The Merry Men, a Nigerian cinema movie was regarded as a hit in 2018 and so its second part was so much anticipated. However, it was considered disaster by movie critics, a pandemic so to say. When the cast were asked the reason for the bad performance in the movie; PRODUCTION was the answer.
This article seeks to point out the causes for scenarios like the one afro mentioned and suggest feasible solutions necessary for movie production success in Nigeria.
The Nigerian entertainment industry, particularly the movie sector undoubtedly attracts a lot of recognition and popularity to the country from both continental and international angles. However, the needed priority it deserves has not been accorded to it. The sector is clogged by several production related problems that has resulted in an alarming rate of disastrous movies.
Some of these problems include; the exorbitant cost, lack of technologies and facilities, cloggy storyline and above all lack of expertise which in fact needs to be addressed.
Exorbitant cost: In shooting a movie, characters need to be adequately taken care of. Most movies shoot over months, all the cast from director to extras need to be well catered for. This means adequate food, accommodation facilities for at least a hundred persons depending on the number of cast needed to bring life to the story. Because of these costs borne by the producers, we see movie shootings rushed quickly to reduce cost. The end result is the crappy movies parading in the market.
Unfortunately, miscellaneous expenditure happens not to be the only cost movie shooters worry about. Most movies contain scenes not present in Nigeria, so these scenes need to be virtually and artificially stimulated.
Technologies needed to achieve these are unavailable in Nigeria. If the scene has to be shot, whole crew need to be flown abroad, or the necessary tech be hired. This is very much experience, thus, Nigerians have had to make do with substandard scenes compared to the Hollywood movies.
Lack of Technology: As stated above, most possible block buster movies contain scenes not present in Nigeria, and need be virtually or artificially stimulated. Also, one of the major features of the movie industry is what we call film tricks. To effectively pull of these stunts in movies technology is needed.
It will shock you that the dragons used in the famous Game of Thrones, were nothing but large camera. Also, most action films just have scenes which were just digitally created and not actually real. This is something Nigeria doesnt have the luxury of. We have to settle for toy guns for example.
Backgrounds to movie scenes are shambles and disappointing.
Added to the lack of technology is the lack of technical knowhow. The little technology Nigeria`s movie industry has accumulated cannot be handled properly, because of lack of technical how.
Cloggy Storyline: this is one of the problems plaguing the Nigeria movie industry. A screen play writer wants to all different stories together. Thus, we have stories that are unrelated.
Take for instance a movie involving two lovers who are trying to get their parents consent to them being together, and then out of the blues comes a maltreated queen. You anticipate that these two stories will be married at one point in time, but when the movie ends, nothing of this nature happens. And you begin to question; who wrote this nonsense?
It seems the average Nigerian screen play writer wants his movie to be two hours or more. So in the end, we see a somewhat cut and join kind of movies, and this is just disheartening.
Lack of Expertise: As regards expertise, most movie producers portray inexperience and act like they ‘stumbled across the profession by chance. A situation of “na condition make crayfish bend” propels them towards the industry and ultimately produce inadequate movies.
Nigeria`s economy has created a situation where what you study doesn’t get you its equivalent job opportunity. So we have a situation where the director is a graduate of economies, the producer is a graduate of micro biology, with no idea of what their current jobs entails, except a few pointers from what they have observed.
Have you asked yourself, why a lot of crappy Nigeria movies are paraded on the street? How the producer could allow a shooting of such low standard movie? Well, the truth that the crew are not experts, but individuals who are just hoping that the movie can just fetch them some small cash.
Solutions: The way forward
Firstly, government intervention would go a long way in bringing about necessary improvements.
Entertainment happens to be the one of biggest generators of revenue. The government should intervene by sponsoring the provision technology, cost and expertise in the industry. The U. S government saw the need of its intervention, now Hollywood contributes a lion share to its revenue.
Also, Nollywood should cease to be a name but a body. It is a fact that Hollywood as a body has its own production sites, technologies needed in movie production. This should duly be replicated in Nigeria.
Furthermore, most Nigerian movies are plagued by unnecessary scenes that do not contribute to the plot of the movie. This should be done away with; as less scenes will amount to less cost. Most movies are of irrelevant story movies. This should be done away with, and focus should be placed on story that will make impact, entertainment or either way.
Also, the notion that the movie must be two hours or more should be done away with. Quality content is what is necessary and not substandard quantity. A Nigerian will rather watch an hour of beautiful movie scenes, than watch two hours of a movie where he will only rant disgust at the crew.
Last but not the least; it is a common occurrence to find assimilated Nigerians contributing to the growth of Hollywood. These individuals should be reached out to by the government to bring their level of experience to the table.
Also individuals passionate about movie production should be sponsored to learn from expert countries. A good example is Kemi Adetiba, who learnt about production in Oxford and came home to produce King of boys, a movie written on the sands of time in Nigerian movie industry.
To this end, the writer indicates with full conviction that if all these are put into practice, Nollywood would record less amount of production failures.