Screenwriting Blog

Nollywood and the decline of good storytelling

The beauty of a movie is the story; the entertaining and yet compelling story. Many have seen the craving of story as a mere form of entertainment. What really is entertainment? To be entertained is to be immersed in the ceremony of a story to an intellectually and emotionally satisfying end.

To the film audience, entertainment is the ritual of sitting in the dark, concentrating on the screen in order to experience the story’s meaning and with that insight, the arousal of strong and at times even painful emotions and as the meaning deepens to be carried to the ultimate satisfaction of those emotions. In this sense, could Nollywood boast of truly entertaining the film audience?

While the ever expanding reach of the media now gives us an opportunity to send stories beyond borders and languages to hundreds of millions and the ever growing box office numbers, the overall quality of our storytelling is declining.

Over the years, we had seen works of excellence from Nollywood filmmakers and it is evident that most know their craft. However, in recent years, there has been a struggle, a subtle competition of sort on who can dazzle the audience the most with camera works. In the year 2018, Nollywood churned out over 70 movies with 3 grossing over 100 million naira. Out of these 3, Kemi Adetiba’s King of boys stood out for its efforts but it had so many flaws to be ignored. What is most painful is the act by amateur filmmakers to deceive the audience with bland and completely distasteful comedy movies. The kind of storytelling we ought to have crossed and forgotten to the era of home videos.

Many filmmakers began to neglect the use of good storytelling with more focus on comedy films. While it is not bad to make comedy films, it becomes redundant when it is done repeatedly and that with little or no efforts to the story. Some prefer to have a large number of popular names feature in their films than to get great scripts. The idea of scarifying good storytelling for a large cast is worrying; hence, the need for filmmakers to focus more on quality storytelling than having large cast in a tasteless comedy film.

A filmmaker should always aim to tell a great story; one which would captivate the audience and would be appreciated for years to come. Having instagram infleuncers or a large cast in a movie would only lead to a decline in quality cinema. It is disheartening to see poor stories in our cinemas when we could make better films.

We appreciate the efforts of every hard working filmmaker. We humbly suggest that more attention be paid to the story. Get a team of honest filmmakers to read your script, even if it is only one that condemns a part of the story; endeavor to go back to the story board. Together, we GROW!!! Do you think the quality of our storytelling has declined? Let’s hear your views!

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