After perusing my reflections on the recent African movie series, Fatal Seduction, many fans felt I was too lenient towards the producers. Allow me to clarify: Fatal Seduction’s version of The Dark Desire is not the first time African movie producers have borrowed an entire script from a movie that most African viewers may not have seen. Years ago, when Nollywood movies started gaining popularity overseas, I invited some friends to my studio to watch African films. A few minutes into the film, one of my friends pointed out that the idea had been stolen from A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, starring Martin Lawrence and others.
As we progressed through the movie, my friends lost interest, and we decided to watch the original version instead. I was shocked because the producers of that particular African film never credited or acknowledged those behind the original production. This made me lose interest in watching Nollywood films since many lacked originality.
However, it’s not only African filmmakers who are guilty of this; many African musicians also reap huge benefits from this copycat practice. Unfortunately, it has gone unnoticed by most music lovers for years. Our people follow popular trends and catchy melodies without realizing when a musician has lifted an entire melody from another song. If you dare point it out, some might label you as jealous. The copycat syndrome is prevalent in Nigerian music and sadly, original creators rarely receive any credit.
The producers of Fatal Seduction did not pay me as an influencer to promote their series. How many African actors would be willing to strip down or perform simulated love scenes? Are Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, and Stephanie Okereke bold enough? Many African actors (especially Nigerians) fear a public backlash if they step outside their comfort zones in life-changing movies. Instead, they often focus on producing films centered around witches, wizards, and native doctors. Very few of them genuinely create mind-blowing movies that you would want to watch repeatedly.
In Fatal Seduction, the actors were bold; if I hadn’t seen the original version, I could have spent a perfect day watching Fatal Seduction over and over again. This sets it apart from other African movies available on Netflix. Based on these factors, I gave it a five-star rating.
alla-Bama (Maziyke) is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and music producer based in New York City.
Fashion & Style: Pascal André Heimlicher – the dreamer whose dream came true
Pascal André Heimlicher – the dreamer whose dream came true
TNC-NY: Pascal André Heimlicher is a talented fashion and portrait photographer from Switzerland, whose sensual works were featured on the pages of such big magazines like Vogue, GQ, Maxim, Playboy, and others. World Fashion Channel was lucky enough to have him as a photographer for the World Fashion Calendar 2020 project and to have not only the hottest pictures but a lot of fun. How did Pascal manage to retrain from the website developer for the great photographer? We bet that his story will motivate you to change something in your life!
The pandemic ruined all his plans – a trip to Los Angeles was postponed indefinitely, the main part of jobs was lost, a small studio in Zurich, usually serving as a working place, became an unplanned haven for several months. Nevertheless, always smiling and cheerful Pascal Heimlicher retained his fortitude and positive attitude and is already working hard on new projects. We ventured to interrupt the creative process for an hour to talk with Pascal about what he’s doing now, how the new realities have affected his life and career (spoiler – positively!) and unlock the secret of his successful career.
Pascal, it’s so nice to have you with us again! How are you doing? What’s new with you?
I’m in Switzerland at the moment and It’s getting a little bit boring, because I watched almost all the TV shows and counted all cows outside. I think for one or two weeks it’s kind of funny to be focused on something at home, but I’m done! I just have to go out and to see my friends or any human being!
We all need it! What do you do in the self-isolations?
The place where I’m in now is quite small, so it serves more as a working spot rather than an apartment. That’s why I’m working every day here. I lost a lot of jobs because of the pandemic; all my projects are frozen for now and for the next several months. That forced me to get my brains out of neutral and to think about a “plan B”. So, now I’m producing a lot of webinars and tutorials for teaching people and it has already helped me to realize that I should do more new stuff not behind but in front of the camera.
For example, I was offered to make some online conferences in German and it was cool! I was teaching not about the technical side of the photography, but about things like how to communicate with models, etc. In the end, I got so many feedbacks from people! Looking at my works they expected to see a selfish, arrogant guy, but they found me inspiring and easy-going. They wanted to see Pascal Heimlicher instead of his pictures. This is what had broken my inner fears to be in front of the camera and made me make a new step in my career. And this is what I’m busy right now.
We never doubted that you look good in the frame! Were these webinars for beginner photographers or professionals?
It was for everybody. We had four photographers from different areas and it was very interesting and funny. You will have to see me more!
How did you start your career in photography?
It happened by accident. I was a website developer ten or twelve years ago; at that time, I first thought about the photographic process. At the very beginning, I realized that it was not as simple as I wanted it to be. Moreover, I had no camera and no idea about the lightning and other technical stuff, but I was lucky enough to take pictures of a professional model who had worked with us. Together we tried to do some fashion pictures and snaps for the modeling agency. That shooting showed me the real side of photography; it was not easy at all but so interesting at the same time. I fell in love with the process and was ready to work for weeks nonstop. There was only one problem – I had not two or three years for studying. That is why I decided to write some photographers with a proposal to be their assistant, I was going to learn everything through practice and real experience. It’s hard to believe but none of them refused me. After working with professional photographers, I delved into the study of the technical part by reading books about lightnings, exposition, and different techniques. One or two months later I have already made my first cover for a German magazine.
Your story is a real motivator! By the way, how could you describe your style of shooting?
When you look at my works you can see my fantasies and what is inside me. I have never tried to hide my thoughts, ideas, and personality behind the pictures. The most important thing is to be yourself. When I was young, I was spending too much time watching other photographers’ Instagram profiles and trying to copy their style. But one day I realized that it was the wrong way to go, so I focused on my vision and worldview. I was always inspired by strong female and sexual women, this is what I love. I want my works to reflect their unique energy and emotions. That’s it.
While on the subject of the inspiration, I don’t follow every photographer or model because if you do so you have all chances to lose yourself. That’s why I prefer to see the pictures of the photographers that I like in my news feed.
Have you ever faced with moody models or celebrities? What do you usually do to find common ground to work with them?
It happened quite often, but I think I am a very easy-going person and always try to think positive. But if I realize that I can’t work with a person I stop everything before the shooting. There is no sense to pretend and take pictures when you know that no one will be happy at the end.
Today some brands are shooting their campaigns via FaceTime, what is your attitude to the online photo sessions?
To be honest, I am always very skeptical of all innovations but at the same time I try to keep my mind open. Everything is getting digital today but why not? I did some FaceTime shootings too but it is not my thing. At the same time, I think that now more than ever, we should think out of the box and be more creative. The online photo sessions allow you to work easily with people from around the world, so it can be interesting, for sure.
You usually work with big magazines like Vogue, GQ, Maxim, and some global brands, so you probably see the current situation from the inside. What are your observations about what’s happening with the fashion industry now?
I have two thoughts about it in my mind. The first one is that luxury and fashion will never die because for many people these two things are equal to the dream. I think that sometimes it is more important to spend money on your dream than on food, so the fashion industry will be alive. The second one is that the pandemic has caused large losses in the publishing sector. Some worldwide famous magazines are getting more and more digital. I think this tendency will continue to spread in the fashion industry, but its complete extinction is out of the question.
Your advice to young photographers on how to be successful.
I tell everyone a very simple but wise thing – passion always leads to success. If you do what you like, you will be successful one day. People around will say to you that you are doing something wrong or even hate you; it is not a big deal. Just do what you love no matter what others say.
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