Main Article Content

A technical report on the virtual production of <i>Marginalized Ears</i> in a pandemic era

Charles Okwuowulu
Chinda Michael


The Covid-19 (corona virus) pandemic and its attendant lockdown in Nigeria stifled physical productions and unlocked limitless possibilities for virtual productions. Having observed that rural dwellers constitute 49.66 percent of the total Nigerian population as at 2018, according to the National  Population Commission (NPC), and having observed that the media focus in Nigeria is mostly urban-driven, some lecturers in the Department of Theatre  Arts, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria, embarked on a Theatre for Development (TfD) research to substantiate  the mental state of the under informed, who constitute a significant segment of the Nigerian population in the hinterlands. The research aims at  demystifying the burgeoning misinformation, rumours, claims and misconceptions about Covid-19 that circulate among these rural dwellers. This paper  recounts the Virtual Production Techniques (VPTs) adopted in the production of the TfD documentary as most of the producers were in different states  (the trio of Ameh Denis Akoh, Charles Emokpae and Chinda Michael - Abakaliki, Charles Okwuowulu - Enugu, Casmir Onyemuchara - Owerri, and  Christopher Akpa - Nsukka) of the South Eastern geopolitical zone of Nigeria, at the time of the virtual production. The technical report underpins the  virtual techniques adopted in co-creating a video script on corona virus in Igbo dialect of the community dwellers (spread across Abakaliki, Enugu, and  Nsukka with the aim of determining the level of (mis)information that has permeated these communities as well as developing strategies for the virtual  TfD documentary production. The technical report will not focus on the objectives of the TfD research but on the director’s (Charles Okwuowulu’s) and  editor’s (Chinda Michael’s) perspectives and contributions towards virtual documentary production in the pandemic era. The researchers used the  participant observation and literary methods to conduct the research. It was found that VPTs are more cost effective than the traditional production  techniques, if planned and utilised properly. This article concluded that the virtual production technique can be applied not only to movies, but also to  documentary films, at no extra cost. It recommended that filmmakers who feel restricted by the pandemic or any such situation should apply the VPT to  keep working, as it will basically allow for the adherence to the rules and regulations setup by local authorities, to prevent or curtail the spread of the  corona virus. 

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562