Jagun Jagun on Netflix, An African Cinematic Marvel
Cinematic magic - that's exactly what you'll find in 'Jagun Jagun,' the epic Netflix original Yoruba film produced by Femi Adebayo Salami and Euphoria360 Media." This film, directed by Adebayo Tijani and Tope Adebayo Salami, features a star-studded cast, including Femi Adebayo, Adedimeji Lateef, Bimbo Ademoye, Faithia Balogun, Mr. Macaroni, Bukunmi Oluwasina, Ibrahim Yekini, and Muyiwa Ademola.
But how did the stunning visual effects of this action-packed; Yoruba mythology come to be?
I’m thrilled to guide you into the captivating world of outstanding African cinema, behind the scenes of "Jagun Jagun," where VFX marvels blend flawlessly with true cultural representation. As we go into the core of this cinematic masterpiece, you'll get the opportunity to hear directly from the VFX artist who brought this vision to life. This dialogue will offer a unique perspective from the artist who poured his ingenuity and expertise into each frame.
But our journey doesn't end there. We'll also look into the future of VFX for African filmmakers and investigate the remarkable initiatives that support innovation in our sector. Prepare for expert insights for those of you looking to create your footprint in the VFX world.
Jagun Jagun FAQ
Where else can I watch Jagun Jagun?
Jagun Jagun is currently only available to watch on Netflix.
Is Jagun Jagun a Yoruba movie?
Yes, Jagun Jagun is a Yoruba movie. It is spoken entirely in the Yoruba language.
Is Jagun Jagun a Netflix original?
Yes, Jagun Jagun is a Netflix original film. It was produced specifically for Netflix and is not available to watch on any other streaming service.
Where can I watch Jagun Yoruba movie?
Jagun Jagun is currently only available to watch on Netflix.
Does Netflix have Nigerian movies?
Yes, Netflix has a number of Nigerian movies available to watch. Some popular Nigerian movies on Netflix include:
King of Thieves
Omo Ghetto (The Saga)
What is the latest Yoruba epic movie on Netflix?
Jagun Jagun is the latest Yoruba epic movie on Netflix. It was released on Netflix on August 4, 2023.
Is Jagun Jagun on Prime Video?
No, Jagun Jagun is not on Prime Video. It is currently only available to watch on Netflix.
Meet David Davies: The CG Artistry Maestro
David Davies, a rising star CG artist based in Lagos, is known for fusing 2D and 3D media to create fascinating stories.
He is well-known for his work on "KING OF THIEVES," which dominated Amazon Prime and Nigerian theatres. He also did
outstanding work on the Netflix series "JAGUN JAGUN" and "LEAGUE OF ORISHAS." David's artistic path started with conventional media like acrylic painting and pencil sketching, and he now has experience in character design, modelling, and rendering. His experience in the fine arts, graphic design, and dedication to ongoing professional development have all contributed to his reputation as a visionary storyteller in the field of computer-generated imagery (CG) creativity.
Early Life’s Influence and Becoming a CG Artist
How has your early life shaped your path to becoming a CG Artist?
I went through a lot of processes to get to where I am now. My early life was quite rough. My whole journey started when I was very little. I knew that I was very dramatic and very creative. Before I even knew what art as a concept was, I always imagined a lot of stories in my head, and I'd make sure to draw them on either paper or the sandy floor of my nursery school after closing while I waited for my parents to come and pick me up.
When I got to Primary school, there was this subject we took, which was CCA (Cultural and Creative Arts) I fell in love with it a lot, I think it was my favourite subject then because I put in a lot of energy and I started falling in love with the concept of art itself but as a kid. I still didn't know what I wanted, I just knew I loved this way of life and it was interesting to me. There were times I just created imaginary characters and started creating a story for them in my head and scribbled at the back of my notes, so during lunch break, my classmates gathered around me while I scribbled and told them stories and made everyone happy. I can remember I got flogged for that a lot of times.
