To the Nollywood Filmmaker
Formerly titled “Nollywood Cliches”
This is not created to bash Nollywood. Neither is it a mindless bant aimed at ridiculing the industry by pointing out scenarios that, though once relevant, don’t apply to modern day Nollywood
Now that that has been cleared, this is a list exploring a couple of things that have become common place in most Nollywood movies and really ought not to be
- COSTUME: Who says that every ashawo in your movie must dress like Lil’ Kim? With a handkerchief as a top and pillowcase as a skirt? I find this is a really retired concept because to be honest (can’t vouch for allen-avenue babes) but most ‘call girls’ are classy. So put some clothes on (or should I say, put more clothes on), reduce your make up (looking like a clown is not a requirement of the business – not like I would know), and stop jiggling all over the place.
So put some clothes on (or should I say, put more clothes on), reduce your make up (looking like a clown is not a requirement of the business – not like I would know), and stop jiggling all over the place.
- DIVISIONS: Part 1 - to God be the glory. Watch out for Part 2. Part 2 - and the story continues with “The End of *insert movie title here*”. Part 3 - Watch out for part 4.
You catch my drift? And some of these movies even dare to move on to part 5 and part 6. And then have a Season 2 (not talking about Adams Apples here) or a Reloaded. Come, are you on drugs? Is your target audience jobless housewives with 2 or more maids? Do you honestly think people have nothing better to do than watch your (mostly redundant) film?
Let’s do the math real quick. One movie is approximately 1hr 20 minutes, which is 80 minutes. Part 1-4, so 80 x 4 = 360mins (480 for the six part movies). And then the movie will now come and reload or reboot or have a second season (God forbid) therefore, 360 X 2. So 720 minutes, or 960 minutes for 5 and 6. Hmm… 960 minutes is 16 hours of the day. In case you didn’t notice. There are 24hrs in a day and the average human is only awake for 16 of those. So we are supposed to spend our whole day on your movie?
- NEW ACTORS: ”A movie will not sell without at least one big star in it”. Really? I mean, is this an actual proven fact? I get that there are numerous movies starring unestablished actors (whose names we can’t remember for obvious reason) that failed. But I’m honestly of the opinion that if a renowned director/production house was to make a movie, invest as much in pre-production, post-production, advertising, and PR for the film, and cast an unknown yet capable actor/actress in the lead it will still be as successful.
Yes, Nollywood audiences mostly watch for names but I know first hand that we also watch for ‘the hype’ (I know this because I’ve fallen prey to too many over-hyped movies that ended up being terrible)
- TYPECASTING: Patience Ozokwor stands for evil. Yul Edochie stands for Prince. Tonto Dikeh stands for slut. Kanayo O. Kanayo stands for cultist. Muna Obiekwe stands for jigolo and… did I leave anyone out? Actors were not born into any role… change is possible, try it and you might be surprised.
“Pretty people need not be able to actually act. All that is required of them is to stand in front of the camera and look pretty
“Pretty people need not be able to actually act. All that is required of them is to stand in front of the camera and look pretty (whilst reciting some lines non-chalantly). Especially if you have an accent (British, American, Australian, Cameroonian – as long as it’s not Nigerian) you are most definitely welcome”
Honestly, we need to stop this! If you’re going to put anyone in front of a camera. Please make sure they are convincing
- CASTING: Big stars can audition too! I know it sounds surprising. I probably just blew your mind there right? But it is possible… I can go on and on to list a bunch of Hollywood actors in big productions that had to audition for their roles. I say, if Leonardo DiCaprio can audition for a role, so can Ramsey. If Meryl Streep can do it, so can Genevieve!
Like I said earlier… actors aren’t born into a role, sometimes other people are better in that role
- CAREER TRANSITIONING: Alright this is serious now, “why does everyone feel like the ultimate end of his or her career is to become a producer or/and a director?”
It’s like after a certain amount of movies (whether dem act well or dem no act well) they immediately turn into a producer or a director? If you can do it, more grease to you. But the truth is that most can’t, and I know it’s painful to imagine, but you need to embrace the idea that that path might not be for you.
Acting and directing: they are two different degrees in the university. That is like a nurse graduating, practicing for a couple months and then returning to the hospital the next day to say that she is now a doctor.
- STORY SELECTION: The truth is that many Nollywood movies like to recycle (or should I say ‘borrow’) storylines from other industries. Another truth is that what applies to India in a Bollywood movie might/will probably sound ridiculous in a Nigerian setting. And what made for good entertainment in the era of living in bondage, probably isn’t so entertaining in 2013.
There’s only so many times a man needs to do ritual in a Nollywood movie before we get the idea that it is bad. Before we know the traits of cultists: secret/private room in the house, sudden wealth, probably KOK or Pete Edochie, dead wife, unable to have children, doesn’t like pastors… e do! We get it
- MOVIE TITLES:
Let’s all agree that ending a movie title with the word ‘babes’ is a sign of foolishness.
Let’s all agree that ending a movie title with the word ‘babes’ is a sign of foolishness. I recently saw a movie titled firefox. You know what comes after that right? Up next is Google Chrome! We need to realize that our titles are opportunities at a first impression and you never want to get a first impression wrong.
- THEMES: And finally, it is scientifically proven that women possess XX chromosomes and men possess XY chromosomes. XX = girl, XY = boy. The woman only bears the child given to her by the husband, therefore if your daughter-in-law/wife doesn’t give you male children it’s not her fault
Infact, women should up and leave their husbands for not giving them male children not the other way around.
All in all, Nollywood has some faults but as soon as we begin to cut down on these, I have no doubt that we will be the industry to watch