Need For Creativity in Nollywood Movies

Nigerian film makers had achieved great feats over the years in this new age of cinema, e4specially making movies with high box office ranking. A hand full of filmmakers now smile to the bank more often, courtesy of the rising marketing strength of cinema movies. From celebrity features of comedians and instagram influencers, to tickets give aways, to printing of film t-shirts, to celebrity hang outs, photo captions and quiz challenges and incentives for film lovers, film marketing is becoming more people engaging in Nollywood than ever before. Film business is booming, but it’s now obvious that some film makers or companies now pay more attention to figures than value based and technical contents. No doubts, we have seen movies which provoked our emotions, beliefs, creative instincts and ignited the passion to grow higher, because, Nollywood got genii. Despite the improvements in quality film making and box office grossing, Nollywood movies are lacking in some level of creativity and approach to story telling. I have noticed three key areas of creative story telling that needs urgent attention in Nollywood movies.

1) Cinematography
Before I say anything silly, help me sing Yinka Edward issa goal. He’s making us proud. Our cinematographers are doing great but I want to constructively say that, we should focus more on making the camera a detailed and story unfolding narrator than just an image recorder. Directors are most times carried away by actors performances that they sometimes undermine the technical ability of the camera in narrating a story. It’s high time we went beyond taking full, medium and close up shots with cut-ins and cut aways as jara shots (extra shorts) probably because your schedule is tight or you don’t want to stress yourself. The choice of our camera shots and angles, in line with the director’s blocking, must go beyond beauty and coverage, to capture and instill the story’s psychological/emotional impacts on the sub conscious minds of the audience. Building subliminal messages with pictures grabs your audience attention without them knowing. That’s the gripping power of cinema, and this is only achieved intentionally. This is the bedrock for enticing and ensuing a lasting impression of your story in the heart of film lovers. Our Hollywood counterparts understand this, and our visionary directors in Nollywood also know this truth. An in depth focus needs to be made into our shots psychology; why our characters move the way they do, why they smile or give that look, their dynamic relationship, and a lot more, which I believe the camera can be used more as a narrative tool than the actors trying to say, act or show everything. Let the camera do the showing because, she’s more of the audience eyes than just being the actors point of view.

A few recommendations for directors…

– I recommend that you see the visual styles of at least 10 of your favourite professional directors.
– You shouldn’t be lazy to draw story boards. I know say we sabi. Story boards relief us of compromise.
– Our actors must be made to be patient with directors, make your actors understand that you care about them and how they handle the story.

Teaser: An invisible default in some new Nollywood titles, is that, fanciful and dolly based movements are used to tell bad stories with big budgets. Those stories are later called block buster cinema movies featuring some of our favourite actors. What shall we do, than to eat our popcorn and wait for the 95 minutes film to do and finish.

We would love you to follow our blog by email as we update you on the remaining two areas that need urgent improvement in Nollywood’s creative story telling on Wednesday.

Featured image credit @okonlagos Instagram.

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