After years of fighting for survival on the streets of Lagos, twin brothers – Wale (Falz) and Akin (Tobi Bakre) – end up on opposite sides of the law. The bonds of brotherhood are put to the ultimate test when one joins a task force that must bring down the other and his gang.
Brotherhood is a Nollywood action film like none other. Widely touted as the biggest crime-action film ever shot in Nigeria, it features an array of highly-acclaimed performers, intriguing plot twists, and stunts that happen to be ‘real’. This star-studded piece was written by Jade Osiberu (Sugar Rush). It was produced by Greoh Studios, and edited by Martini Akande, who has made an indelible contribution to the storytelling of the film with his crispy editing skills.
In his role as the film editor, Akande was in charge of assembling footage, manipulating graphics and sounds, and ultimately ‘putting it all together’ to produce the seamless two-hour film currently showing in cinemas across Africa. This makes him one of the most important people in the post-production of Brotherhood, which he describes as ‘the most ambitious project he has ever worked on.’
Here are 10 things you should know about Martini Akande, the professional film and video editor, who did a thing with editing, on the highly-acclaimed action flick, Brotherhood.
Martini Akande is an all-round Filmmaker
Akande is a professional film and video editor, colorist, and post-production consultant. He is also a filmmaker and producer.
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“I’m an all-round film maker,” he said. “When I’m not editing, I’m most likely producing or managing a production.” He also describes himself as a mechanic, who “joins cuts together to make them work as a unit,” a collaborator, an artist, and a storyteller. Additionally, he is the Senior Editor and Head of Post Production at Greoh Studios.
He got into Video Editing because He Wanted to Make Films
“I got into editing because I wanted to make films, but I had no one to edit them,” Martini Akande revealed. “So, I started editing my short films myself, and from there, people started giving me their own to edit. Now, here we are.”
Brotherhood is not His First Blockbuster Film
Prior to Brotherhood, Akande edited a number of big Nollywood titles including Glamour Girls streaming on Netflix, Fault Lines showing on SHOWMAX and Nneka, the Pretty Serpent as well as Road2Blow, a documentary film that screened at AFRIFF 2021.
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He has been a Professional Film Editor for Less than a Decade.
“I have been working professionally for 5 – 6 years. Yeah, I’m about six years deep into editing movies professionally. ”
Akande may not have worked on dozens of feature films (yet), but he has amassed an impressive portfolio of some of the biggest titles in Nollywood in a short period, making him one of the fastest rising film editors in the industry.
Akande Started out with Short Films and Continues to Make Them
Akande began his career by editing short films like Musomania, which he co-created with Taiwo Egunjobi. In more recent times, he has edited short films like FUPA, Mighty and Crushed Roses.
He also made the Trailer for Brotherhood
“Brotherhood is the biggest action film to be shot in Nigeria. So, you have to come correct, you have to deliver. There was a little bit of pressure to meet the expectations of the film. You know, a lot of people saw when they were shooting the film. They’ve seen the promo and everything. So, you coming in as the one editing it – and putting it all together – is a lot of pressure. So, the first thing I did was that I paused the editing and went to cut a trailer. When I cut that trailer and realized that everybody loved it and all that, it kind of boosted my confidence. That trailer was like a test, like, ‘Let me even test the waters, let me see what is going on outside.’ Immediately that happened, I just got that confidence back. So, that was it. ”
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Brotherhood Stands out from the Previous Works of Martini Akande
“What makes Brotherhood stand out is that it is daring. It is ambitious. It is the most ambitious project I’ve ever worked on. It’s like Jade wanted to go all out. Everything was real, you know. All the stunts were real. But you have to make them look better in your editing; the punches, the jumps, the flying, the kicks – everything. So, what makes it different is the stakes – the energy. This film wanted to be the biggest action film out of Nollywood ever. So, I had to come correct. When I started seeing the rushes, when I saw what had been shot, I knew that yes, I had to match the footage and the energy of what had gone into what was in front of me.”
His Inspiration for His Work on Brotherhood came from Everything He Had Picked Up Along the Way
“Brotherhood came at a point when I really wanted to get on something like this. I’m that person that sees a film and goes like, ‘Oh wow, I would love to do this on a film.’ I’ve seen films and I really wanted to replicate the things I’ve seen in those films, but I’ve always had this feeling of, ‘Oh, nobody shoots like this in Nigeria. I cannot do this on a Nigerian film. Nobody is going to shoot that way. Nobody thinks that way.’ But when I saw what they did with Brotherhood, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is finally the time for me to flex my muscles, to put all those things that I have wanted to do for a while into practice.’ So, I will just say I was inspired by the things I had seen, things that I have always wanted to replicate. Yeah, inspiration came from everything I have picked up along the way. ”
He is a Fan of His Work
“I watched this movie myself. I went to sit in the cinema with the fans, and the reception was loud. Apart from the fact that I worked on it, I’m actually vouching for it independently. So this is me, being a fan of the film, saying, ‘Hey, go and watch it. This is the bomb.’ Omo, to those who are skeptical about the movie, just go and try. I understand that Nollywood has disappointed the fans. The fans are sometimes unhappy, and they don’t want to put their money in something they will hate, but I am promising that this one is not like any other film. I mean, y’all saw the trailer now. C’mon! A good film has to come out of that trailer. ”
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He Has a Few Projects in the Works
Apart from his personal projects, Martini Akande will most likely be involved in the post-production of upcoming Greoh Studios films. So, watch out for him.
- Oluwatomisin Olorunfemi is a freelance writer, essayist, poet and a current fellow of Film Journalism with Inside Nollywood.