We definitely can't remember aerial shots in "Living in Bondage," but we sure can remember the story and characters.
The unnecessary use of aerial shots seem to be the trend in the Nigerian film industry, and while there's absolutely nothing wrong with advancing with technology, it becomes a problem when the obsession to deliver a beautiful picture overcomes quality storytelling.
Recently, Nollywood veteran Ego Boyo and Tope Oshin repeated a known fact; the Nigerian film industry is currently paying more attention to technology than quality and original storytelling.
I recently saw a movie with lots of unnecessary aerial shots. These shots were distracting and difficult to miss. At the end of the movie, I remembered more about the 'wow' shots than the plot or characters.
A beautiful shot will remain just a 'beautiful shot' until it is put into right context and translates into something the audience can relate with.
Technology is good, but it can never take the place of a great story. Also, its beauty is lost when viewers get caught in the visuals and forget the story.
Paying overly attention to picture quality over storytelling would lead to a surplus of big budget movies with increasingly advanced technology, but bad stories.
The quality of the storytelling started to decline as technology started to advance. It became acceptable for movies to be just superficially attractive and entertaining but intellectually undemanding.
These days, it's now a case of technology over substance, as movies are now defined as great based on its use of technology.
This is not to say that there are no cases where the story is as strong as the visuals. . We have had lots of them, just as there are a good number of movies that tell original stories.
But, the reason why the quality of storytelling would always be a conversation in Nollywood is because the bad movies outnumber the good ones.
A higher percentage of Nigerians are more familiar with the bad quality movies.
In the 90s and early 2000s, sophisticated technology wasn't in existence, so little attention was paid to visual illusions and large emphasis was placed on the stories.
"Living in Bondage," "Scores to Settle," "Abused," "Amadas," "High Way to the Grave" didn't have out of the world shots, but they had original stories. Stories that are unforgettable. Stories that made it easy to forget how cringy some of those special effects were.
What happens if as a viewer, you stripped recent Nollywood films of their compelling pictures, what will you be left with? A watchable film? An average film? Or an outrightly horrible film?
After all said, a pretty shot cannot salvage a bad story and a bad movie will always only be remembered for its beautiful shots.