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The Functionality of Film Studios in Nollywood

The Functionality of Film Studios in Nollywood

Hollywood boasts of an array of big studios with high tech facilities such as Sony pictures entertainment, Paramount pictures, Universal studios, 20th Century fox, Warner bros, and Walt Disney. Shooting of movies can take place either in the studios or on location (external or internal) places. Directors in Hollywood and Bollywood can opt to shoot their movies through any of the alternatives. Unfortunately, the same can’t really be said of their counterpart, Nollywood. Despite its being rated as the second largest movie producing body in the world, it is ludicrous to note that filming in this modern day and age are carried out primarily on location.

Filming on location is carried out in a real environment, void of studio equipments and accompaniments, set constructions, and ranges from the use of people’s homes in the urban and rural areas, eateries, to accessories / clothing stores, streets, and beaches. Filming on location, especially in the open isn’t free of natural/ artificial challenges such as bad / unfavourable weather, noise pollution from vehicles, passing aircraft, society’s miscreants (area boys interference), unprecedented traffic, the need to obtain requisite clearance to film from residents and local authorities, unwanted viewing by the public who simply stand and watch the scenes being shot and of course transportation cost incurred for moving the entire equipments, crew and cast through out the production. These anomalies can easily be prevented when the movie is shot in a functional, standard studio. Perhaps, the capturing of real magnificent spots in their totality, void of any artificial influence, and cost saved from constructing various sets, still spurs film makers up, to film on location.

In a studio, the film maker can control the anomalies of filming on location as stated earlier, conveniently shoot under water, and through chroma keying make settings which would have been impossible to capture, possible. There are two studios at the moment in Nigeria (set up to run with the International standard), which are Tinapa studio (Calabar) and that of the Nigerian Film Corporation, Jos. However, much has not been heard about the productions coming forth from their stables. It is not however clear what the problem might be that has prevented most directors/filmmakers from taking advantage of using the studios facilities.

Ije (The journey) an epic movie by Chineze Anyaene, which was partly shot in (Nigeria and Los Angeles), made use of the facilities at the Nigerian Film corporation, Jos to shoot certain scenes in Nigeria. Studio Tinapa after being commissioned years ago to provide filmmakers, directors, the opportunity of producing world class documentaries, movies and music videos, remained non-functional. However, Hi Media Ltd, parent company of Hi TV, is said to have gone into public private partnership with the Cross River state government. Hi Media owns 51% equity in the studio. Tinapa studio would be changed to paradise studio. It is hoped that with such development, directors/filmmakers would conveniently shoot in the studio?

Perhaps, the challenge they’d face would be financial aspect, whether they would meet up with the high fees that would obviously be charged for using the studios. One can only hope that with time, more functional studios committed to providing excellent services to its clients will emerge. After all there’s nothing like a good healthy competition which will invariably boost quality production in Nollywood!

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