Many can categorize the Nigerian movie industry as a large gold mine or perhaps; a land flowing with milk and honey. Others can fully affirm that they have lost more than they should have gained.
All in all, everyone can fully affirm that film making is a big risk or should we say a gamble? Notice how directors want to shoot for the stars and so, they go for A-list actors for more productivity and better publicity, how the director of photography would have to use high end equipments to give the best cinematography and how every hand is on deck just to give off the best possible result from the movie; all of these do not just come by chance or luck. They come with a huge price to pay; literally and figuratively.
Permit me to take you through a concise analysis of what the Nigerian movie industry has to go through to get you to wow! Or nay! Or perhaps, just nod. Film making comes in batches and steps, all of this which is originally designed by the producer, who also knows that he/she cannot work alone and so, will have to build a credible team.
The first stage involved in any film making process is called the Pre-production stage. Whether you’re in Nigeria or in the Diaspora, no one expects the producer to jump into the project all at once to begin to shoot a box office movie or blockbuster movie. Once one fails here, I don’t want to assume their entire project has gone down the drain. This is the stage where strategic people are employed for the huge film making project: the project manager for handling the budget and cutting the excesses, the script writer, the casts involved, the director, the cinematographer and all those names you see when a movie ends.
The second stage is the Production stage in which, all the plans and strategies are brought to action. This is the point of “camera rolls” and “action”. This phase is equally draining, expensive, as the equipment required will be gotten and maintained, and the budget will have to be followed thoroughly. The actors too come in at this stage to do what they are best known for. Communication and cooperation are essential tools in this phase.
The third and last stage is called Post production phase. This phase is what I’ll like to call, finishing touches. However, this is where the real work of publicity begins. This phase involves the editing of the movie, the overall effects including visual and sounds, and the sealing of the deal. This is where to tap yourself and your team and say ‘A job well-done’ as a producer.
Distribution in this phase is very essential because, no one lights a bushel and hides it under the bed. A producer cannot create art in a movie and just stay silent about it. It shows you were never ready to earn in the first place, so, the right push and the right platforms, give your movie one big push.
Two words, internet and flick, which included two people’s brains and effort came together to create one of the biggest movie streaming platform in the world; Netflix. Starting out as a rental service is one thing and seeing the company as a live streaming platform for boosting and streaming movies over 20 years down the line, says a lot.
As a company that has grown over the years and is trying to stretch its tentacles to rich lands, Netflix has found its way into the hearts of Nigerian movie producers. Knowing that the Nigerian movie industry (NollyWood) is the second largest industry in the world after BollyWood, Netflix has devised a mechanism to somehow gain grounds and profits from the Nigerian movie industry.
Now, producers have over the years, been faced with numerous piracy issues, thus, losing profits and substantial funding for massive projects and so, questions still linger in the hearts of many in the film industry, especially in a country whose copyright law is generally weak and outdated, How will interests be protected? Will there be space for alternatives? Will this not eventually turn out as a monopoly for Netflix with regards to other streaming platforms? Will the law protect the partnership between NollyWood and Netflix? This has brought about licensing.
Licensing is simply obtaining permission from the owner of a product or project. Netflix has been able to maximize licensing. While some movies last for a long time, some have a limited amount of time, thus, the constant updates always available on their site. Concerning the major case of weak laws involving copyright, certain approaches and strategy can be put in place to change the status quo. Partnership is highly needed in this agenda. The industry and policy makers must come together for the law to be amended. This amendment will go a long way especially in the digital market.
With all these loops and gaps, we can gladly say that NollyWood as an industry filled with creatives, and people passionate for a global revolution through the entertainment world, has left a legacy in the continent at large.
While we close these gaps and errors through policy and engaging content, we look forward to NollyWood grabbing the attention of the whole world, while still being responsible for more than 5% of Nigeria’s GDP.