The Ghana Movie Industry is growing steadily, however it is still difficult for new actors to be casted for ‘big’ roles. According to the movie producers, such roles are reserved for only known actors because their faces can sell the movies.
Budding actor, Albert Dzah says he and his colleagues were labeled audition stars because they attended every audition. He currently has three television series running; ‘Trapped in the Cage’ on TV3, ‘The Miser’ on GTV and ‘Super Broadway’ on Metro TV and GhOne.
Albert Dzah opens up about what led to the ‘audition star’ tag to GhanaGist.Com.
Happy New Year!
Many happy returns bro. I think we have not met this year. So Happy New Year too!
Introduce yourself. Who his Albert Dzah?
My name is Albert Dzah. I’m a young man. I’m a very free person, dynamic. I’m friendly, very honest. A trained Accountant.
How is the industry treating you?
Well, it’s been okay, it’s been alright. I’m doing project here and there. I wouldn’t say it’s bad.
We are in 2014. Any projects for you?
Yes, 2014 holds the best. I foresee lots of projects in 2014. The current one is ‘Any More Women?’ which is being premiered. You need to watch that movie.
What are some of the projects you are doing now?
I have some series on television now. I have ‘Trapped in the Cage’ on TV3. I have ‘The Miser’ on GTV. I have ‘Super Broadway’ on Metro TV and GhOne. Those are the TV series I have now. ‘Any More Women?’ will come out soon. I also have a project which is Ghana and South Africa collaboration movie which will come out in the middle of the year.
It’s always difficult for a new face to break through. What’s your story?
It’s been very very tough!
Gone were the days that I could say that, we trek to auditions. We were labeled audition stars. You know what that means? We were stars at auditions. You only find us at auditions. We go for every audition and they wouldn’t give you any role, they will only call you and give you some extra role.
But you see, at the end of the day, you put yourself into it. I think that all those days of struggling and hustling is paying now because gradually we are getting into the limelight. And I will cast my mind back and say it was a very long journey but we certainly getting into our destination.
How rewarding is the business.
Then why are you still doing it?
Passion. It’s a passion. I always say that, acting is a passion for me. I’m a trained Accountant and acting is a passion for me. I love to act. That’s just it, if not I wouldn’t be in it. It’s not like there is some money coming from it. But the passion I derive from it. I just love to act.
How far do you want to go with acting?
As far as it will take me. I’m looking at going international. I have done some international project, some commercial in South Africa. I will be shooting a movie soon. As far as it will take me, I will go.
Aside the audition challenges, are there other challenges?
The challenge I experience most is with producers and directors not ready to use new faces.
Why? I have to ask them. They are bent on using the old faces and I think one of the reasons is because they feel they can make money out of them. The producers want to make money; the marketers want to make money. So they use the face that people know. My question is how do you introduce a new face when they continue to use the old faces? How do you get new faces to replace or reckon with the old faces?
Do you think movie making should be about making money?
No way! If it’s about money making then I won’t be here. I will probably be somewhere else doing other things. It’s not about the money. It shouldn’t be about money. It should be the passion derived from it. It should be something you like doing. Not chasing the money. The money is the reward but that shouldn’t be your main target. If you go for the money, then you go for the chaff. Most of the times, they don’t get the right product out of the movies because they just want to put on the market and make money. They don’t look for the content and that’s the problem we are facing in the industry.
Now let’s talk about the directors you have worked with.
A lot! I have worked with a lot of them. But as at now, there are two directors that I love and appreciate most, one is Oheneba Acheampong. He directed the ‘Any More Women?’ movie. Most people do not know him but I love him because he challenges you to get what he wants. It’s not like you just act and go your way, no. He wants something. He knows the picture he wants to portray in the movie and you need to give him that picture, else he’s not stopping. That’s somebody who loves his job.
And the second person?
Pascal Amanfo. He is creative and a goal-getter. He gets what he wants in every artiste. When you meet people who write scripts and they are directing, they go to the extra mile to make sure they get what they want in the actors. You don’t just read and act something, they want what they want to portray in the movie.
I also like and appreciate Shirley Frimpong-Manso of Sparrow Productions. I have worked with almost every director in the industry but looking forward to work with Leila Djansi one day. I think she’s been doing a great work and it would be an opportunity to feature in her movie.
Are you a member of the Ghana Actors Guild?
No. I’m not a member.
Why are you not a member?
It’s an association right? I tried asking questions about them. What they are doing. Ever since I joined the Ghana Industry, I have not seen what the Guild is doing for the industry.
What do you think they are not doing right?
I propose that the Guild should be proactive. They should seek to be the mouthpiece and fight for capital investment in the industry. We should have a place we can call our ‘Hollywood’, where every movie maker can just go there and create a set out of the location. A place you can get anything you need to do a movie, location, costume, equipment etc.
Right here in South Africa, they have such facility and they have a place where you can get all your props and costume locations etc for film. That is what I expect the Ghana Actors Guild to champion.
Your last words
I entreat our producers and directors to open their nets a bit wider to embrace the up and coming actors because there is a lot in store. We have a small industry here in Ghana compare to Nigeria. But we are not exploiting our actors or exploring new and talented actors.
We are just maintaining the same and old known faces. I don’t think that will help, lets reach out for the up and coming.