Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Why should Nollywood, which unarguably started on the business intuition of some businessmen in 1990s to make money lack investors? FilmLab’s position is solid as rock! The average Nollywood filmmaker or producer can escape the difficulty of selling to widespread film audiences; even beyond the traditional Africa and African Diaspora.
FilmLab provides answers with its recent film-making ventures, sold on paper to financiers; instead of wasting resources to shoot first, then hope on recouping the investor’s hard earned money.
Taken into Nollywood context FilmLab Nigeria’s Storytelling and Screenwriting MasterClass through three weeks, December 1-December 21, 2019 at its Lekki, Lagos facilities FilmLab Nigeria enabled real insights. Debates have ensued freely for mutual sharing of challenges and solutions.
It is true that value addition to culture is the strongest reason for filmmaking in developed film industries. Value addition should indeed fetch solutions to the nagging question of scarce investment capital; whether it be in cash or in terms of equipment.
The screenwriter, producer and director ought not to work at cross purposes, if they recognize the seamlessness of their relationships. This means as a filmmaking team the three, who are any story’s primary creative contributors must ensure the basic, the screenplay carries inherent value to sell on paper before production. The trio may never go wrong, as it is the practice in Hollywood, guaranteed by several screenplay drafts.
This interplay motivated FilmLab’s call for Producer-led-Director or Director-led-Producer teams to scrutinize themes, loglines, synopses and treatments or screenplays. Consequently participants in the Lagos edition agree that the screenplay or movie script taken through these stages of story development defines, engages and equips the screenwriter, producer and director with strongest insights into what films they must make. More so what messages they must communicate to audiences, possible contextual cultural value additions and increased prospects for box office successes. Accordingly screenwriting craftsmanship extended into story elements, structures, formatting and film genre audience targeting should strengthen Nollywood’s attraction of investors.
It becomes clear that every story has a buyer-seller market. Every buyer expects some entertainment, but every filmmaker or seller in Nollywood must recognize the value of unforgettables. To that extent every screen story should not only entertain, but must leave life changing value. The screenwriter cannot be ignorant; even so the producer and development executive. Much so the executive producer or financier, who is indeed the filmmaker’s first audience.
The executive producer’s interest must be aroused. His social, cultural, economic or political interest is important. His or her uncertainty about what movie to finance or promote can suddenly be focused not only the entertainment, but the information value. Such values can drive social action for correction of socio-cultural or political-economic inequities or injustices.
The screenwriter, producer and director, actors, cinematographers, photographers, costumiers, make-up artists among others must recognize the power of movies. It is left for the producer to envision an impactful story, writer to write an infotaining screenplay, more so the director to interprets that onerous message.
That important message as it concerns Nigeria, especially in its contemporary days of loud cultural, social, economic or political agitations can change lives. Indeed as long as every film story recognizes that any story, whether in a village square, on a small or large screen has its storyteller or filmmaker’s message hidden in so called entertainment. The real value is lasting impact on its audience.
FilmLab Nigeria Storytelling and Screenwriting 2020 schedules for Abuja, Port Harcourt and Benin will continue to share and build such filmmaking values.