Nollywood they say is the 3rd largest film industry in the world. Still, it seems the industry is at the same point it was 10 years ago. Yes, there are a few improvements in some areas, but the industry seems like it is lagging behind. I don’t know why and I don’t have the solution to the problems that plague the industry but I know that some things need to be corrected before it becomes the norm.
Let me give an example
My boss tells me to interview a certain Nollywood actress; let’s call her Sister Caro. Sister Caro is not new to the movie scene but she is still trying to gain grounds and is a part of the new crop of Nollywood actors. The interview is happening on a film set in Lekki and it is supposed to happen before she starts shooting her scene.
We get to the set of the film to do the interview but Sister Caro is still trying to get her hair and makeup done so we have to wait. Another major actor (let’s call him Callistus), is also on set. They start to film his scene which I must add was quite impressive.
As the scene wrapped up, the director decides to retake the scene but from a different angle. This time another actress walks in (let’s call her Mary Amaka). Mary Amaka has been acting for about 20 years and her acting skills are arguable. She comes in with her entourage and she starts talking “where’s the costume?“,” when we are shooting?”, blah blah blah…
Anyways, the guy handling the costume comes to meet her and she goes “I am not wearing that!” The guy gives her another one. She works out with a strut and comes back wearing the outfit. During the fitting, she shouts on the guy and tells him not to get her pissed. Let me add here that her voice is really loud and the location for the film set is a small restaurant.
So her scene is about to start. She has to wait in a corner before they cue her in. While she waits, the scene starts and the actress decides to make a phone call. Like seriously??? Who does that??? It’s not even bad that she is making a call on the set; Mary Amaka decides to raise her voice. In my head, I am like “how can you make a phone call when the shoot is going on?” The director doesn’t even say anything and he continues with his shoot acting like nothing is happening. He didn’t cut the scene and couldn’t even call the actress to order.
After her rant on the phone, the actors are obviously a bit distracted and Mary Amaka goes “Please can we hurry up”. The director apologises to her and Callistus tells her not to be angry.
I wonder how Nollywood is supposed to move forward when this type of unprofessionalism goes on and is like the norm. I guess the director may feel like he is probably not as popular or as experienced as other directors in Nollywood but still he should have called Mary Amaka to order. He should have said “Mary! You should not be making calls while a shoot is going on.” What kind of industry are we creating when the actor cannot the follow the lead of the director? Is she doing him a favour? Won’t she get paid at the end of the shoot? Do they even sign contracts?
I know Nollywood practitioners can go on and on about what is wrong with the industry and how the Nigerian system has failed them but in the words of Michael Jackson “Take a look at yourself and Make the change.” It starts with the little things; humility, mutual respect for people, professionalism.
I mean, how will the system work for you, if you haven’t worked on yourself?
DISCLAIMER: This articleis not related to the persons in the picture above. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental
Image courtesy Jaguda