Lots of persons want to become a Nollywood producer. This is a lofty dream worth pursuing. Nollywood is the accepted moniker for the vast and money-spinning Nigerian film industry. It is Hollywood in America and Bollywood in India. Nollywood makes tons of movies annually, worth millions of naira. It is a large industry populated by actors, actresses, producers, directors, directors of photography, marketers, business promoters, and the likes.
A career in Nollywood
A career in Nollywood is noble and could be highly rewarding. The industry has made millionaires of ordinary people, most of whom came from humble backgrounds and were forced to brave all odds to reach the pinnacle of success. If they could make it through the hurdles, you definitely can.
Typically, there are two dimensions to a career in Nollywood – in front of the camera and behind the camera. Being in front of the camera entails becoming an actor or an actress. On the other hand, if you are a crew member or in the business of film promotion and marketing, then you belong behind the camera. That is to say, you do all the dirty job in the background, setting the stage for the actors/actresses to shine.
Choosing to become a Nollywood producer
A producer is a crista in the Mitochondrion of filmmaking. A producer hires actors and important crew members for a film project. In addition, he plays key roles in securing financing, selecting scripts, overseeing idea development and even choosing directors. In short, the producer does a lot. Therefore, choosing to become a Nollywood producer must come after a critical self-introspection. Are you up to the task?
What does it take to become a Nollywood producer?
To become a Nollywood producer, firstly, you should be a highly creative person. Secondly, you must have the drive to excel, a sharp business sense and very importantly, sufficient knowledge of films and the film industry in Nigeria. Experience matters a lot. Then, you must be daring and courageous.
Get a formal education if you can
Having a formal education gives you an edge in your aspiration towards becoming a Nollywood producer. Attend a University or a polytechnic, and study Film and Theatre Studies or related courses like Mass Communication and Business Management. During the course of your education, you will learn what it takes to make a film and amass knowledge relevant for undertaking cognitive official projects.
If you can’t get a formal education
Even though to become a Nollywood producer, you would benefit immensely from getting formally trained in a university or a polytechnic, this is not a rigid prerequisite. You can attend an informal training, so to say. In Nigeria, institutions like Wale Adenuga Productions have a film academy where movie production is taught in both the wider and Nigerian contexts.
Many other institutes or individuals organize training as well. Do a search of the options available, ask for recommendations, compare costs of attendance, and make your choice. You can learn the fundamentals of movie production in a month or two and become a Nollywood producer on big budgets in a few years.
Certainly, it is important for you to get some form of training. Venturing into movie production without prior knowledge is like groping in the dark; you could hit a stump and lose a toe or come out unscathed. It is a gamble whereby the odds are not in your favour.
Get some experience
After your formal or informal training to become a Nollywood producer, seek experience consciously. Experience usually comes by taking on smaller projects or volunteering to assist on bigger ones. One option is to start trying your hands on producing short videos, using your phone. You might need to engage a film editor and maybe one or two more professionals to succeed at this. Create a platform and showcase your works to the global audience.
Alternatively, you can convince a few friends and colleagues to partner with you on a low-budget film project. Commit your resources to it and see it to the end.
The third option is to contact top producers or directors and offer to assist on their project without asking for a pay. Express willingness to work assiduously and help in whatever capacity your expertise is needed. Just like most other careers, for you to become a Nollywood producer, you have to fetch some cups of coffee for the top guns.
You have become a Nollywood producer, great! But then, your first job could be your last if you fail to deliver and network. Most Nollywood producers I know are freelancers. Some are employed by firms and enjoy the job security that comes with establishment. However, at the early stages of your career as a Nollywood producer, you might be constrained to freelancing. Make the best of it by doing two things.
Deliver your best content. Be passionate about every little project, even if it doesn’t pay much. Make your name. Build a portfolio. Leave footmarks of excellence wherever you tread. The second thing is to build a network. Join local organizations. Collect business cards. Make friends with everyone you meet in the business of filmmaking. This is not an easy thing to do, but will turn out to be a great asset in both the short and long terms.
Continue to develop
Don’t become a Nollywood producer who fizzles out in a few years. The global and Nigerian film industries are rapidly evolving with the introduction of new technology and filmmaking techniques. Resist the urge to be a typical conservative – grow with the trend. Adapt and flow with the currents.
Have you become a Nollywood producer? Contact the Screenwriting Department of ChikaWrites for your movie stories and scripts.