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Why we shoot movies abroad - Movie makers

Discussion in 'FILMMAKING, INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY' started by bolanle, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. pompom

    pompom Guest

    Qute, it is okay to do it again and again until we feel we are on the right part... i guess I love constructive stuff like this, when we are not cursing each other out. You are right though... people have to begin to put their money and soul into it... so that it just doesn't become a theoritical exercise. For example, i have constantly hinted that Vince and Mamarita can have a show ala Roger and Ebert. I will even produce it if need be. He never says a word... so direct your comments to him.

    Vince, i don't think anybody is taking it personal at this point... we are just communicating I hope. You and Take style can forgive me for the un- cinematic moves in my film but I would be most happy if it pleases Africans. I will think about you guys later when i have my own dollars alone to shoot that artsy cinematic movie about Adaeze and her weave.:excite just kidding..
     
  2. khamileon

    khamileon Well-Known Member

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    Una don talk everything...so me i no get anything to add except GBAM!! 15X

    We used lots of dialogue to carry the weight of our first movie UNDER PRESSURE....and people love it to bits (done '98) peeps still remember it...they tell us, you can never beat UNDER PRESSURE again!... I am predicting our ITALIAN CONNECTION.... with lots of talk would repeat the same magic!... I am all for what my target audience would like and nothing else!...

    PS: Am happy others wanna do the cinematic type and all that.... Khamileon would always be your number one customer.... Beti my $15 wont be enough for the your loss incase Naija/Africa is your target audience!... Na im be dat, I no get time for grammer, cause the ones wey I don read hia already dey gi me headace (VINCE I no take anything personal o!!.. I love ur stuff... e jest be say that kind thing go fail for Naija at the momment...maybe much much later in the future)
     
  3. botobo1

    botobo1 Bess

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  4. OlaMichael

    OlaMichael Don't Suffer Fools Gladly

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    Wow! Kudos to all you folks who've contributed to this thread. I am not into filming, acting, directing etc but I must say I find this thread very enlightening and informative. Twas long in some cases but generally sound.

    Good arguments and counter arguments from both sides of the fence. I enjoyed posts by Takestyle, Sola, Vince and Pompom mainly. Still following the thread though. Keep it up. ;)
     
  5. pompom

    pompom Guest

    Just so we all on the same page... How are we defining CINEMATIC.. maybe this is for another thread entirely.
     
  6. takestyle

    takestyle Well-Known Member

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    yeah... probably would be an interesting topic for another thread because i have quite a few ideas about it that i realize i didn't even completely make clear. so yeah, there's been some misunderstanding about what i'm talking about: for the record, it's not about making the films "more Western"

    for me it hasn't even so much been whether the film is primarily "talky" or not (even though that IS an issue). but like The Maverick said, there's plenty of dialogue-driven films that still manage to be cinematic. what's more troubling but is the... the ineptness or inappropriateness of the accompanying images

    and YES, i know that these films are shot in 4 days. i'm not asking for a Citizen Kane or Goodfellas level of camera flair. but even within a limited budget and shooting schedule, there's a certain way of framing shots (using closeups and wide shots at the appropriate times, etc.) that gives off the impression that the director knows/cares about what he or she is doing

    or some of the wildly inappropriate music cues... i don't mean the standard too-loud or overdramatic music. see, i can excuse those in light of the obvious budgetary limitations. i'm talking about when the music is just straight up WRONG: like when there's a scene of a husband beating his wife and they start playing this really joyful music that makes you wanna dance, when you know that the story is not expecting you to find the scene amusing at all.

    i know that they might be able to compose a sad or frightening theme for that scene, but in such a case, why not just have no music at all and let the scene tell its own story rather than sabotaging the scene altogether by making it come off with a comical tone?

    basically, i'm talking about things being done for a reason; for storytelling tools such as camera angles and music and action to be employed to express a particular point rather than being used "just because they're there."

    because as it is now, i feel that too often there is a sort of pattern or identikit for making a homevie and that a blind person could put one together and the audience would be none the wiser.

    that's a lot of what "cinematic" means to me in this context... making the most of your medium by using the tools you have effectively.

    and i'm sorry: all this special pleading that this particular format is aimed at the specific tastes of Nigerians or Africans still strikes me as a major copout.

    when you tell me that Nigerians will reject a film if it is shot in the quote unquote proper way, what i hear you really saying is "look... the audience is too ignorant to care either way, so why bother?" (which is, btw, the exact words a fairly famous Nigerian director once said to me on the subject). which is probably why whenever people want to defend the lack of professionalism, they always appeal to the fact that "we are making films for bus drivers and marketwomen, not for doctorate candidates."

    i'd accept it if you just told me that the filmmakers are not ready to invest the extra effort (or that they just don't know how) but not that the audience is not ready to receive it.
     
