2020 has been a year of shocking adjustments for the global film industry as both the heavyweights and the emerging struggle to remain afloat.
For Nollywood, the coffee couldn't be stronger. What began as a glamourous year for the industry nosedived as productions halted and cinemas shut their doors.
With cinemas on lockdown and Hollywood in a semi-coma, the choice of worthy foreign content has become increasingly thin leaving entertainment thirsty individuals more time to look to social media for balance. Then came Instagram and TikTok, the saving grace for what would have been a no lesson learned experience for the industry.
In March alone, keen social media savvy observers in Nigeria may have spotted several Instagram LIVE chats. Unsurprisingly, Nollywood influencers wasted no time in investing in this trend. Filmmakers abruptly began hosting Instagram LIVE master classes on filmmaking. Daily, posters announcing one session or another flooded our timelines.
Actors, on the other hand, had TikTok as a fertile ground to finally convince their audience of the existence or absence of their acting skill.
Overnight, TikTok became something of a phenomenon with its unassuming potential as an eye-opener for Nollywood especially in terms of opting for a performance-driven industry over one plagued by sensationalism.
Away from the latest trend of casting just about anybody just to satisfy a poster crazy audience, TikTok offers filmmakers the opportunity to discover fresh talents. The industry is arguably at a point where investors are finally believing in its potential and are willing to pass on a few coins on transformative ideas. What better time than now to prove that the 'Nigerian audience' is anything but fixated on its choice of entertainment?
For decades, the industry has unfortunately made celebrities of below-par actors and by that, enthroned mediocrity in its highest form. Let's face it, this industry can boast of only a little over a handful of talented actors and TikTok just yanked the veil of doubt in two.
Filmmakers and curious individuals alike can now easily compare TikTok videos recreated by Nollywood high flyers to reaffirm the quality of performance-driven actors. This basic experiment will avail them a shocking list of Nollywood faves who can barely act to save their souls from damnation.
While performance might be a mere slice of TikTok's impact on Nollywood, it remains a very significant slice as the industry pushes for international acclaim. With the spotlight only a few blocks away, this epiphany is a call to action. Nollywood must finally be rid of actor recycling cliques!