kind of emotions in you.
As of 2015, I ventured into my first film; my first independent film. It’s a short film called Hex. Even at this, I don’t think I have gotten to the place where I feel comfortable but it either you start from somewhere, so I pretty much started from where we are now.
If I am happy with the film is because I am happy with the characters. That is the difference between music video and film for me. If I believe in the characters, if I make little flaws, this will be able to console me but in music video, I could not find any consolation because I am working with brand where all you could do is suggest in terms of directions to music that is made by other people. There’s always limitation because these guys are artistes who always want to do things to their likening.
This film (Hex) is like my own tracks. I and the script writer recorded the sound engineering for this film. So you have a lot of control to express yourself, your photography with the character designed and a whole lot of other things. That pretty much what I want people to take away from film and me as a director. Just for them to be able to understand that I am a director and this is the kind of film-maker that I am. I can be extremely edgy; I can be extremely true to the characters and to the stories. I would never want to be on the surface. I want the characters to have a deeper meaning for me’.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO SHOT THE MOVIE
‘Actual pre-production took about three weeks, active production took about a week. Shot was supposed to be about two-three days but it ended up been four. We went over one day because all the scenes were night.
I directed the movie’.
WHO WROTE THE SCRIPT
‘The story was proposed by me and Debola who is an editing apprentice here who’s also a script writer. Then I took it for screen play with my in-house writers (R-Cube, Taiwo and Ugo). They pretty much sketch some things. I reap out a particular scene which was the most complicated part of the scenes which is like a dialogue. I gave it to a friend of mine Victor, who’s an excellent writer. He put together that scene for me, and thenI wrap up all the other things.
Hex is a bigger script, actually a feature film script but we couldn’t do it as a feature film so we put it into a short film. Half of the story actually happen in one of the characters head because when a demon want to poses a human being, he pretty much start to torture the person by taking one through hallucination to the point that all your defences are broken down to allow him in. This film is full of suspense.
Extracted from Mystreetz Magazine. Words by Felix Smuv Abattam and Sesan Adeniji