Dreams of a film-maker

Published on : 23/06/2015
Source : http://mwnation.com/dreams-of-a-film-maker/23/06/2015

He has always had a keen interest in movies and music. In fact, award-winning US actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been his inspiration.
He recently released his new movie, Unappreciated, but there is more coming from Pascal Bagaluzi.
However, having received mixed reactions from enthusiasts and some producers on production related errors, Bagaluzi reworked the movie which was premiered on Friday at Bunda Campus of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).
"I released Unappreciated with much fanfare at the Public Affairs Office auditorium of the American Embassy. The movie got great response and positive criticism from the audience. I was very happy with the reception of the movie and I thought that this was a great movie for me but I was later proved wrong," he recollected.
However, an international movie producer who Bagaluzi chanced in one of his movie encounters changed his perception of the film.
"Last year, I met an international film production sound expert Peter Kepkay from Canada, who is in the country to boost the local firm industry. He has been offering technical advice and guidance to my voluntary firm called United for Culture, Education, and Development Agenda [Uceda], which is at the helm of producing movies.
"It is a result of this initiative that when Kepkay watched Unappreciated, he noted some errors that had to be worked on to improve the quality of production. All the little things that he pointed out made sense. I learned what makes it better in both audio and video.
"So we started to re-cut, re-edit, correct-so many things that I did not even see were wrong. The movie is now much better in terms of colour, sound, and the scenes are much tighter and the story flows better as well," explained Bagaluzi in an interview.
Kepkay has received six nominations and two awards between 2007 and 2014, all for Best Sound in the Leo Awards for the British Columbia Film and Television industry.
He has also worked for National Geographic, Knowledge Network, Life Network, Outdoor Life Network, Disney and Google according to his biography sourced by On the Arts.
Bagaluzi's movie making journey started in 2009 when he followed his true passion to become an actor. He self funded his first movie called The Lost Advice. It was never released as he thought the quality was just not good enough.
"It was shot like a wedding," Bagalazi recalls. "Can you imagine a movie looking like a wedding? I sold my car just to make that movie. I didn't have any knowledge or skills of how to make a movie. I just knew that I wanted something more and I wanted to be happy and follow my passion.
"The actors, approximately 25 of them, abandoned me because they were so disappointed and mad at me for not releasing the movie.  They didn't care about the quality, they just wanted people to see their talents. Which was little different for me because I wanted people to see us in a positive way."
But Bagaluzi was not discouraged by the development as he went on to make another movie, World Speech in 2010.
"Piracy really killed this movie for me. I know it wasn't the best movie but it was my second 'child' and I thought it was pretty good. The big thing was, it could have been a financial success if the pirates helped me with distribution rather than killing me with duplication," he said.
The up-and-coming film-maker is eying the international audience through MultiChoice's Africa Magic platform to promote this and other movies.
"I want many people both local and internationally to know more about Malawi's movie industry through my productions. I understand MultiChoice will be launching a new movie channel on July 1, which will be a platform for movie makers in southern Africa, especially countries such as Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. I want this movie and another one to be out this summer and a couple others to make it to this channel," he said optimistically.
He added: "It is important to show people that we can do something good here in Malawi and that we have the ability to make things that are worthwhile. The next few years will be good that I and Peter are looking forward to. We have so many projects to do. Plus we have to teach and educate so many people in the art of this industry and show them that Malawians can produce very high quality movies."
After the Bunda premiere, Bagaluzi wants to move to Chancellor College in Zomba and Mzuzu University for the benefit of students.
The film-maker has a Bachelors Degree in Communication. He taught at Good Hope Private School and Ntonya International School.

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