Shun vindication and exploitation – Do what you can to help Nollywood

Some of those called out in this piece may not be glad about the piece while some may not be happy with the writer’s candidness but someone has to say or write about the malady. Rather than pitch a tent against this piece or the writer, consider to sincerely review your practice and come up with ways of compensating Nollywood producers or filmmakers who are the ones sweating it out and providing you with the content that has brought you popularity, revenue, and progress in many ways. If you cannot compensate these filmmakers materially, then encourage and support them to grow and get returns on their efforts as well. Whatever it is, just do what you can to help the Nollywood producer rather than join the band-wagon of exploitation. That way you would be helping yourself and your business as well because the more returns the producer or filmmaker makes, the more he would be in a position to produce even more of that which has helped you grow or progress. That way, your conscience is clear and everyone is happy, at least to some extent, and the industry will continue to thrive for all.

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Passion driven versus business driven

Granted, there are some folks who rode on the wave of the Nollywood phenomena and came on board as producers not really because they loved filmmaking but because they saw it as a way to make huge returns from filmmaking. Yet, there are also those folks who really got into the industry because of the love and passion for making films. Such folks who strictly see filmmaking as a business opportunity need not be blamed for making a business decision rather it must be maintained that they are entitled to the returns on their business even as we may want to separate them from those producers who are mainly motivated by the love and passion for filmmaking. Generally, it is only fair that an investor should make returns from his venture.

On the other hand, the fact that a producer has immense love and passion for filmmaking does not mean such producers do not look forward to making reasonable returns form their effort. To think so would be unfair and ridiculous. Besides, even if there is such a filmmaker who does not worry about returns, he still would need good returns on one film so he could make more good or better ones. Every industry has the money drivers and talents who or manpower who supply the substance or practically work needed. All are fairly entitled to compensation.

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The Irony of Respect for Nollywood Producers

Ironically, these same buyers who patronize the sellers of pirated movies are the same ones who will call and query why the film is not clear, has poor image, or lacks good acting. So, NollywoodProducers get no break. They do not get reasonable returns on sales from their movies because pirated copies and free internet broadcast are preventing viewers from putting money into the pockets of the producers. The producers manage to raise money and struggle to make more films within their resources, and they get criticized for doing movies that are not as good as Hollywood movies. On top of it all, a Nollywood movie made with an average of $50,000 (fifty thousand dollars) gets compared to a Hollywood movie made with $200,000,000 (two hundred million dollars). Pause for a moment and imagine the comparison, assessment, judgment, and expectation. It is even more ironic that some of these promoters, businesses, and organizations who benefit from Nollywood tagged events and projects do not have the proper respect for the produces who are the hob of the industry (Nollywood) from which they are benefiting.

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Loss of talent and Need for Reorientation:

Painfully, while Nollywood producers struggle to pay their cast, equip their set, edit their movies, find distribution, fight piracy, protect their copyright, and beg for returns on the sales of their movies, everyone else is smiling to the bank with proceeds made from these movies and from Nollywood tagged events and businesses.

Unfortunately, many talented and aspiring potential great filmmakers are giving up on the industry as they just cannot seem to catch a break and be able to at least recoup cost of production after they finish producing their movies. Obviously, there is a need for a reorientation of these sellers, buyers, businesses, and organizations who all thrive on Nollywood. They have to be made to imbibe the principles of respecting copyright law, intellectual property, or at least the principles of fairness.