Looking back over the years, it is a known fact that Nollywood industry has drastically improved. It is no surprise that some Nollywood movies have done incredibly well in regards to box office sales. Now that 2017 is over and we are well into 2018 i feel there are some issues the general public overlook especially concerning areas that should improve in our movie industry (Nollywood). I am going to be analysing some of the issues that still affects the industry because to be totally honest, although Nollywood has upgraded, it now feels like it has come to a stand still again.
Below are the major issues which have continued to hinder the growth of the industry.
Judging a movie solely on production quality
After the release of The Wedding Party 2, i started noticing a lot of reviews focusing on the Wedding party’s spotless production at the expense of important factors that makes a movie internationally acclaimed. Putting The wedding party 2 aside, a lot of movie reviews in this industry (Nollywood) is all about production quality which i find this to be very silly. At our current time (with the technological improvements and worldwide movie standards), every movie that gets to the big cinema screens MUST and SHOULD have spotless quality. It is a no brainer!!. For any one to bring out N2,500, N2,000 or whatever the price of a movie ticket, it is only right that it should be of topnotch quality (especially in terms of image quality). We should not base our judgement on quality of production but on the actual content of the movie. You do not find Times, Rotten tomatoes, Washington Herald or whatever critic praising a movie due to it’s beautiful visual quality, because you are expected to deliver in that area. Ofcourse when you produce a movie with below par production, the movie will be bashed for it, but when your quality is good, savvy critics will see it as one of the expected norms in any cinema worthy movie. There are lot of things that make up a good movie apart from how pleasing the image quality or how good the audio mixing is. Going forward this is something we all have to understand.
This should not come as a surprise as this is the major hindrance to Nollywood movies. Even the major box office shattering Nollywood movies are filled with shallow and lacklustre scripts. Well it isn’t just a nollywood thing as it affects the entire movie industry worldwide. My major concern is why script writers in Nollywood continue feeding us with the most cliché scripts. It is very sickening looking back at a lot of Nollywood movies in 2017, and you begin to wonder if the screen writers cooked up the scripts in few days. For better understanding, In script writing, a script comes in 3 acts. Well most scripts come in 3 acts. Usually the first act is when you get to know the protagonist which is around the first 30 minutes. Then this is followed by the second act which is usually the longest part of the movie. In this act, the protagonist wants something but there is an obstacle stopping him from what he wants.
Then the 3rd and final act is where you get to see the protagonist(s) overcome the obstacle. Most scripts always follow this pattern. An exception to this could be when the so called protagonist which we all think is the protagonist is killed off. If we actually put the rare cases aside, scripts are always arranged in these 3 acts and the major issues script writers face in developing scripts based on this 3 acts, is finding a way to make it unpredictable. So how can we make the protagonist(s) achieve the goal without being predictable or cliché ? This is the questions script writers should ask themselves. We already know the protagonist(s) wins most of the time so we need to achieve this without being obvious.
Another thing screenwriters should learn to develop and use to the good of their scripts is “conflict (in script writing term)”. Conflict can come from external factors, from within a character, or arise from a combination of forces.
Conflicts drives a movie, and the more conflict in a movie, the more the audience is interested or engrossed in it, but a lot of Nigerian movies have pointless conflicts. Conflicts that do not drive the plot in anyway i.e conflicts that are not needed or relevant(irrelevant drama), this is when you begin to see scenes that have no direct or indirect effect on the movie apart from the fact that its occupying a space in time. I think we can all agree that Nollywood does this a lot. Trying to force unnecessary drama as funny scenes in their bid to fill up space and then it looks like two different movies interwoven into one because you find out that the scene or scenes have no effect on the actual movie. 10 days in Sun City, My Wife and I and The Wedding Party 2 are very good examples of 2017 movies with horrendous scripts.
Improper post production process
Post production process is a stage in film making after shooting or recording of the individual segments or scenes. It includes video editing, visual effects, editing of soundtracks. It usually takes longer than the actual shooting of the film and can take several months to complete because it includes the complete editing, colour correction, and the addition of music and sound. In some movies it is so clear that proper post production process have been neglected. Poor audio mixing occurs in a considerable number of Nollywood movies that hits the theatre screen which is really sad. In 2017, how can we still be having movies with poor audio mixing? Good examples are Catch.er, and Ramsey Nouah’s “My wife and I”.
If you are not familiar with the term audio mixing; According to wikipedia, it is a practice in film, television and music which involves the combination of multiple sounds into one or more channels. In the process, a source’s volume level, frequency content, dynamics, and panoramic position are manipulated or enhanced. This process in film making feels disregarded in the industry. If proper attention is placed on post production processes, i am without doubt that the quality of films in the country will skyrocket.
Time is a major factor when a film is being produced, starting from the script writing, to shooting to video editing/post production process. One major issue is the short time a lot of film makers take to produce films which could be as a result of the time constraint they might have had to battle with. A good script can take months to finish, not to talk of shooting and the other processes. The more time and dedication you put into producing a movie the better the quality as a lot of Nollywood movies feel so rushed. Sometimes i wonder if the scriptwriters lack adequate knowledge/creative mind or is it just the time constraint that stands as a barrier to the envisioned quality? (We will never know), and the blame goes to the script writer…..
With all said, credit still has to be given to the brilliant Nigerian movies of last year such as Kunle Afolayan’s The Bridge, Isoken, Picture Perfect and a few others. Movies such as “My wife and I”, Tv shows like “Lagos Big boy” shouldn’t repeat itself in 2018. Thankfully there are a lot of brilliant film makers in the country and some which i have had a chance to interact with on these issues. Its up to us to give appreciation and credit to those who deserve it. And when I say us I mean we the household consumers and critics combined. We at Angryviews have always tried to give the best (non bias, blunt and original) reviews. Our work speaks for itself. There is no limit for Nollywood and it will only get better from here as long as we do the required to push them forward by giving credit to the deserving ones.
Let me know your thoughts concerning the Nollywood industry in the comment section below.