Nigerians aren’t the only ones not ready for the cinematic era, most of our actors, directors and producers are also not ready for this new and better Nollywood.
The year is almost over, and it has been quite an interesting one in the movie world. From great stories, actors, productions and more, check out 9 things I discovered about Nollywood in this great year.
1. Nollywood is capable of producing great movies; whether you are a Nollywood lover or not, you sure heard about the tons of great movies released this year. We had “Road to Yesterday,” “Fifty,” “The Visit,” “Gbomo Gbomo Express,” “The Taxi Driver,” “Tempting Fate,” among others.
2. Nigerians are not ready for the cinematic era: Unfortunately, despite the tons of quality movies released, just about 35% of Nigerians are ready for the #supportNollywood movement. 50% are interested in the ‘Asaba Nollywood,’ while the remaining 15% are just not interested.
3. Nollywood has a lot of talented actors and filmmakers; Maybe they have been in existence before this year, but I got to watch lots of movies featuring lots of talented actors, produced and directed by lots of talented filmmakers.
I also discovered how some actors whom I ‘ignored’ their movies are super talented. Can we please have more of Kunle Rhemmy, Adesua Etomi, Deyemi Okanlawon, Bayray McNwizu, Femi Jacobs, Daniel K Daniel, Weruche Opia, Yvonne Jegede, Okey Uzoeshi, Kiki Omeili, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Meg Otanwa?
Can we also have more films from C.J Obasi, Ishaya Bako, among other talented fimmakers?
4. The TV era is making a great comeback: From Hotel Majestic to Do Good, we definitely do have hope of having back those great old days of “Checkmate,” “Cock Crow at Dawn,” “Behind the Cloud,” Village Headmaster,” among other classic TV series that kept us awake those days.
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5. Nigerians aren’t the only ones not ready for the cinematic era, our actors, directors and producers are also not ready: Most of our filmmakers are so lazy. It’s so funny how everyone wants an industry like Hollywood and Bollywood, yet no one wants to go the extra mile for it.
Of course, almost all filmmaker has that ‘perfect’ but annoying answer – “Hollywood is over a 100 years, Nollywood is just 25, we will take time to get there.” Somehow it seems like we aren’t ready to do the little things that should matter.
A movie is set to hit the cinemas in maybe two months, and the only place you get info about the movie is on Twitter and Instagram. One week to the release of the movie, and there’s no Wikipedia page for the movie (Well, most of the actors don’t even consider a Wikipedia page important to their career.)
It’s no hidden news that Nigerians are not super interested in Nollywood cinema movies, It’s also no news that we don’t have enough cinemas to take the industry to where it needs to be, the above factors mean the filmmakers have a lot of work to do in promoting their movies.
Releasing creative and captivating trailers, creating a Wikipedia page for a movie, releasing entertaining posters , going on media tours among other ‘little’ things, would prove how serious our filmmakers are.
Maybe your movie ‘opened as the highest weekend opening’(we won’t mind statistics though), but then, can you imagine how much more you could gross If more people got to hear about your movie.
A friend of mine paid a visit to the cinema to see “Fifty,” not because she’s a Nollywood fan, but because she had heard a lot about the movie. The movie’s trailer, poster, character posters, behind the scenes clip, caught her attention.
6. Everymovie doesn’t have to hit the cinemas to be a great one; This year I also got to watch some movies on Africa Magic and DVD, and I got to realize that a movie doesn’t have to hit the cinemas before we pay attention to it.
Movies like “The Good Wife,” “Stellar,” “A Place Called Happy,” among others, are some of the interesting movies I got to see, and No, not in any in cinema hall.
7. Everybody wants to be a producer and director; I guess moving from being just an actor to being a producer is something worth celebrated. But then, If these movies aren’t worth going to the cinemas, can they please be rolled out as mass release? Those movies are enough to discourage a Nigerian trying to develop a cinema culture.
The first cinema movie I saw this year almost discouraged me from seeing any Nollywood production this year. It’s fine to try producing – with or without training, but then, let the C class movies not be given A class treatment.
8. Most of our filmmakers are 'selfish' ; It's amazing to know that piracy which has been a part of the industry for years, suddenly became a major topic because it affected a big name in the industry.
The piracy fight is one that should have started long time ago. It all seemed like after the attack on Kunle Afolayan's "October 1," most filmmakers caught scared and thought "this piracy story is actually real," and then the talk and 'action' kicked off.
Prior to then, it was always talk, talk, instagram and Twitter posts, and no action.
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9. Nigerians still form their opinion of Nollywood based on the ‘Asaba Movies’; Nigerians are not interested in going to cinema to see a Nollywood movie. Even our actors have bad movie culture. You meet an actor and he or she says “I don’t watch movies,” then I ask myself, “if you don’t see your movies, why should I?”
Until we develop a good cinema culture, people will continue to form their opinions of Nollywood based mainly on what we have termed ‘Asaba movies,” which is accessible to everyone.
Despite everything, Nollywood is growing. The industry is getting better at its storytelling, casting, production, and producing great talents that can represent the industry anywhere. So, we definitely do look forward to a better 2016 movie year.