Who in their right minds would prefer Naija movies to Yankee movies? You may ask. Well, there’s a lot of reasons for that. Granted, Hollywood maintains the unrivaled position as the most advanced movie industry in the entire universe. But there are certain things they can’t pull off successfully like our Naija movies can; especially where it concerns Nigeria and the entire African continent.
Despite the obvious flaws in our Naija movies, our screenplays keep getting better and better every year. And we absolutely love them. Here’s the reason why.
#1. Our stories are unique.
Yes, Hollywood movies are unique too but they can’t tell our stories like we can in our Naija movies. Nollywood stories talk about us the way we know and understand. Although Hollywood has tried to tell our stories in movies such as Tears of the Sun, Critical Assignment, Sahara, Concussion and the likes, you will agree that they aren’t quite as good as when our screenwriters write them. Our screenplays may be badly plotted, drafted and produced sometimes, but they are unique to us and we can relate to them. Ever wondered why most Hollywood movies and scenes about Naija are below expectations? The answer is simple. They can’t tell it like we do.
#2. They portray our culture.
We’ve discussed this in a previous post (read here). The beautiful presentation of our rich cultural background, among other factors, made The Wedding Party the most successful movie in our box office. Our cultural heritage is our pride. We live and breathe our culture. Our screenwriters know this and they utilize it to their maximum advantage. Don’t forget, Nollywood became an international sensation purely based on the portrayal of our unique Nigerian culture. Like our stories, Hollywood may try but it won’t be the same.
#3. They don’t take time to write.
Generally, the faster you write, the better. That’s an important rule in the screenwriting world. In Hollywood, many screenwriters are given between six to twelve week writing period to finish their first feature movie drafts (read here). Nollywood is different. In fact, Nollywood has taken the faster, the better rule up an almost frightening notch. An average period for a first and possibly the only draft is two weeks. Some writers finish theirs in a week. Invariably, productions are done very fast which means we get to see fresh movies in very short periods of time.
#4. Relatively easy and cheaper production.
Coming from the angle of a Nollywood filmmaker, our screenplays are relatively easy to produce compared to Hollywood. A lot of Hollywood blockbusters like Marvel Studios super hero movies, Mission Impossible franchise, Fast and Furious series and others depend highly on choreographed stunts and other jaw dropping effects. Naija movies depend heavily on stories and characters. Hence, filmmakers don’t spend a lot of time and resources producing movies like Hollywood does. And yet, the movies turn out awesome most of the time. For the audience, the plots bring them closer to the characters on screen. While we may adopt the suspension of disbelief in these Hollywood movies, it can’t be compared to the relating with movies that really talk about us and our environment. That’s where our Naija movies are exceptional.
In conclusion, Nollywood has come to stay for good. While Hollywood might be better in most things, there are certain areas that our screenplays will always dominate as far as Naija and Africa is concerned. Ours is ours. Theirs is theirs. Everybody knows their levels. But with the way things are moving in Nollywood, we shall be at the top one day.
Do you know more? Please don’t forget to share in the comment section. Cheers!