After developing the story with co-writer Bukunmi Ajakaiye and figuring out the pre-production for about two years, filming began in Lagos as the world recovered from COVID-19.
To bring his vision to life, the director worked closely with the late Pat Nebo on the production design across locations in Lagos and Kaduna.
In a recent interview with loud gist, Effiong shed some light on what it took to bring his vision to life. In his words, “We can’t talk about The Black Book without talking about Pat Nebo. Everything that you see in the film that is not human is production design. We built 38 sets throughout the film, and every single one of them looks amazing. He built everything from scratch.”
Shooting what he describes as “easily the most logistically advanced adventure ever undertaken in the Nigerian film industry” took four months, followed by about a year and a half in post-production.
Upon its release on September 22, 2023, the numbers show that it was all worth it, as The Black Book has become one of the most-watched movies across the world right now and the biggest film out of Nigeria on the streaming platform ever.
The film follows Paul Edima, a man seeking justice after his only son is killed by corrupt police officers. He delves into his shadowy past, which is intertwined with Nigeria’s history of drug trafficking, in an attempt to get revenge.
The cast includes Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ade Laoye, Sam Dede, Alex Usifo Omiagbo, Shaffy Bello, Ikechukwu Onunaku, Denola Grey, and Boki Ofodile.