Thursday, July 25, 2019

‘Desmond Eliot should call for a fight on piracy instead of suggesting Hollywood films be banned’

So I read on Twitter where many people were ranting at the recent statement made by Nollywood actor cum politician Desmond Elliot calling for the ban of Hollywood movies to allow our own movies soar in the Cinemas and all.

First thing that came to my mind was to burst out in an uncontrollable laughter and call the bluff but then again I sat to think about it, to try to make sense out of that statement and I simply couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Instead of banning Hollywood movies, what Hon. Desmond should have called for is the fight against piracy ripping off the hard work of our actors and actresses releasing cinematic movies.

That’s a huge problem in the movie industry and no one has stood up to take that fight head on. Of course we know the cabals involved are sometimes the financiers of some movies.

We see all these movies in traffic. Ayo Makun, Toyin Abraham, Omoni Oboli, Kunle Afolayan, Nse Ikpe Etim and other producers have been affected seriously by these pirates making the industry lose billions on their hardwork.

Hon. Desmond should equally use his position to call on the government to support our movie industry and entertainers by providing the right amenities (loans, movie village, equipment etc) but here we are calling for the ban of Hollywood movies.

Should we remind him that these Hollywood movies have huge impact on our movies today so much that it has positively touched our directors, producers, actors, actresses and crew on the kind of movies produced.

Our cinema culture as a country is on a steady rise by the day and that’s why the producers are bold enough to delve into cinematic movies.

Okay, let me break it down to you. Majority of the people going to the cinemas go there to watch 90% foreign movies. Nigerian and Indian movies share basically 10%(based on my own survey; original survey could be more than 90%).

Cinemas aren’t opened for tea party, rather they are a profit making entity bridging the gap between movie producers and movie lovers. That’s why we have the distribution companies in Naija (Silverbird, FilmHouse etc).

To produce a low budget Nigerian cinematic movie, the producer will have about  5million naira to cover movie production and publicity. Don’t get it wrong,  some producers cut corners and use less but the effect is felt in the: 1. outcome of the movie. 2. fans turnover at the cinemas.

A major blockbuster Nigerian movie in the Cinemas could cost as high as 50m, 100m or more depending on the producers, to cover movie production, publicity etc. That’s why you find major companies collaborating; Ebonylife, Inkblot, Koga studio, Ayo Makun, Kemi Adetiba, Kunle Afolayan etc collaborating with major distributors.

Now tell me, how many Nigerian producers can afford to spend such huge budget on a proper cinematic movie.  Also, major companies will only collaborate when they see and believe what a producer is bringing on the table, otherwise, no show.

To ban Hollywood movies, we won't be helping our own movie industry at all, rather we will be destroying the hard work of some major producers. Have it in mind that the industry too has its own challenges, cartel and cabal to deal with.

 Nollywood movies spend an average of two to five weeks in the Cinemas depending on what the agreement is except for really great blockbuster movies like King Of Boys, Wedding Party etc that stayed on for many weeks. To add, our cinema industry is already a billion naira industry. Does it make sense to ban Hollywood? Hell nah.

What Desmond should simply say and preach is support for our own already improving blockbuster movies and also encourage the growing cinema culture in the country. That way cinema lovers will go and watch our own movies especially when the movie, publicity and cast come correct.

Yinka Smylez
A Media Personality| Entertainment Enthusiast| Convener Basketball Meets Music| Coordinator The Yinka Ayinla Foundation.
@yinka_smylez on IG
@yeancarh on Twitter”

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