Entertainment
Behind the Scenes of The Woman King with Obinna Onyeri

Behind the Scenes of The Woman King with Obinna Onyeri

Obinna Onyeri
Obinna Onyeri

The Woman King is not a typical movie in nearly every regard. This action film is set in the early nineteenth century in Africa and centers on the leader of an all-female army, and that’s just the starting point. With a plethora of subplots, the story touches on many points of social friction which the world finally seems ready to contemplate. The truth is that a film as exemplary as this (The Woman King led the Box Office in its opening week) is only possible when a great number of exceptional filmmaking professionals are involved throughout the numerous stages of the film. Obinna Onyeri is one of these essential pieces which led to the greatness of The Woman King. Hired by (Emmy Nominee) Teri Shropshire to ensure the stability of the process in numerous ways, Mr. Onyeri was thrilled to be aboard the film as he states, “It was one of the best experiences I have had so far in my career, not only because the industry giants I worked with made it such a pleasurable experience but also the amount of knowledge gained working on a studio film of this magnitude. I left the project a better and greater filmmaker thanks to the esteemed Gina Prince-Bythewood, who is an incredible mentor. It’s often said that company culture starts from the top, Gina has set a high standard for me on how to gracefully run a diverse team, where every voice matters and is heard, hence setting the film up for success. Gina and Teri are masters at what they do, and I was able to get a first-hand experience with their collaborative style/approach. The Woman King triumphing to No 1 at the U.S. domestic box office on its opening weekend is the icing on the cake. I’m so proud to be part of such a magnificent, ground-breaking, and culture shifting film.”

Obinna Onyeri on the Red Carpet
Obinna Onyeri on the Red Carpet

   Just a mention of a few of those involved in The Woman King: the aforementioned Gina Prince-Bythewood (Daytime Emmy Awards Nominated, Film Independent Spirit Award Winner, Hugo Award Winner, Image Award Winner), Viola Davis (Academy Award Winner, BAFTA Award Winner, Primetime Emmy Award Winner), John Boyega (BAFTA Award Winner, Golden Globes Winner), Lashana Lynch (BAFTA Award Winner), Aisha Coley (Primetime Emmy Winner), Terence Blanchard (Academy Award Nominee, BAFTA Award Nominee, Primetime Emmy Award Nominee)…the list seems infinite regarding those both in front of and away from the camera who contributed their own greatness to this magnificent film. With so many moving parts, it’s a safe assumption that a negative “domino effect” could impede the production at any point. In the post-production, Obinna was the engineer who was prescient of obstacles and coordinated to elude these. Carefully scheduling and maintaining a veritable library of meetings, liaising between the Studio and the Post-production office, being present for screenings, and providing feedback; it’s nearly impossible to define the scope of duties that he was responsible for. It’s obvious that his great attention to detail and thorough understanding as a filmmaker are the reasons that he was enlisted to work on The Woman King. Obinna sees the greatest importance as the sense of culture which is cultivated in a team such as this. He relates, “The importance of ‘building a solid film community’ is something I gained from my experience on The Woman King. A film community made up of people you can always bring on board your next project(s). The film industry is a collaborative field, and when you find people who are very much in sync with your creative approach, you hold on to these people.”

The Woman King exhibits that which all films aspire to, a unique personality that sets it apart. Yes, there are many recognizable faces but that familiarity dissipates quickly as events unfold. There are many incredible aspects of the film including the performances, the effects, the visual language, the music, but there also exists an intangible trait that can only be a product of the special group of professionals recognizing greatness as it emerged. The Woman King is a triumph of storytelling. Obinna Onyeri and all of his collaborators have shown with this film that greatness is a product of the many rather than the few.

Writer : Winston Scott

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