HOW TO BE A CONTEMPORARY INDEPENDENT NIGERIAN FILMMAKER, ON A BUDGET

As with all things Nigerian, for no just cause there seems to be a massive influx in the multimedia content creation industry. Many are called but few are chosen. Hence to stand out you must follow these guidelines properly. Failure to adhere to them would result in consequences better experienced than explained. Now ladies and gentlemen, kindly read on, your filmmaking career in this our Nigeria, depends on it.

In no particular order here are the things you must do.

Admission that your swag is still on fire and have not cook finish is key here. As such, every one else you meet is ‘boss’ or ‘chairman.’ Also use said pseudonyms in instances where you’re too drunk to remember someone’s name or just genuinely can’t remember an individual’s name because, contrary to their claims, you really haven’t met them. Calling people by the above pseudonyms would also amount to people thinking you’re a humble people person.
Since we’re still on the subject of swag that is still on the fire, go to functions dressed like a rebellious artist, no accomplished people tuxedo dressing or ball gown rocking attire. Wear shorts and Ankara tops. You, for the moment, detest the laziness and laxity and lack of creativity that has consumed the industry. If you genuinely believe that then go ahead, it’ll be easier to sell if you actually believe that. Hence, you must also be thin and team beard gang. How else can you preach the revolution if you look well fed?
Hence, your dress code should be in sharp contrast to the prevailing norm. Also, you can’t be bald, wear your receding hairline with pride until your swag have cook finish.

Next, whenever you’re watching a Nigerian film at the cinemas always complain loudly and decry the big budgets the film makers say they spent on the feature. We know you don’t have money, but sha still complain, there will always be a legitimate reason to complain. They won’t throw you out of the hall, especially if you have a commanding voice like mine and can also ask incredulously to whoever is challenging your opinion this simple question ‘who are you?’ However, don’t always chip in that you, the obnoxious film critic, actually happens to be a filmmaker, it could get tiring really quickly.

Blame your unimpressive or non existent show reel on the fact that you are an auteur, whatever that means. Point is, you only undertake projects that aspire to much more than commercial interests, your concepts are thought provoking imagery that incite introspective thinking, and the Nigerian market is not intellectual enough to absorb that hence no one wants to fund your project thus you haven’t done squat.

You have to be a feminist, not just any kind, but you must use feminism as a cudgel to bash the likes of Clarence Peters and co. Decry the state of our music videos, not because they look like soft porn gone wrong or women objectifying wank-aids but because it pushes your agenda. Talk about how the Clarence who shot the “You go Wound O” video with a camcorder that had tha suspect, illbliss, and kel is no longer around and has been replaced by a capitalist (see what you did there?).

If you shoot with camcorder or a DSLR you must remember to extol the virtues of less is more, how the story is about the script not the tool used to capture the story. Again, we know you don’t have money, so talk about how almost all of nollywood is typecast, but sha famz just one, only one nollywood medium to big actor to do waka pass for your short film or web series, on that one star, famz away, tweet at them, let them know their collaborating with you in waka pass was and is the height of your career.

Form a clique. Men and brethren, women and children, observers and practitioners alike, there’s no union greater than the clique. The established people have one, why not you. Find fellow film practitioners of like mind and become their leader or mouthpiece. The benefits of these are immense. Because you people are click, sorry button, sorry clique, you can borrow equipment without down payment and never pay sef after usage. Plus, a lone voice crying from the rooftops means nothing, you’re not John the Baptist men, but a multitude of voices screaming blue murder, now that can ruffle a few feathers. Plus if you guys ever have a falling out, it’d make for good drama on Twitter or anywhere else your fame spread reach. See Jay Z and Kanye.

Owe people. You need drama in your life and business to ensure people know about you. If a whole presidential aspirant can owe his employees how much more you, a fast rising filmmaker. Engage in tweet fights, if the thing sweet small Linda Ikeji will use it for content people will view it and in a convoluted turn of events actors will send you their demo reels, marketers will want your number. Did you say you only do thought provoking introspective whatnot? Hungry never catch you yet.

Be heterosexual. In the spirit of going against the norm I’d have suggested being homosexual but there’s this rumor that our politicians and top nollywood people already swing that way, what would you, an outsider now gain by being gay except for hemorrhoid?

Be spotted around Lagos with a DSLR hanging from your neck and then be incredulous when people ask if you’re a photographer. You’re clearly not a tourist, you are not a photographer, you’re a filmmaker, play it right and it can be a chick magnet (hopefully not chick for chickens but chick as an euphemism for babes which is an euphemism for, if you don’t know by now even I can’t help you)

Talk about how cool using apple computers are for post production, forget that you don’t know squat about it, jump on the bandwagon and proclaim final cut x was revolutionary (like seriously?) How you wouldn’t touch windows with a ten foot pole.

The end result of these ladies and gentlemen, is that when you’re career have cook finish, you get to start wearing tuxedos and LBDs to functions, sipping fine wine and dinner with governors and all that, basically, the end result is to become that which you started out hating, or pretending to hate.

Follow these steps dear friends and see your career blossom.

P.S I originally wanted to write stuff along the lines of learning to manage relationships between cast and crew, giving up micromanaging and delegating responsibility to others not because you initially trusted them enough, but because you’d break down trying to do it all by yourself, leading your team by putting in work on your own end, sometimes letting the people you hire know you’re capable enough to assume the roles you’re paying them for doing their work when they start to act up for one reason or the other, or trying to handle covering multiple events for clients on the same day and all that,but you know how boring those can get,so I opted for this instead.
Anything I forgot? Let me know, thanks.

2 thoughts on “HOW TO BE A CONTEMPORARY INDEPENDENT NIGERIAN FILMMAKER, ON A BUDGET

  1. “Did you say you only do thought provoking introspective whatnot? Hungry never catch you yet”. This breh is the truest. The creative in one is usually at conflict with the seemingly conventional albeit tacky and undignified. I swear 70% of the time tacky pays the bill. I know u catch my rift. More wisdom, more connects.

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