Adeyemi Michael Director of ‘The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be’

Adeyemi Michael – Director of The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be

Please introduce yourself …

I’m a filmmaker born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in South London, Peckham.

The inspiration for The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be?

Although the film was written and we were planning to film before the pandemic had started, the inspiration of how to tell this stark story of isolation, love and community was firmly birthed at the start of lockdown. This for me is where a large part of the inspiration comes from to tell this story. 

Tell us about the team you worked with …

Working with Courttia Newland was a highlight for me as it was the first time I was taking on someone else’s script and envisioning it, he was open to my suggestions and also gave me space to reinterpret, which is invaluable as a director I believe. My cinematographer Luciana, editor Nse, sound designer Maiken and Composer Gaika had a major impact on how we were able to tell this story, large in part because the film has no dialogue.

What does the story mean to you?

In order to survive we need each other, this is what I was trying to express with the film. For me, it means an opportunity to tap into a more specific conversation about how do we as Black people survive amidst the ills of earth and what are the potential consequences if we don’t recognise that we need each other soon enough.

Tell us a memorable moment from idea to final edit?

A moment that stayed with me from production was when we were on our second shoot day and we had lost half a day the day before so we knew we needed to claw that half a day back. We got to the end of the second day and had one last shot to get at dusk before wrap so we had 15 mins or so to nail the shot and the crew were running with cameras, tripods and other camera gear across a stream, it was a moment of true love and dedication to what we had all collectively come to do. And of course, we got the shot and the light was beautiful. 

Share a skill-defining moment making this film?

Telling a story with no dialogue. Knowing and trusting our filmmaking approach and rationale in that the language is in the actors and camera’s action and movement and not only in the dialogue, this was our skill and craft at work throughout making the film.

What’s next?

Firstly I’ve recently become a father so being Dad is what’s always going to be next. Professionally I’ve just finished working on Anansi Boys a series for Amazon and I’m in the process of writing my feature film.


The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be is showing as part of Foresight films. Available to stream on All 4

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