How to Make Movies in Nollywood

You have a brain wave and have conceived a story which you believe when turned into a movie will be a blockbuster and send fame and fortune your way. However, you’re unsure of how to set the ball in motion.

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There are three stages in making a movie. The pre-production, production, and Post Production stages.


1) The story:
The story line serves as the starting point in the quest to making a movie. You need to ask yourself some of these questions:
What sort of story do i want to tell?
Who are my target audience, are they children, teens, youths, men and women, or the family?
What message do i want to pass across to them (theme)?
Why do i want to tell the story?
What genre of movies will it be classified under?
Do i want people from other countries to easily relate with it by giving it a cross appeal theme?
Will it be an original work (your ideas), adapted (books) or biopic( life of a person whether dead or alive)?

Note: If it’s an adapted work you’ve got to get permission from the author, pay the necessary fees (after series of negotiation and signing of agreements) to ensure you get the film rights and debar other film makers from using it. If it’s a biopic you have to conduct extensive research on the true life story of the person, get permission from him/her to shoot the movie (if alive), and were he/she is dead you need to get permission from the estates/survivors to film the story. Either way you’re still going to part with good cash.

Remember that the success of every movie lies in the fact that you’ve got to tell the story right.

2) Transfer the story from your mental data base on to paper. You can scribble down the story as it comes to you.

3) The scriptwriter/screenwriter:
You might have the story but not know how to develop it into a script. So you get a script writer who most oftentimes than not writes the screen play for the movie as well. The script writer develops various characters and scenes to tell the story, while the screenwriter ( a professional)converts the script into a working script through which the movie can be shot. The Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria is the accredited professional body overseeing screen writers in Nollywood.

4) The producer:
Now that you have the proper script in your hands, you need a producer (one who raises the money for the production of the movie). Accredited producers belong to the Association of Movie Producers. The natural act would be to approach a producer with your script, talk about it, and leave it for him to go through, and wait for the miracle call. I always advice young scriptwriters or those with good stories developed in to scripts never to do such, because most of time such miracle calls never come. They rather decline to take on such scripts but later use these rejected scripts (modified version) to produce movies and then claim the glory and fortune. Of course there’s no evidence to prosecute the erring producer, so what do you do? One of my articles titled “what rookies must know before submitting movie scripts” addresses the subject.

You’re best bet is to do a little bit of snooping around to find out from the right people in the industry (working in other spheres of production) about good producers, which of them is likely to buy into your idea, and to an extent whether they can be reliable. When that has been done, approach the producer and act in a professional manner, play it cool and never reveal your desperation.

5) The Budget/ Financier:

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