  7. vince

    vince Well-Known Member

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    Pompom,i think i have already mentioned what my idea of cinematic script is.But i will say it once again.
    In scriptwriting there are three different types of scenes;
    1)Dialogue without action:-Very predominant in nolly homvies.In such scenes,xters just talk while doing absolutely nothing except being planted on their backside on a couch,or sofa or chairs behind the desk.

    CINEMATIC
    2)Dialogue with action:-Now we are in the cinematic realm.These scenes with
    movements while the xters converse add such visual beauty to any movie.We see such scenes all the time in hollywood movies.
    3)Action without dialogue:-Scenes with no dialogues, but actions.Xters going through relevant actions that help propel the plot forward all the time.

    Now,i am talking cinematic style at the writers' level,and not at the directors'.The directors can add so much more to an already cinematic script by adding beautiful camera moves,perspectives,angles,etc.The Dp can also help with aesthetic scene lightings.
    The most important thing is that in a cinematic movie,movements,activities must be predominant,and not static xters blablablaing away while staying rigid in a spot.
    I don't know if i can define what is cinematic in one single sentnece,though.
    But if i could try,i would say that it is the art of telling stories more with images and less with dialogue.The less dialogues a film has,the more cinematic it becomes.What the dosage of dialogues should be depends wholly on the style of whom is telling the story.
     
  8. TVwriter23

    TVwriter23 Active Member

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    That's not my point. My point is that sometimes you have to make the movies that may not be popular, but you have made a movie that is good. That you believe in. Just because it doesn't do well now doesn't mean people won't love it in the future. My point was that some of those movies especially when it comes to Orson Welles was very underappreciated until a few generations later.
     
  9. TVwriter23

    TVwriter23 Active Member

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    Or do what Goldwyn did. Start a movie awards. That's why the academy was started to filter through all the bad movies coming out. This way good movies are not unoticed.
     
  10. takestyle

    takestyle Well-Known Member

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    nah, i feel you... i was just joking.

    or half-joking, anyway. personally, i am very much into the idea of posterity, but i also understand that for many filmmakers (and especially the Nollywood ones) it's very much a matter of "success here and now or never"... who's thinking about 20 years from now when you need to recoup your investment in a week or two?

    and it's not just a Nollywood phenomenon either... even Hitchcock considered his films outright failures if they didn't find an immediate audience. Vertigo is generally considered to be his masterpiece, and one of the greatest films of all time. it's definitely one of his two most personal films (the other one being Rear Window)... but he didn't really like to talk about that film because to him it "failed."
     
  11. takestyle

    takestyle Well-Known Member

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    actually, this post was a ways back but i felt the need to reply in more detail because i found myself thinking about it later yesterday:

    truthfully, the only thing it really says to me is that the readily available VHS/VCD format and mass-marketing of Nollywood just makes the films more accessible.

    throughout this discussion the whole “Nollywood is more popular in Francophone Africa than Ousmane Sembene” line of argument has been used to justify the lack of professionalism and attention to aesthetic details in Nigerian videos. as if Africans don’t WANT “well-made” films.

    of course, this particular argument has become the party line when discussing the way Nollywood has swept across Africa. i understand that Nigerians are proud of this triumph, as we well should be. but at the same time, we need to be realistic about why it happened.

    there have been numerous appeals to the idea that because Francophone African filmmakers make their movies with European financing that Africans can’t relate to the subject matter, which is designed for European audiences. or that the films are inherently “academic” or “didactic.”

    complete and utter nonsense.

    for one thing, if you’ve watched a lot of Francophone African films (as i have) it becomes painfully obvious that for the most part, they are about the same goddam subject matter as the Naija stuff – love & romance, family squabbles, the bitchy mother-in-law, tradition vs. modernity, mythic traditional epics, juju, etc. – they just happen to generally be more professionally produced and directed. and they are no more “didactic” than the overt (and IMHO naïve) moral messages that permeate almost every single Nollywood flick.