I was inspired by my dad too and how much he was dedicated to what he did. He was an Artisan, he also loved work of art, he painted, he did carpentry, he designed the traditional way (before Adobe software were popular) …, just a bit of everything and he is a man I admired a lot because of his zeal and strength he put into his work the fact that he loved what he did. These also added immensely to how I took my passion for art even as a kid. My Dad is a man who believes in doing things excellently and perfectly, so in every work he does, he does it zealously and excellently which also inspires me. There were times when my dad would create dolls for me and my younger brother from the remains of planks and other materials he worked with because he didn't have money to get actual toys for us
After primary school, I knew I liked fine art so when I was going to do my promotional exam, I wanted to go to a school where they also did fine art, so I was enthusiastic about it. When I got to Secondary school, I was introduced to some comic books and I got inspired by them. One of them was super strikas and all I wanted to do at that point was to draw them and even create something like that. I was also inspired by Avatar, the Last Air Bender animation which was a show I loved to see a lot when I was young. I wasn't exposed to a lot of animated content because I just couldn’t afford to, the only time I got to see them was when I went to my friend’s house so most times after school, I was always looking forward and eager to go to his house.
I was good at art, and interestingly, it was the only subject I did well in when I was in junior secondary school, which made me my Fine art teacher’s favourite student and it even spiked a lot of jealousy among my mates. There was a time when I was supposed to represent my school in a drawing competition. Since then, my creative mind developed, and I continued drawing.
I didn’t go to an art school because we couldn't afford it, so I just continued with my art in school
In 2013, I went through a major psychological crisis that affected me and changed the way I felt about life. I got depressed and I didn't have anyone to talk to, and I kept to myself a lot. I just wanted to speak with art and bring people’s ideas to life.
After the encounter in 2013, which lasted for about 5 years, art was just what I could console myself with. Within those years, I saw Avatar which was Directed by James Cameron and I got inspired by it, the art, the concepts and I started digging and researching. I also got the opportunity to study Law at a university which I turned down because I then knew that I wanted to do art for films, animations and game production although that decision cost me another 3 years of my life just waiting.
In 2016, I started learning to draw professionally, but it was tough because I was self-teaching. I looked for art schools in Nigeria, but most were abroad and beyond my family's financial means. So, I mainly practiced using online resources and books. During this phase, I realized I wanted to create art for films and animations. I just wanted to communicate
In 2017, I took an important step by enrolling in a media academy in Lagos for an 8-month professional graphic design course. It was incredibly helpful. Since then, I've been dedicated to practicing and learning. I've relied on online tutorials, observing others' processes, and trying out new techniques. Despite not having a formal education in CG art, I'm eager to pursue one someday.
Cultural Experiences and ‘Jagun Jagun’ Designs
How did your cultural experiences influence the designs in ‘Jagun Jagun’?
Jagun Jagun is centred around the Yoruba people, the Yoruba culture, and the ways of the Yorubas and it had a great influence on the way the designs turned out at the end of the day.
The creative process that went into Jagun Jagun was a big collaborative work of several creatives and this brought out the whole beauty of the work
Most of the designs in Jagun Jagun like the coffin and the Axe were created by the Production design team on the set of the film project while I worked on creating a CG version that was used by the VFX Team in the film.
While working on Jagun Jagun, I knew I had to come up with something culturally inclined and accurate. While some were not originally designed, I still had to keep up with something Believable that aligned with the standard and quality that the film carried and of course under the supervision of Eri Umusu, the Animation supervisor at Anthill Studios.
Interestingly, I am a typical Yoruba, which also added to my understanding of what the deliverables were supposed to be because I understand the culture and tradition well enough. It also allowed me to add to my cultural knowledge while working.
The Yoruba People are known for their very culturally inclined and interesting way of life, they always put culture first before any other thing and this is depicted in everything that has to do with them, from their houses to fashion, to utensils, even to the least of props and these were my main drive while working on the project as they were seen in the design of the set extension of Ogundiji’s mansion, the coffin, the axe and all other props. As much as I was given the creative freedom while working on the CG designs in Jagun Jagun, it was important for me to work with the idea of the film and understand how the creative process is supposed to go, thanks to the creative guidance at Anthill studios which is the beauty of being a team player. The ability to work on an existing idea and create beauty out of it.
While working on this Awesome project, I also got inspired by King of Thieves which was also a movie centered around the Yoruba People. The cultural representation in the designs was awesomely made and this also influenced some of the creative decisions made while working on it.
You incorporated the elements of African mythology into the CG Models for ‘Jagun Jagun’ to create an authentic and captivating look, was this a familiar task?
For me, yes it was. I got to work on King of Thieves Last year, and I had to do a painting that was shown at the beginning of the film. that transitioned into the film. It was a painting of a prehistoric war scene where Ageshinkole (Femi Adebayo) was raiding a marketplace. So, working on a big project like Jagun Jagun was similar but bigger in this case.
