How to sell my story to Nollywood, remains a big puzzle to many. Before we begin, read this quote below.
“I live in Nigeria and I have awesome movie story ideas for Nollywood; stories that can hit the cinemas and rake in box office dollars. Stories that can change the face of Nollywood and launch it into the global filmmaking hall of fame proudly chaired by Hollywood. Unique stories that will make me the next household name in the industry. The problem is, I don’t know how to sell my story to Nollywood and have it produced into a cinema banger.”
You are not alone
If the above quote bears semblance with anything you have ever said, then know this, you are not alone. Many people have been asking the same question, how do I sell my story to Nollywood? Personally, I have sold stories to Nollywood, and I am going to share my knowledge with you so you can do the same. But in writing this article, I am going to put myself in your shoes. Therefore, I will write in the first person. Go through my thought process.
The questions I must ask myself
In what form do I sell my story to Nollywood? This is the first and most important question I must answer before exploring the avalanche of possible marketing options. Specifically, I need to ask myself, can I write this story down? If no, can I make a podcast of it? If I have the ability to write this story down, how do I present it, in prose form or as a script? Can I learn to write a script?
Can I learn how to write a script?
To sell my story to Nollywood, it is best that I learn how to write a film script. This is because most of the agents or filmmakers or producers or directors I will be pitching my story to prefer a movie script to a prose. So, if I can write at all, not necessarily like Wole Soyinka, I should learn how to write a simple script. This improves my chances of selling my story to Nollywood. I can learn how to write a simple presentable script in one or two days. It will cost me some time to read up a few articles like how to write a simple script to learn script essentials & formatting and put my knowledge to practice.
If I can’t write at all
If I do not have the ability to write, it doesn’t mean I can’t sell my story to Nollywood. I could hire a screenwriter to turn my story into a script. This would be the best option out of a possible many since my buyers prefer to buy scripts as opposed to other instruments of movie storytelling. I can hire a screenwriter through this link: Hire a screenwriter. If I am not able to hire a writer, can I still sell my story to Nollywood? Yes, I can.
I can make a podcast of this story
I can’t write and can’t hire a writer either, but I really do need to sell my story to Nollywood. The other option available is to make a podcast of my story. A podcast is simply an audio file, usually episodic, made available to the public. So, I can use my phone to make a series of episodes of my story and save as a podcast. I can still sell my story to Nollywood in this format.
Now I have my story written or recorded, what next?
The next and most important thing is that I now have to sell my story to Nollywood. First, I need to make a synopsis of my story. A synopsis is simply a summary, written or recorded. It sort of highlights the plot arch of my story and its main characters. A synopsis needs to be short and cryptic, while offering a sufficient peek into the storyline. A brief Google search can show me samples of a synopsis. Now, I am ready to sell my story to Nollywood.
Who are my customers?
There are different kinds of people I can sell my story to – agents, screenwriters, producers, directors, studio executives, other filmmakers, investors, etc. In Nigeria, I can’t easily find Nollywood agents to buy my story and pitch to filmmakers. So, I should target the other pools. I can sell my story to a screenwriter who is looking for a story to script, especially if mine isn’t already scripted. I can sell to a producer or a director or any other filmmaker. These people will be actively involved in turning my story into a movie. I can also sell my story to Nollywood investors; affluent men who are looking to key into promising film projects towards making profits. If I can find these investors, or convince a wealthy man I know into becoming one, my story could be on its way to stardom.
How to find these customers
If I know producers or directors or investors or studio executives, my work is made easier. I can easily reach out to them via email or other official channels like asking for an in-person meeting. I would tell them I have a story which I believe would catch their fancy. If they indicate interest, I am going to try my best to make a great pitch.
If I don’t know any of these potential buyers, I can still sell my story to Nollywood. How? Through making enquiries. I would ask friends if they know customers for a Nollywood story. Also, I would search the social media for Nollywood actors, producers and directors and get through to them with my offer. I would visit the offices of Nollywood studios or producers or directors and ask for a business meeting.
Making my pitch
I have found my potential buyer; how do I make my pitch? Importantly, I am going to keep it very basic and sincere. Going ahead, I am going to introduce myself and be courteous. I am going to go straight to the point – say I have a story that I want to sell; that I have a synopsis and can also make available a few pages of my script or few minutes of my podcast for assessment. For business sake, I am going to try to be as convincing as possible, but wary of the risk of sounding bothersome or desperate. I am going to negotiate a fee, keeping in mind that being a newbie, I should be much more bothered about exposure than gains. Eventually, I can sell my story to Nollywood, like I have always wished.
There is much more about how to sell my story to Nollywood. Subscribe to my website and keep in touch. Drop your questions below.