I was ‘off air’ last week ‘cos I was having some personal issues and, learning from the best, I’m never going to discuss them here, so that gist is ‘off-limits’. Well, all’s well now and I’m back to my usual self. Today, I bring this from a discussion I had with a couple of friends early this week.
Tiger Woods is a great sportsman. Y’know, when your name becomes synonymous with a particular sport, then you must truly be a legend. Only a few sports can have those kinda personalities and golf is definitely one of ’em. But today’s post isn’t about this type of ‘Wood’, no. Its about the movie-making ‘Woods’.
Hollywood is well respected all over the world as a high quality movie-making centre, and for good reason too. It’s almost like there’s nothing these guys can imagine that can’t be made in a movie. In fact, the American movie industry is a classic case of, “You’re limited only by your imagination.” Many very great masterpieces have been brought to us, from crazy plots, beautiful storylines to, literally, out-of-this-world graphics. As much as there’ll never be a completely perfect industry, there’ve also been some lemons in even some of their high budget productions but Hollywood still remains a standard.
Coming home, Nollywood has not been able to keep up with the times. While the music section of the Nigerian entertainment industry has actually stepped up phenomenally such that we can watch a Jay-Z video just after a D’Banj video and not see much difference in quality. It’s even so good that Nigerian songs are the rave of parties and clubs here in Naija and even out there. Gone are the days when the most requested songs are from 50 Cent, Sean Paul, J.Lo, Mary J. and the likes. These days, no 2face, D’Banj, P. Square, Wizkid and a host of others, no party!
The movie industry has failed to create such an impact. While the music industry grew in leaps & bounds, the movies part was growing in bits & pieces. This results from various issues which I won’t care to discuss but I’m just going to say here that whatever the condition, we could do much better. Producing movies no be by force! Why must they consistently feed us trash in the name of movies?! It’s really pathetic what we get these days. It’s true our society and environment is not the same as obtains in Hollywood but if you’ve watched movies from there well enough, you’d know that they’re still not limited to their societal setup. Imagination & Creativity are two keywords here. Before we start talking about them, however, if we feel we’re still constrained by our cultural background, then let’s at least produce some quality movies with intelligent storylines & plots. I was reading a blog the other day and the blogger was talking about having a game of ‘Predict-the-next-Scene’ while watching a Nollywood movie and, needless to say, she won all she tried. It’s no longer news that Nigerian movies are so predictable, but even if stories have to be revamped and reused, we should be able to add a little twist. The life of a Nigerian is not so monotonous as not to be able to weave a good story around in hundreds of ways! Haba!
For me, the worst in scripting and overall production is ‘Yollywood’ (Yoruba movies). These movies are so ‘uncreative’ from the plot to the title. The funny thing about them is that you just have to listen to the ‘soundtrack’ (so-called) and you can tell the name of the movie without watching from the start! It’s that bad! Now imagine a Yollywood action movie! I mean, they write stories that they know so much about and they don’t even do that well, how much more something they have to fashion after their Hollywood counterparts.
After watching ‘Wanted’ (the one with Angelina Jolie) and seeing crazy video effects, a Yollywood producer decided to show off his skills with an action movie that replicates the long-distance killer shot. As much as the video editing and special effects in the movie could be said to be better than most, they made a joke of it all by making really silly mistakes. Firstly, the movie is not a regular Yollywood story as the ‘killer shot’ indicates but it isn’t creative either (after watching ‘Wanted’). Now, I wouldn’t complain about copying someone else’s scenes only if you can do better, or at least match the quality. This movie did neither and only brought criticism to other video effects in the movie. Serious Nonsense!!
Most Nollywood movies are so hurriedly made that it’s so obvious everything was managed. Watching African Magic these days is becoming a torture. I was contemplating removing the 1, 4 & 8 buttons on my remote when I realised I might miss direct access to more useful stations like 124, 401, 110, 108, and the rest of ’em. Seriously, we can do much better if we tried harder.
An argument of a friend is that we don’t have what Hollywood has when it comes to making movies (especially action and Sci-Fi) but I still say if we can’t produce the kinda films they do over there because we don’t have the equipment, then let’s focus on our own stories and perfect them. In my opinion, some of the best movies we’ve had (like most Mainframe productions) are stories fashioned after our local environment. Creativity does wonders to arts. If all the guys involved in movie production could take their time to perfect their art, we would be exporting movies now.
I suggest if we ever want to produce those action movies like they do out there, then we need to find out how they accomplish it, equipment and all, and get those things here to produce such. Without that, we would only be producing the ‘Scary Movie’ version of all their movies and our movie industry will remain what it has been for a long time…a very bad joke!
It’s all I have to say concerning all these woods and I hope somebody that matters gets to read and, hopefully, act.
Thanks for reading through. Opinions are welcome.
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