Balancing Global Appeal and African Roots
Considering Netflix’s audience, how did you ensure that the Models and visual elements in ‘Jagun Jagun’ resonated with viewers from cultural backgrounds while still staying true to its African roots?
Entertainment is one thing that is generally accepted irrespective of the language, the culture, and the way of life of the content. People love good content and something that can keep their minds high, that is why you would see an Asian man buy an art piece made by an African because, at the end of the day, it all boils down to how much a story or content can capture the mind of its audience.
If a story is widely accepted there is always a chance that the elements that come with the story would also be accepted irrespective of the origin of the story.
For Jagun Jagun, it is no different. Jagun Jagun has a captivating storyline coupled with amazing Visual Effects from Anthill Studios, it made very good content that all Audience would love irrespective of race.
My work on Jagun Jagun was dependent on the story and creative direction. As much as we were trying to make all the designs up to standard, in such a way that they resonated with the modern-day Audience, I also tried to take note that it was a cultural story, and every creative interpretation must be culturally believable.
People like believability and not necessarily something real. If people can relate to a particular concept and can believe in its supposed existence, it will be accepted.
Collaborative Filmmaking for ‘Jagun Jagun
Collaboration is vital in filmmaking. How did you collaborate closely with professionals, such as the director and production designers, in bringing the CGI 'Jagun Jagun' to life on screen?
The success of Jagun Jagun was a collaborative one. It wouldn't have been possible without the creative efforts of other professionals, and I am glad to be part of its success.
On this project, I worked closely with a lot of professionals at Anthill Studios mostly the VFX artists., I also had to work closely with the ideas of the production designers
Working in a production environment is very interesting and insightful. It requires a lot of feedback and a lot of creativity and I had quite a good measure of both while working on the project.
When I first got the brief of work for the film, I knew that I had to come up with something awesome and believable. I had to invest quite some time to get ideas before I got to work. I also had to put in mind that it was going to be used by the VFX team which meant that every prop and asset needed to be made ready for production.
I also got to work closely with Eri Umusu, the Lead Animator at Anthill Studios. All these works contributed to how the CGI turned out in the final production.
Future of CG Art for African Filmmakers
The visual effects industry is always developing. In your opinion, what technologies or trends do you think will have an impact on the future of CG character art, especially for African filmmakers?
With the amazing development in technology in these times, it is imperative to note that the industry will always keep growing.
The incorporation of CGI in African films these days is a very bold and interesting move. The use of CGI has been in existence for a very long time, although, it took a while before it started getting introduced to the African audience, in the production of animations and games and even VFX for films, it has been used in some other continents as far back as the 1960s and since then, the CGI community has come a long way in allowing filmmakers create and dish out great contents to the public without fear. After computer-generated imagery started replacing puppets, make-up, and other special effects tricks, the technology improved rapidly to create stunning cinematic experiences. Explore the full history of CGI, including some of the most memorable movies that utilise technology today.
Since the introduction of CGI, several technologies, software, and even computers have surfaced and have been developed to suit the interest of creatives who make games, and films. Also, it has given Studios the ability to come up with their own Technology Unique to their workflow.
Now the development of Technology has not only put power in the hands of professionals, but also the hands of enthusiasts and other people who are in other facets of the Filmmaking industry. With these, it will encourage people to come up with several ideas and not fear to execute them because they have the Technological know-how to do it which the incredible development of artificial intelligence has made possible.
There are lots of Technologies that will come up as time goes on, and many would be centered around Indie filmmakers and make it easier for those just starting to make films and encourage people to develop their ideas and push them out.
The use of CGI has been quite expensive in Film making both financially and technologically, so a lot of developers have been coming up with ideas to make sure that they create a space for those who don't have as much money as well as enough computing power to run all the other sophisticated programs that are necessary for CGI. So far, there has been the introduction of substitute free programs for every other sophisticated and expensive program which also delivers in quite good measures as the paid counterparts that are now widely used by indie studios in their CG department for their workflow and most of them come up with interesting results. Examples of these programs are Unreal Engine by Epic Games which has changed the Game Development and filmmaking space and has made it easier to do so many things in that regard. A lot of studios are now changing their workflows to unreal Engine and that is interesting. Another good example is a blender. Blender has been free since it was introduced and till now it has developed and is widely accepted amongst CG artists which they use in their workflow. A lot of studios now have added Blender to their official workflow and so many more like that.
