For those looking to pursue screen writing #TakeThisAdvice:
Just do. This industry is full of people who procrastinate. The easiest thing to do is talk about the writing. The hardest thing to is to actually write. If you want to be a writer and want to make a change just do it. Don’t complain!
“Gone Too Far” has received a massive positive response from the Black community in the UK. With that said, we might just place in here that they’re planning to film the second sequel to the comedy in Nigeria!
I’m working on Gone Too Far II, which is called ‘Gone To Africa’; where the characters go to Nigeria. So I’m really excited about that.
That’s thanks to the words of amazing screenwriter of the movie Bola Agbaje, who gave us the synopsis of the movie.
“Gone Too Far is about two brothers and their journey in the streets of Peckham… there’s more to the story than what it is about in terms of social acceptance, belonging, stereotypes and figuring out where you belong really.”
Alongside producer Christian Granier III, the film gained successful funding under the British Film Institute’s (BFI) First Feature Fund. With that funding, the team were able to get a Casting Director to stage the characters, as well as production and paper work. As Bola Agbaje states, “everything has to be done in a certain way in order for it to be legit”.
The screenwriter is a popular name in the world of theatre and has produced a whirlwind of plays. Taking her first steps into a 10-week course once a week under the Royal Court’s Young Writer’s Program. Where she produced plays such as “Belong”, “The End” starring Ashley Walters, “Detaining Justice” and “Gone Too Far”; which in 2007 it was a theatre play for a short run and the massive success saw the play have mini-tours in the Hackney Theatre as well as the Royal Court in 2008. Since then, she’s won the Laurence Olivier Award and Woman of Future Award for her ground breaking writing that all have a foundation that is kept in the hearts of many Blacks.
Most of my plays are about the experience of the diaspora African. Majority of the time it’s about the characters trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in the UK or where their sense of home is.
With that said, she’s the reason why we consider her a trailblazer of a new generation that are telling unique experiences that are taken from the realities of life. Many of will relate to Bola Agbaje as majority of parents are first generation immigrants while many the offspring who have easily adapted to the British life are second generation immigrants. With this mind, Agbaje creates stories that not only reflects the variety of the Black diaspora but the uniqueness of the stories the resource of amazing discoveries of intriguing storytelling of diverse journeys.
We have a connection to another place as well as a connection to England. I feel there is a new rise of filmakers; that includes directors, writers and actors who have different experiences that they draw upon when they’re creating work. There’s so much more coming out, there is a big moving taking place and there’s so much more of aspiring actors, writers, directors. I think its something great.
From this generation alone, the UK has seen a rise of new talent. Such as Noel Clarke, Adam Deacon, Jessica Bianca Sula, Lucien Laviscount, Sebastian Thiel or some of the Breakthrough Brits Katie Leung and filmaker of this movie, Destiny Ekaragah.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa5c5Oxuvts&w=560&h=315]
Of course, we can’t forget the stars of the movie who are also part of this movement. Shanika Warren-Markland has been in movies “4, 3, 2,1”, “Adulthood”, as well as “Demons Never Die” and “The Skinny”. Malachi Kirby is a recognised actor in movies such as “My Brother the Devil” and “My Murder”. Tosin Cole has done amazing acting work in “Eastender’s E20”, “The Cut” and present “Hollyoaks”. and .Adelayo Adedayo is a popular face in BBC Three’s “Some Girls” in additional to her television appearance in“The Bill”, “Skins” as well as film “Sket”.
…the actors in the film are all amazing people. They’re so talented. You want to work with people who want to work and love the job that they do — that makes your life easier.
The shocking move in “Gone Too Far” to have all Black casts is given Bola Agbaje the respect and public statement that she’s isn’t going to succumb to the demands of the industry. She defends her move by asking a serious question:
Why can’t we be who we are?
Afterall, aren’t they a global majority? As many can recall, the Black community are either minored into a stereotype that pushes them into a box; with media being the propaganda backdrop to benefit from the idea.
We don’t get to tell our stories that much. So what happens is you get…when you’re telling a story that one story has to represent the whole Black race; and we varied too.
“Gone Too Far” has created a promising new change of perceptions about Black people, in relation to the world as well as themselves and each other.
On the one hand what I’m really happy about is people didn’t expect to see our film and not like it…it exceeds their expectation because they go with a mindset of what to expect. They see the characters with the hoodie…they think they know what they’re getting. They think they’re getting guns, knives and complaints about living in Peckham — and they don’t get that experience. For me it means that I have a place in the industry. I’m able to tell the stories that I want to tell in the ways that I want to tell them.
The internet was the platform of the massive reviews of attendees. The success of the sequel has seen the film getting a screening in 15 selected cinemas across London. Even now, more cinemas are placing it on their screen schedules. From reading the reviews from Twitter, the film wasn’t only a laugh, it was relative to the unique stories only those in the community can understand. As Bola Agbaje notes about viewers in relation to movies:
People look to film see a mirror of themselves.
Telling stories has been taken from Agbaje’s upbringing. As of African descendent, family values is everything and therefore coming from a big family, the writer remembers sharing the experiences by watching television films.
Like most of my memories as a young person or as a young child was sharing the experience of watching films with my siblings as well as my friends and family…that has attracted me into telling stories.
Nigeria has a thriving Nollywood. Despite being born in England, the screenwriter is aware of the film industry in Nigeria and recalls her share of watching a countless selection of Nollywood movies under the Nollywood Movies Channel on Sky. While her parents have preferred Nollywood films even before migrating to England.
My parents always watched Nollywood films. I used to watch so much Nollywood films because it was strictly relative to our world. Especially my mum and dad’s world. In general, I just love watching films that tell good stories; unique stories that haven’t been told before.
Agbaje acknowledges the thriving nation on the continent about the one thing that reflects the minority complex tease in the West — the colour of skin. Whether the movie is there for entertainment or to bring out an important message about life, Nollywood movies allows viewers to take something that they can cherish. Variations of characters is relevant and skin colour is irrelevant. Unlike the West where having an all black cast is considered unattractive to major film companies in the West, an all Black cast is a common normal thing.
That’s where I want to go as a writer, where the colour of my characters’ skin won’t be an issue.
With the film project completed, Destiny Ekaragha and Bola Abaje are working hard on creating an online platform alongside her business partner Clive Honsworth under her production company Too Far Media.
What we’re trying to do is put more work online. Hopefully create something new and give people more varied work.
Bola Agbaje is here to tell her stories that are raw and yet true to the diaspora. Even though this is a big deep in the big pond that has proven successful, the screenwriter has already started something that could make her one of the greatest screenwriters from the Black community that Britain has ever seen.
To Bola Agbaje, it isn’t really about the money, it’s about making the misrepresented to be represented in a realistic justified manner that can inspire, laugh and mirror the different variations of one race across the diaspora.