PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria – (Reuters) – With fists, flips and kicks, a Nigerian stunt crew is bringing blow-by-blow recreations of well-known combat scenes to Nollywood, aiming to place some muscle into a movie trade higher recognized for drama, comedy and romance.
The 15-member Xcel Theater, based mostly within the southern oil metropolis of Port Harcourt, began out posting dance and comedy routines on social media.
Final 12 months, the group started clashing swords, ducking kicks and flipping over surroundings to recreate a few of movie and tv’s most intense fights, together with “Into The Badlands”, “The Witcher” and “The Raid” in addition to scenes that includes actors like Jason Statham and Jet Li.
Now, producers who noticed their abilities have flown them to Lagos to choreograph motion sequences for upcoming movies in a bid to bolster the style inside Nollywood, a multibillion-greenback trade churning out films and TV reveals at a charge second solely to India’s Bollywood.
“This began on account of a ardour I’ve for inventive stunt works that I see in most huge movies,” mentioned Samuel Iyare, the 35-year-old founding father of Xcel, at a shoot in Port Harcourt.
Iyare, a fan of Hollywood motion movies, bankrolls shoots on as little as 30,000 nairas ($80) by making furnishings – an ability additionally helpful when creating props.
“We bring the sides,” he mentioned whereas holding a wood knife. “We paint it to offer us the texture of the weapon, then stain it with a little bit blood so as soon as you make the motions, it appears as if the individual has truly been minimized.”
Consideration to element introduced the crew to the eye of Nollywood filmmakers.
Olukiran Babatunde Olawale, a director and producer, drafted the group final October to choreograph stunts for Mamba Diamond, an action-comedy about two novice thieves who mistakenly steal one of many world’s most precious jewels, set for launch in Might.
“We had been very, very impressed,” mentioned Olawale, who sees a shiny future for Nollywood motion movies that includes the athleticism of contemporary expertise like Xcel. “They will be in a number of movie initiatives.”