• Tunji Akinsehinwa
    Tunji Akinsehinwa

    Tunji Akinsehinwa

    • Nigeria
    • Cinematography

    Tunji Akinsehinwa replied 20th May '14:

    Often creating more with less materialises when we find ourselves in situations where we don’t have sufficient means to produce whatever it is we need. In Nigeria or even Africa this is very much the case. Mechanics will carry out repairs on a car without the sophisticated power tools of a garage in the UK. Filmmakers produce films in half the time it takes to shoot a film in the Hollywood. Cafeterias cook food on a wood fire or tiny hob without the multi hob cookers and kitchen utensils found in a restaurant in the Paris. Circumstance is what enables people to create more with less. Hence the key to creating more with less is our own creativity, which we all possess to varying degrees.

    Socially and economically we have been convinced that in order to achieve more we need more. Buy a microwave to cook your meals quicker and you’ll have time to do extra in your day or buy the latest pad or mobile phone, which allows you to accomplish more while on the move. Whether this is true or not is up for debate but it is clear that to an extent we tend to rely less on our own personal creativity. I think back to when I was a child and there were no computer games and endless TV channels. As children we fashioned our own entertainment, and in Nigeria where the average family cannot afford such luxuries it is still very much the same. Here a child can play all day with whatever is within their immediate surroundings.

    My personal experience of this is working on a feature film as a cinematographer so perhaps I can use this an illustration. The production designer had zero budgets no props and no sets. Yet he had to recreate a small pharmacy, and five different house interiors on our single location, which was a ghetto. He achieved this and with great success by using what was in the immediate environment. His was a case of creativity combined with enterprise and the ability to see beyond not what he didn’t have but what he did have. Items that appeared as rubbish to us, to the creative eye were objects to be utilised.

    There is, of course, a perfectly good argument that the greater resources one has the more we can create but if I might use Nigeria and it’s film industry again, How does a country with an erratic power supply, a majority of the populace earn a $1 a day, and with limited production resources build the 3rd largest film industry in the world in under 25 years?

    On a much larger scale if we are to believe the figures that the world is haemorrhaging resources or that the increasing population will soon outstrip what the world can produce then the need to generate the maximum from the minimum is greater than ever. Maybe we underestimate our ability to do this because we have already succumbed to the belief that we require in abundance to create in abundance but there will come a time when the need to produce more with less will be a necessity.


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