Nigerian filmmaker Omoni Oboli talks about the 'non-lucrative' side of Nollywood

Nigerian filmmaker Omoni Oboli talks to Business Insider (naijanews)
  • Scriptwriting in Hollywood is quite lucrative with scriptwriters earning as much $300,000 (N108 million) per script.
  • The same can not be said for its Nigerian counterpart — Nollywood. 
  • In an exclusive interview with Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa, actress and producer Omoni Oboli offers advice to anyone thinking about making a living off scriptwriting.

It takes a lot to make a movie beyond the actors and actresses you see in front of the camera. Filmmaking also involves directors, producers, and scriptwriters.

The latter are the people responsible for creating characters, dialogue and the entire plot that is played out in TV shows, movies and even video games. Without them, the actors have no lines to say.

In Hollywood, scriptwriters are said to earn as much as $300,000 (N108 million) for a script. The same can not be said for its Nollywood counterpart according to Omoni Oboli, a Nollywood actress, scriptwriter and filmmaker.

During a recent chat with Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa, she shared her thoughts on the scriptwriting in Nollywood along with her plans to have her movies on foreign streaming platforms. Here is how it went:


Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa (BISSA): Scriptwriters in Hollywood earn as much as $300,000 for a script. How lucrative is scriptwriting in Nollywood?

Omoni Oboli (OO): Not very lucrative. There are a few script writers who get paid decent fees but it is not the most lucrative part of Nollywood unfortunately. That's because of our budget. It's not because we don't value scriptwriters or we don't think that their work is worth more than they are getting. It's just that our budget is never that high. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.

BISSA: Can scriptwriting be pursued alone as an income-earning activity or is it better to combine it with other avenues like acting and/or directing?


OO: Some of them do. What they end up doing is writing a lot more. Unlike Hollywood where you can write just one script and go to sleep for the rest of the year, you can't do that here. You probably have to write two to three scripts a month if you want to take it as a full time job.

BISSA: Having your movies on foreign streaming platforms means more people get to see your work, do you have any plans to get your movies on these platforms?

OO: Yes, we have on Amazon Prime, Iroko, we have some coming on Netflix in a few weeks.

One of her new movies, “Moms at War”, is set to hit the popular American streaming platform on October 18, 2019. 


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