From writing to producing, Bamen Gregs navigates the world of cinema with ‘Third Avenue’ | The Guardian Nigeria News
After years in the background, writing highly lucrative films for producers, Airebamen Maureen Irene, widely known as Bamen Gregs, has delivered what is about to change the narrative. His new project, Third Avenue is a 13 episode series about two mischievous housemates (Tim and Leo) in Lagos.
Although it is a simple and well-known plot, it nevertheless leaves one wondering about the adventurous life of the roommates.
“I wrote the script for Third Avenue three years ago, and I wanted to sell it at the time, but the money I was offered for the script wasn’t worth it, so I took my script and I kept it. In 2021, I produced a pilot when I saw the opportunity and I pitched it to AccelerateTV, and they bought into it. It took me less than a month to produce,” she said.
She said: “I was commissioned by AccelerateTV in the middle of last year (2021). Working with Africa Magic I was told it’s always good to get ideas from someone else so I contacted Elo Oruade, told him about the story and we all the two wrote the script together, she wrote about three episodes and she did very well. I had fantastic actors such as Jide Kene, Lilian Afegbai, Tope Olowoniyan and others for the project.
“The first of 13 episodes is currently on the YouTube channel and the traffic is wonderful. And I especially appreciate Esse Akwawa for introducing me to AccelerateTV General Manager Colette Otusheso and the Accelerate team for having me trusted to produce the series. Ese was working on another project at the time of my production and couldn’t come to my set, but she was confident that I would stick it out.
A graduate in philosophy from the University of Benin and a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), fell in love with performing arts when she was still young and often sat in his mother’s living room to play entertaining theatre.
“I often recited poetry and my mother applauded me, and that made me focus more on my creative part. My father bought me a desktop computer before I was a teenager, with which I have always used to write my scripts. It was just a happy place for me, even when my siblings were acting or going out, I stayed home to write scripts. I used to dream up a lot of stories to work on .
After school, Gregs found herself in the marketing department of a Nigerian bank, but soon became bored and unfulfilled. Later, she returned to her first love.
“So after my studies at UNIBEN, I came to Lagos, and I got a job in the bank, after a while, I got bored with marketing and just decided to dive into directing movies, I started writing screenplays for Africa Magic, Iroko and other independent producers.
“Control Freak was my first screenplay, which was written in 2015. It worked well on African Magic. I wrote ‘Nwanyi-Oma for Iroko TV in 2018. I also wrote for other producers, some of them didn’t do well, and some did well. But the producers did well with Nwanyi-Oma and Control Freak, and I was happy. Some producers didn’t produce to the level that I expected, so I decided to start producing my scripts, so I wrote Jumbled, which I produced for the cinema in 2019, and that was my first major. I started getting calls. I also started writing more and acting too, I was in Tinsel for about three years and I was in Hush.
On keeping the actors through the project: “The actors involved in this project are good, they like the story, they like the project, the story draws them to the project, they see their vision in it, they push , always asking what we should do next. Jide Kene called me to ask if we were going to participate in a prize, told me his biggest video before the project had more traffic on Tiktok than Third Avenue. They’re engaged; I don’t think I’ll have a problem keeping them through the 13 episodes.
Speaking about how she became an actress, she said: “I did a Shakespearean monologue at one point, I played Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, I delivered it like a man and I was called the next day.
“I love acting. Actors are able to play different characters and personalities. Acting gives the opportunity to explore different characters.