Also, I cannot but mention the rapid growth of AI technology which has saturated the whole art space in a short space of time. AI technology has been in existence for a long time, it has recently just gained sporadic growth and surprisingly it has gotten wide acceptance amongst individual CG Artists, as well as implemented into the workflow of a lot of Studio’s CG department’s workflow. Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to assist artists in generating content. It has been a useful tool in helping to automate repetitive tasks, such as texture mapping and background creation, freeing up artists to focus on more creative aspects of their work. Some Artists use it to generate ideas and base concepts on which they develop on. It just makes the workflow easier.
Also, the increase in real-time rendering software has made production easier for filmmakers. Real-time rendering technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated, allowing for more realistic and interactive CG art. This can significantly benefit African filmmakers by reducing production time and costs while enhancing the quality of character animations.
Cloud-based collaboration tools and virtual studios are also making it easier for CG artists and filmmakers across the globe to work together on production projects. This can facilitate international collaboration and allow African filmmakers to tap into global talent. While it has existed for a long time, most studios are operating online with several of their workers being international, this would foster more collaboration and give room for more diverse ideas on a project. This way, it also fosters the introduction of a diverse cultural environment. Take for instance, a Film project that is supposed to be centred on a particular culture is in development and you have people that are from that part of the world in your team, it would make it easier and faster to get information as well as make the research easier, also there are more cultural representations.
Beyond ‘Jagun Jagun’: Supporting Creativity
Apart from ‘Jagun Jagun,’ are there any projects or initiatives that you’re engaged in to support and showcase creativity within the realm of CG Art and African filmmaking?
Yes, I do have quite a few of them.
A lot is still in the making that I don't want to disclose right now. These projects are majorly aimed at fostering a collaborative environment and exploring what the African CG community can do as well as how much CGI can contribute to filmmaking and other aspects of entertainment and content creation and give back to the community and audience at large. I have some personal projects that I am also actively involved in, and I will share some time soon.
Advice for Aspiring CG Artists
In an industry often dominated by influences, what advice would you give to aspiring CG character artists who aspire to break into the global scene?
There is lots of advice from top industry professionals that has helped me, and some of it, I would advise enthusiasts and aspiring CG Artists. These are things that have helped me grow, learn and develop myself to where I am now.
No matter what a person’s passion is, there is always room for them in the industry and creative world, as CG Artists, our skills are always needed and will always be sought after, also new things, and new technologies are always coming out and getting introduced to the creative space which requires new sets of skills to be implemented, therefore new sets of professionals in that aspect would be needed for it, so find your place and be the best you can at it.
Another thing that has helped me is having a very curious mindset. A mindset that always wants to know about something related or affiliated to what I do, and the industry and it has always increased my growth mindset too.
Another thing that would be very important for aspiring CG artists is to learn as much as they can, be vast about whatever they own, and be genuinely interested and involved in learning and growing! You need to be intentional about it. The industry is saturated with people who are very good at what they do, so to come to the limelight, you must be very good too and even better.
I would also advise people to know as many people as they can, ask questions and be proud of every stage they are because everything is time-related, and every time is very important in the growth process
Another important point is to be open to feedback. It is going to go a long way in shaping and reshaping you! Working as a CG Artist in a studio like Anthill, I have discovered that Art is indirectly a collective and collaborative effort. There should always be room for feedback, and you should be able to put it to use. Not all feedback appears correct and favourable, but if you take your time to process the feedback, even if it is wrong, there is always something useful in it that can help you. So be open.
Be sure it is really what you want to do. The road to making it in this industry is quite rough and if you can’t endure some things, there would be a lot of issues. The ability to endure comes from the love you have for what you want to do, the purpose behind what you want to do, and what is at stake if you fail to do it. You won’t get the most out of being a CG artist if you are doing it just because of the money.
Also, don't be scared to show what you have. I advise a lot of people to push out what they have, put your work out there, let people know you for what you do early and be open to feedback. People must be able to testify to your progress and journey.
Lastly, I would say that it is never too late or too early to start. Everyone has a race to run, and it is a solo race, you don't need to compete with anybody or judge yourself by what others are doing! Take everything one step at a time, but make sure you are always growing! It is important.
David Davies, a rising CG artistry star, concludes by sharing his moving journey from a budding, inventive artist to a renowned authority in the area. His predictions for how CG art will develop for African filmmakers and his counsel for prospective artists emphasize the importance of enthusiasm, ongoing education, and accepting different growth pathways. By demonstrating the transformational potential of creativity, Davies' narrative acts as a lighthouse for up-and-coming artists hoping to build a name for themselves in the field of computer-generated art.