[INTERVIEW] Creative and Multi talented Badeji Adebayo Shares Insights on Theatre, Film, and Set Designing – A Journey of Innovation and Collaboration

Badeji Adebayo is a multi-talented creative professional who wears several hats, including those of a skilled set designer, an accomplished filmmaker, and a knowledgeable theatre art lecturer. With an impressive portfolio of work, He is known for his creative flair and innovative ideas, which have won him accolades.

In this interview, we delve into his career, the challenges he has faced, and his insights into the world of art and entertainment.

OfficialUniqueBlog: What inspired you to pursue a career in theatre, film making, and set designing, and how did you get started in this field?

Badeji Adebayo: My journey into theatre, film making, and set designing wasn’t a straight path. When I was younger, I used to play with my mom’s shower maker’s hammer, throwing it away and sometimes into the gutter, which showed my interest in creating and manipulating objects. However, when I was in secondary school, I was advised to go into art courses after excelling in subjects pertaining to arts, despite my initial dream of becoming an electrical engineer. I started in science class but eventually switched to art class, where I initially chose to study law.

I was at Law school at one point, then I later tried studying political science, history, guardian and counseling before finally settling on performing arts. Even though I was fed up with the process at this point, I decided to make the most of my time in performing arts.

In my first year in performing arts, I observed a senior production that was ongoing and became intrigued. On the third day, I approached them and offered to help, and a senior gave me a trial. From there, I started assisting others and picked up an interest in set design. That experience allowed me to start developing my craft in theatre, film making, and set designing, and I’ve been pursuing it ever since.

OfficialUniqueBlog: What is your creative process like when approaching a new project?

Badeji Adebayo: When approaching a new project, my creative process typically begins with either an idea or a script. From there, I assess whether or not I’ve tackled a similar project before and reflect on what I could have done differently or how I can improve. Research is a crucial component of my creative process, as I like to immerse myself in the subject matter to gain inspiration and gather ideas.

Another important aspect of my creative process is collaboration. My wife, in particular, has been instrumental in providing me with valuable design ideas. She has a keen eye for detail and has helped me overcome creative blocks in the past. I believe that no idea or input is too small to consider, and I am always open to suggestions from others.

Ultimately, my creative process is about constantly pushing myself to improve and striving to create something unique and impactful.

OfficialUniqueBlog: What are some common mistakes that you see beginning set designers make, and how can they avoid them?

Badeji Adebayo: My advice for beginning designers is to focus on developing their skills and passion for designing, rather than solely focusing on making money. Set designing should be viewed as a hobby or a passion first, before it becomes a source of income. The money will eventually come when you become skilled and established in the field. Therefore, prioritize improving your craft and building a strong foundation in designing before focusing on monetary gain.

OfficialUniqueBlog: Can you walk us through a challenging project you worked on and how you overcame any obstacles during the process?

Badeji Adebayo: I had three challenging projects and two was from a popular musical video director, I was contracted by a senior colleague of mine when he had so much work on him, he gave me part of the job to help him execute and he gave me three days that the job should be done on Tuesday, and he called back in the evening telling me that the job will be needed the second day and to get to the set where the project was to be done was a little bit far cause of the traffic and I still had to buy materials to be used, so, on getting to the set, I and my fellow members started building on the project and while we were still on it, with God’s assistance, the rain started falling, everyone had to run to a shade and before the rain stopped, we were done with it.

The second one was given to me December last year by the same colleague contracting me for another job and the job was that I was to make a live cobwebs that must be visible to the camera and human. It was to be in a dark place, I brainstormed, tried different kinds of techniques, called to ask for ideas but it wasn’t coming forth and then I got a call from my wife sending me a picture and telling me to try the material out and see how it goes and it came out to be the best.

The last one was to make a prison van early this year for a particular film project and getting in contact with the prison heads, I was told they couldn’t release it for security reasons. And in theatre, the show must go on which means “use what is around you to make a performance”. And yes, it was a challenging one to make a van but it was really worth it to prove myself.

OfficialUniqueBlog: How do you collaborate with other creatives, such as directors, actors, and fellow designers, to bring a production to life?

Badeji Adebayo: You know in the creative industry, for creative performance, it takes a village, a community to make a performance. As a professional, you must never argue with your director in production, you listen and accept their ideas first even though it’s not a good one, then in their free time, you go back to your director and lay down your ideas to him and see how it being worked and been accepted. Collaboration is the key and also, your work depends on another person.

OfficialUniqueBlog: What are some of the important skills and qualities that you think are necessary for success in this industry?

Badeji Adebayo: There are three things for me that are important which are:
– Communication Skill is very important.
– Know your art, that is to say, know what you are doing and the third one is,
– Keep learning.

OfficialUniqueBlog: Can you share a project or production that you are particularly proud of and explain why it stands out for you?

Badeji Adebayo: I am proud of all my projects, I don’t have any special projects, I don’t see any project as special because the effort I will give to a fifty thousand naira project is the same effort I will give to a fifty million naira project, so I rarely see any project as exceptionally special.

OfficialUniqueBlog: As a theatre lecturer, how do you motivate and inspire your students to be creative and explore new ideas in their work?

Badeji Adebayo: well, as a lecturer, apart from teaching them what is in the book which is the major thing, sometimes, I teach them how it is in real life, the real application, how to make budgets, all those things that are not in the curriculum and for some special students that I see their passion for this job, I make them my assistants on set and pay them.

OfficialUniqueBlog: How do you stay current with new technology, trends, and techniques in the theatre and film industry?

Badeji Adebayo: I research, I keep learning, I keep reading books, I update myself both free and paid classes because Knowledge is not cheap.

OfficialUniqueBlog: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in pursuing a career in theatre art, film making, and set designing?

Badeji Adebayo: my advice is that you can do it. My watchword is “If you can think about it, you can achieve it”. So, think about it, and you will achieve it.

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