HOW NOT TO GO BROKE IN NOLLYWOOD
I had just returned from the burial of Late Mr Ceril Coster when several thoughts began to run through my head.
Late Ceril is a Nollywood Veteran with more than 1000 movies and 4 movie awards under his belt. He died in a small village hospital in his hospital after a protracted illness.
According to his surviving wife, they couldnt afford to fly him to a hospital in India for further treatment because of lack of funds, she also also revealed that Late Ceril insisted that he would not be put through the humiliation of begging his colleagues for financial assistance.
“How could he not afford a decent hospital?”
“If Nollywood has a financial value of $6.4billion, why didn’t he get a slice of that monetary benefit?”
As several thoughts raced through my head, it dawned in me that several Nollywood practitioners will die broke inspite of being crucial contributors in one of the world’s biggest film industries.
Based on this premise, i will like to take on the topic below.
HOW NOT TO GO BROKE IN NOLLYWOOD
Let me be honest with you, in Nollywood, you can create wealth for your generation or you can lose your capital. What will determine if you will make or lose money in this industry is dependent on your passion for film making and your approach to it.
First thing, First …
You Should Start Small –
Young film makers in Nollywood make the mistake of throwing their big wallet at the Nigerian Film industry in expectation of immediate financial returns, when their expectation is not met, they get disappointed and discouraged.
As a young film maker with money to make films in Nigeria, start with with making low budget films.
Making low budget films gives you more room to express and stretch your creativity. This is a result of your inability to hire hands that will do most of the thinking and working on your behalf.
This helps you to develop stronger creative muscles and affords you the opportunity of networking with efficient film makers who are passionate about Film making just like you.
It takes experience for your movie output to be exactly the way you envisaged it during your pre-reproduction process. As you grow in the film industry, the output of your movie gets better and more satisfying.
Some Film makers have been bankrupted because of their inability to sell their movies.
Film making is not a get-money-quick scheme, film making is First an art before Buisness.
Then you Identify the Platform on which you intend to Monitize Your Movie –
Before you start your production, you have to identify the Platform where you want to market your movie.
In Nigeria we have cable Tv, personal YouTube channels, digital platforms that buy movies, the offline market distribution channels and the Cinemas.
Recall that i advised that you start with low budget movies as a film maker, bearing this in mind will help you choose the right platform to monitize your movie.
In my subsequent editions, i intend to throw more light on how to maximise these platforms.
You Must Get a Good story –
A great movie starts with a good story; a story that can engage the audience, a story that can generate different levels of emotions from the viewers as the movie progresses.
The movie “Nkoli Nwa Nsukka” was a low budget movie but because how good it was, it sold millions of copies in the offline market thereby making the owners of the movie, wealthy and popular.
When you have a good story, people will watch your movie irrespective of of the characters in the movie or picture quality of the movie.
The views is what gives you return of investment, not the amount of money you spent making the movie.
A good movie starts with a good story.
Hire a good crew –
In the Nigerian film industry, you must understand that we have crew members that are already established in the industry and there are some crew members who are still finding their feet in the industry. The difference between both class of crew members is experience while the common factor between them is Passion for film making.
You must go through the previous project(s) of any crew member you wish to hire, then you can decide if you will hire him or her, based on the platform you intend to market your movie.
If the platform is very strict on the quality of movie they buy, you should go for experience and passion, but if they are not strict on the quality, you can go for passion.
I wouldnt know what happened to Late Mr Ceril’s finances, what i do know is that if you follow the steps i outlined and the subsequent elaborations i will make on those steps, you will have a good idea of the buisness of film making in Nollywood.