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The Nollywood Dilemma III: Corruption, Bullying and The Game of Thrones.

When I started the series on the Nollywood Dilemma, I promised insights into our industry, didn’t I?  It’s about time we moved from complaining about our movie industry to taking active steps to make a change; don’t you think?

So I put on my superhero mask and cape and started to do some research…… What exactly is going on under all the bright lights and paparazzi? Why is it that our industry is the way it is….even after 20yrs!

What I found out is that the Nigerian movie industry is a very interesting one. Stories came up that made me remember series like game of thrones/sopranos/suits all packed into one and I’m going to try my best to divulge as much as I can while advocating progress! It is long article, but I have tried to break it down into parts so it’s easier to consume.

From the first post in the series, we tried to understand the ‘disconnect’ between Nigerians and Nollywood as a whole; we then went ahead to discuss possible ways for advancement in part two.

I was able to get some industry feedback from part I & II, which mad me sit and ponder.

‘I definitely could not be the only one thinking about progress this way, could I?’

‘Is there something I was missing that could shed more light into the problems in the industry?’

Apparently there is and I am going to outline a little bit of it below starting with:

The Nollywood Film maker and the Titan Report

Do you know what a Titan Report is? If you’re not in the movie business, you most probably don’t and that’s OK cos I’m about to tell you.

It’s a report that details the daily box office revenue of a movie in the cinema, which obviously ends up showing the total box office receipts a movie generates during its cinematic run (in lay man’s terms, it shows how much a film makes in the cinema, that is all).

You’re probably asking why this matters anyways. In what dimension does this concern you? Is it any of your business?

In a country where corruption is rampant and is almost as abundant as the oxygen you breathe in, this should concern you very much.

Let me get into the significance of the Titan Report to the Film maker:

Have you ever applied for a job?

Or better still have you ever applied for a visa to let’s say the UK?

When you do any of the above, there’s that moment where they ask you for some certain documents to prove that the information you have given is accurate. If you say you’re a University graduate, they probably would ask you for your University Certificate and stuff in those lines.

Well the Titan Report is evidence for a film maker that he actually went through the works of making a film, marketed it and that people actually went to watch it so he made some money from it (even if it’s just one person that goes to watch it).

I have always been enraged, and I know I have made as much noise as I can to as many people as would listen about how little box office information is available in our country. Let me rephrase that, ‘how there’s almost no box office information in such a large industry as ours!’

I guess I should have known that it went beyond inefficiency to some underlying ‘CORRUPTION’ going on in our industry. It’s not like box office is rocket science. (Abi is it?)

It is the Titan Report a filmmaker can use to back his ‘CV’ or should I say ‘filmography’ and take steps like: verify the reports given by the film distributor, go to the bank for a loan, seek investors for future projects, or even have bragging rights about his successes.

What then is the case here?

Apparently, this is how our industry works…..

  1. A film maker produces his film and enters a contract with a film distributor to make the film available to the cinemas.
  2. The film distributor strikes a deal with the cinemas which the film maker has to approve of, giving them the original copies of the film to show in their cinemas for a period.
  3. The cinemas are supposed to send reports of the money made to the distributor throughout the period the film is being shown so that the film maker can monitor how much his movie is making in the cinema. At the end of the movie’s run, a complete Titan Report is to be made available to the distributor who then makes it available to the film maker detailing the total box office receipts of the film.

If you noticed, all through this process, the film maker really has no direct dealings with the cinemas.

This could however change if for some reason the film maker suspects some shady dealings or just wants information directly from the cinemas and should be possible because when a film distributor makes a film available to the cinemas, the cinemas are supposed to collect the details of the original copyright owners of the film (the film makers). This is so that if the film maker requests for their Titan Reports directly, the cinemas can verify the film maker and provide the report to him/her.

What then is the problem?

For some reason, not all film makers are getting access to their Titan Reports!!!

What I’ve noticed in this life is that everything sounds so good and organised on paper, but a lot of times we just mess things up by human action.

As simple and transparent as the system above looks, a million things seem to be going on in the background in Nollywood that is making the system fail. And I can tell you for a fact that this one is failing big time as revealed by my sources.

Why aren’t we hearing a lot about it then, you may ask? Well as I stated in the beginning, we have our own Game of Thrones/Sopranos/Suits all happening real time in our industry. It wouldn’t be going too far to state that the system seems like there’s some mafia running things (anyone heard of the Lannisters?)

Too many times you go into a Nigerian Industry and you end up being torn between what is expected and what actually is happening. And it’s just sad.

We cry out as a people every time that Nigeria is horrible, our leaders are corrupt blah blah blah, but I’ve noticed that corruption runs deep not just in our government but up to the little echelons of our society.

In recent times, there’s been one tale at least that I can reference you to:

It’s the case of Two Brides, A Baby and Nollywood Corruption that went on when Blessing Egbe released her critically acclaimed movie into the cinemas two years ago.

With the knowledge you have got so far from reading, please continue by reading the account of Blessing’s case here; it definitely would provide some insights and a fuller story.

Please do not stop here, click on the link above.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Two Brides, A Baby and Nollywood Corruption

  2. Zorro

    5th June 2013 at 7:03 am

    You such a porous and lazy writer. All you have managed to talk about here is Titan Reports and nothing else. What is the lesson that is to be drawn from this one sided nonsense. If you don’t have the brain, don’t bother to disseminate rubbish

    • MoviePencil

      5th June 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Hi there, it’s a long article that continues in the link at the end of the article. It felt better than trying to jumble everything into one post. So this is not the end of the post, please read the second part.

    • the titan

      5th June 2013 at 4:51 pm

      I don’t think name calling is needed but in any case Mr Zorro why do you find it hard to link what has been shared with the writer’s purpose. I found it enlightening… write the posts together and try to find the ‘sense’ in your perceived notion of nonsense…

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