Oboh Richard, CEO of Lagos-based animation house Orange VFX Studios, talks to Content Nigeria about his first animation series of the year, Ovie vs Wale, his company and journey through animation.
Can you tell us about yourself and what motivated you to pursue animation?
I loved stories and video games like most kids. By chance, I stumbled across Maya software during my third year at the university. Before long, I realised the demand for animation was quite high but limited in the number of creators. I seized the opportunity and decided to devote my life to becoming a professional animator or digital content creator after school.
Tell us about Orange VFX Studios and its impact as regards telling inspiring African stories both locally and globally.
I founded Orange VFX back in 2010, a year after completing NYSC. I started working alone from my family house in Sapele, Delta state, occasionally travelled to Benin and eventually relocated to Lagos state to seek opportunities for my new business. Over time we grew to hire more than 25 staff working full time.
Initially starting with advertising, it was not long before I realised the true purpose of animation was storytelling. Hence I developed the characters Ovie and Wale as a proof of concept to delve into satirical comedy to entertain and help ordinary people escape from the challenges of reality and everyday life. We have worked with numerous clients like DStv, MTN, Airtel, African Union, Oando, various banks and much more.
We would like to know about some of your series that have already been produced and where they can be watched.
We only have the Ovie vs Wale series at the moment. We have a few client contents under development, some of which we can’t share details yet. Another series we have been working on is Gon-Gon and we will share details soon. You can find the content on our social media handles, YouTube channel and website.
Ovie vs Wale is your first series. Can you give us a brief on what to expect and where it will be aired?
It is a high-energy action-comedy about two friends turned enemies who battle it out over the most mundane issues. We have not yet decided on its distribution but hope to sign up with major platforms like Netflix or DStv and even have telcos on board.
Having been the Lagos International Festival of Animation (LIFANIMA) Award winner twice in a row, how does that make you feel, and do you anticipate more wins in the future?
Winning LIFANIMA twice has helped us get recognition in Nigeria as a leading content creator. We hope to enter international festivals to represent Nigeria and Africa.
What is your view on the African animation industry as a whole?
We are very optimistic about African animation. We are officially the first Autodesk Authorised Training Centre in West Africa and have trained over 500 people in various skills to date. The animation industry will grow and develop into a multimillion-dollar industry in the next few years and become a primary source of employment for our youth. We are excited to spearhead that growth and value chain.