Award winning movie-‘DOUBLE CROSS’ director, Pascal Aka speaks
DOUBLE CROSS movie recently won two awards at the just concluded Ghana Movie Awards held on the 30th of December, 2014. The movie which had laudable reviews, a great premiere in UK and won two gongs is set to be premiered in Accra on the 6th of February, 2015, at the Silverbirds Cinemas both at the Accra and Weija Mall as well as the West Hills Mall.
In that vein, we caught up with the man-PASCAL AKA who directed the intriguing piece. In this interview, he spoke about his passion and the inspiration behind the movie that he directed which won for him Best Cinematography and Best Make-Up & Hair Styling.
Also, be the first to hear him talk about the ‘spiritual experience’ between Ama K. Abebrese and Adjetey Anang… Enjoy!
HELLO, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, PASCAL AKA STARTED AS BEING KNOWN FOR DOING MUSIC VIDEO AND BEFORE WE COULD SAY ‘JACK’ YOU ALREADY WINNING AWARDS FOR YOUR MOVIE. TELL US HOW THE JOURNEY HAS BEEN SO FAR.
My initial plan when I came to Ghana four (4) years ago was to make movies, but the music video thing just took off and it took off extremely well especially with the rise of the Azonto movement at the time and the strong creative chemistry I had with EL and his BBnZ management. After some time I was looking for the right movie offers, I couldn’t turn down directing ‘Double-Cross’ because my favourite actress Ama K. Abebrese was going to be in it. It wasn’t hard for Ama K. to convince me to do it at all. It was a challenging production but we pulled it through, but I always knew that cinematography was the least of our problems; my team and I were able to handle that part with our eyes closed.
YOUR MOVIE-‘DOUBLE CROSS’ WON TWO AWARDS AT THE 2014 GHANA MOVIE AWARDS, FIRST HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WERE NOMINATED AND SECONDLY HOW DID YOU FEEL THAT NIGHT OF THE AWARDS?
I was happy when I saw the nomination announcement at the press conference launch, 6 nominations for my first GH movie, we thank God. When we actually won the best cinematography award I was happy but at the same time I knew that I was going to give a mediocre speech that I wasn’t prepared for (jokes). It was a very inspiring event and I will keep working harder to revolutionize this industry.
DO YOU FEEL THAT DOUBLE CROSS SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED AND WON MORE AWARDS ON THE NIGHT?
I feel the movie got more nominations than I expected, it was an honour, it makes you feel that all the hardships we went through on set and in post were all worth it. Apart from that, I feel my composer did a fantastic job, so even without a soundtrack nomination I know the fans will appreciate his work and all the different aspects of the film that didn’t get a nomination. It is honestly a good movie throughout.
CURRENTLY IN GHANA, THERE IS A KNOWN ‘PASCAL’, WHO IS ALSO DOING WELL IN DIRECTING MOVIES, NOW YOU ARE ANOTHER GENIUS WHEN MOVIE DIRECTING IS MENTIONED, WHAT IS IT WITH THE NAME ‘PASCAL’?
Isn’t Pascal a great name that suits an artistic person? I have my own directing style and my own fan-base. Smart people know there is a vast difference between myself and any Ghanaian movie director. You can start by watching the short films that we put out for free (Mr. Q, Ghana Police, Banku Chronicles and Redemption).
ABOUT THE MOVIE DOUBLE CROSS, WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT WHEN YOU WERE DIRECTING?
My main goal was to overcome the challenges and still deliver a final film that will stand out from the Ghanaian norm. That is my main priority, to make the story come out in the most effective way possible and push the creative boundaries in the industry. I have an extremely big vision for the future and ‘Double-Cross’ enabled me to have tangible evidence that these plans are possible. It is the first step, the first movie I direct in Ghana so I’d love for everyone to see it before anything else comes out.
HOW WAS IT LIKE, THE SYNERGY WORKING WITH GHANAIAN ACTORS AND ACTRESSES? ANY APPRAISAL OR CORRECTION OR ANY LASHING?
The first day of shooting had both Ama K and Adjetey Anang, watching them rehearse alone was a spiritual experience. John Dumelo was fun to work with. What I learned was that these actors don’t take themselves too seriously; they are all very likeable in person, which makes them very easy to direct. They are all good in their own way, and I now know how to work with each of them differently.
AS A MOVIE DIRECTOR, WHO LEFT THE UK TO COME AND WORK HERE IN GHANA, HOW WILL YOU RATE THE MOVIE INDUSTRY, HOW WILL YOU WANT TO SEE THE INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS FROM NOW?
I am actually from Canada. The Ghanaian movie industry is way too monotonous. Everybody is doing the exact same thing, and the fans don’t even seem to be open to new genres or styles, that’s the Ghanaian mentality sometimes, but I take it as a challenge. I broke creative boundaries in the music video industry in 2012 and I will do the same to the movie industry in 2015. ‘Double-Cross’ is a start, we had a great UK premiere, we won 2 awards but now I really pray that the fans will appreciate it. I am excited about the premiere.
WE KNOW THAT YOU PREMIERED THIS MOVIE IN THE UK, HOW WAS THE RESPONSE FORM THE PEOPLE WHO CAME TO SEE IT. ALSO WHAT HAS BEEN THE GENERAL REVIEW FROM THAT SIDE OF THE WORLD?
The producers of the film are both from the UK (DR. Kuffour and Ama K. Abebrese) so it was fitting to have the first premiere over there first. I did not attend the UK premiere but I will be at the Accra premiere in full force. As far as I know, people loved the ending of the film, there is a big twist there that shocked people well at the UK premiere, can’t wait to see the reaction this time around. I am excited.
AS A MOVIE PERSON, YOU SURLY HAVE TWO DIFFERENT SIDES – THE DIRECTOR CUM ACTOR SIDE OF LIFE AND YOUR NORMAL LIFE…HOW DO YOU KEEP THE TWO STABLE SO THAT PEOPLE DON’T MISJUDGE YOUR PERSONALITY?
I actually don’t see the difference. In both my personal and professional life I wear my custom t-shirts that have my company’s name on the front (Breakthrough) and “Director” written at the back. I have about 20 in my closet; when people see that shirt they recognize and come up to me. Directing is a huge part of my identity; it’s my passion, my obsession. I admire life and art. When it comes to the acting, I studied it with directing at the same time when I was in Canada, and I acted in movies, short films and commercials there. In Ghana, it all started with my short cameo in EL’s ‘Kaalu’ video; there was a huge positive response for that so once in a while I put my personality on screen. I love acting, it’s one of my artistic crafts that I practice every week, and I sometimes teach it as well.
FINALLY, THE PREMIERE OF DOUBLE CROSS IS ON THE 6TH OF FEBRUARY, 2015, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO TELL THE ESTEEM FANS WHO CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE HERE IN GHANA?
‘Double-Cross’ is just the beginning. The beginning of a beautiful artistic revolution that you don’t want to miss. The movie is full of mind games, witty dialogue and it will feel different from any other film you watch in GH. The breakthrough has begun.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, BRO.
Thank you too God bless you.
For those who haven’t seen the trailer of this movie, click below and catch a glimpse…