Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Some may say that "Nollywood" and "Mistakes" are synonyms, and using them both in a sentence may as well be tautology. The truth is, especially for Nollywood, we have a lot more excuses than other movie industries for making these Mistakes.
The award winning Hollywood Director Steven Spielberg accidentally stepped into the frame of one of his first movies called "Duel". Spielberg left the mistake in to remind him of the imperfection of film making. So why do these mistakes occur?
Most of the answers lie in the high pressure world of commercial movie production which is worse here because Nigerians don’t like to pay for anything. Directors generally work under the tightest budgets (mainly because investors wouldn’t want to put in so much into what may not reap fruits) with heavy time restraints and re-shooting movie scenes can be a nightmare. If an occasional mistake manages to get into the final cut of a film, and it is actually noticed, it may be best to leave it in and pray not too many viewers notice, rather than arrange for an expensive re-shoot or other post-production fix.
Some movie mistakes are caused by shooting out of the sequence of the script. Very few movies are filmed in a linear progression according to the script. The truth is, producers may only have access to a particular booked location or scene for a short time due to a tight budget, so the director and actors must shoot ALL the scenes based at that location at one time, regardless of whether its only the beginning and end of the movie. This leads to our very popular "continuity errors", such as having Lagos taxis all around in "Doctor Bello" when they were supposed to be in Abeokuta (Ogun State). Shooting out of sequence can also lead to inconsistencies in an actor's appearance or use of certain props.
The most annoying of Nollywood movie mistakes are factual errors. If a movie is set in a particular time period, such as the 1980s, it is up to the set designers to make sure everything shown on the set is historically appropriate. we see a lot of scenes like where Tuface Idibia is shown on a billboard in a movie supposedly set 20 years ago. Lets not even get into mistakes made as a result of not consulting professionals in the area of expertise involved in the movie.
Most frequently, cast or crew members create movie mistakes by stepping into the shot or allowing equipment to appear ( e.g here in "Broken Silence ) where camera wires and multi-sockets are seen in the shot). Boom microphones are especially difficult to use without them showing in the frame, so many modern cameras have built-in safety zones which prevent such accidental intrusions from microphones or crew members, which ideally Nollywood producers should use.
Finally, our dear grammatical and translational errors. We all wonder why such errors get into production. Even if the script writer isn’t too fluent in the English language, shouldn’t the actor or anybody on the set notice such? In reality, it all boils down to the time available for shooting the movie, and the funds. Is there enough time to employ someone to proof-read scripts and translations before the shooting date or production? How much time do they have to begin to correct scripts when all actors are on set and rent of the venue is already running?
In conclusion, Nollywood is limited by a greater number of factors than their counterpart movie industries, some of which are funds (investors), equipment, quality and unique movie scripts, creativity, proper consultation for areas of expertise used in the movies and most of all, proper directing. On the bright side, Nollywood has a huge fan base of people who only watch the movies for the comedy in the production. Nevertheless, we can't deny the surprisingly large number of people who want improvements.
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