    now, one thing i WILL say that the Nigerian stuff has over them in spades is that our stuff pays a lot more attention to the concept of glamour, which is highly attractive to audiences. but the idea that African audiences reject Francophone films BECAUSE they are well-produced is just ridiculous.

    actually, as i said before, i believe that saying the audience even “rejects” these films at all is a rather dubious statement at best. how can they “reject” something they don’t even get the chance to see?

    i was thinking about the statements i’ve heard here that “people in Senegal reject Sembene’s films in favor of Nollywood” and i happened to come across this article here:

    http://film.guardian.co.uk/cannes2005/story/0,15927,1483662,00.html

    i found this paragraph here to be particularly interesting (all emphasis is mine, obviously):

    Though Sembène tries to premiere his films in Senegal through private screenings, he rejects the fleapit urban cinemas. Mamadou Niang, a Senegalese friend and producer for France Television in New York, says "his refusal to have his movies shown in towns since the nineties is a slap in the face of the political elite, who he thinks don't care about culture". He has rarely allowed his films to be released on video. But next month New Yorker Films releases his first DVDs, Xala and Mandabi, with the rest to follow. "I'm confident one day we'll be able to see our films in Africa," he says.


    which i believe illustrates my previous assertion that these Francophone films for the most part are not even screened in their home countries at all! i know i have a hard enough time finding them on DVD even here in the States!

    the failure of Francophone African films is really on the marketing level (and, of course, on the related financing level). to try to blame their failure on the quality of their production. directors like Sembene shoot themselves in the foot by not making their films widely available at home, but damn it, those French-speaking furthermuckers DO make good films. and that’s not something to sniffed at.

    i think the Francophone African directors could learn a lot from Nollywood in terms of marketing since they seem to place a premium on finding an African audience but do not seem to be making proactive moves towards getting their films to the people they claim are their main audience.

    but by the same token, i think that Nollywood could learn some things from the Frenchies about getting maximum production value out of scarce resources, as well as certain aesthetic issues.

    i know that a lot of it is an issue of national pride, but the world of African film is so fragile in general that i think it’s counterproductive for us to be trying to downgrade one another’s efforts.

    likewise, i think it’s also inaccurate to make a statement like this:

    i know that Nollywood is quite popular in Southern Africa, but is it REALLY true to say that black South Africans do not identify with their country’s cinema or that the content doesn’t reflect their reality? i mean, how can you support that statement?
     
  12. Sola

    Sola Administrator
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    That is NOT true and you may need to read some other prior posts. No one is explaining WHY Nollywood movies are popular in that part of Africa. They just are, period. I don't see why it should needs justification. And it is too sweeping a generalisation that it gets infuriating sometimes. Isn't TK made in Nigeria? Aren't his films "well-made" (of course using your definition, whatever well made is today)? Is he not professional and aesthetically pleasing? Let's be careful how we generalise or misinterpret what others write. Besides, Sembene's non-popularity is his "problem".
     
  13. Sola

    Sola Administrator
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    Another roundabout twisting of what the gentleman wrote. From his line I understood NIGERIANS, not even Francophone Africans here, REJECT HOLLYWOOD, not Sembene, by choosing to buy/rent Nollywood movies instead of hte usuall Hollywood stuff. That is the context in which Crazy used REJECT. What you have above is NOT what i garnered from what he wrote.

    And for the umpteenth time, what is stopping anyone from seeing Sembene? Let him make his movies available to the world like Nollywood does. We live abroad, but we buy gari, pepper, african food stuff simply because it is supplied worldwide in reaction to our expressed interest/demand. If there is no demand, CREATE IT if you can. Why should the non-interest in Sembene's movies bug anyone other than Sembene?
     
  14. takestyle

    takestyle Well-Known Member

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    if that's what you understood, then you understood wrong. because what ogonna said was:

    now you're being flat out unreasonable.

    let's stick to what my point was, please. if you've got a parallel argument you want to pursue, then feel free to introduce it.

    but don't indulge in these disingenuous straw man arguments.
     
  15. takestyle

    takestyle Well-Known Member

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    LOL

    you must not have been following the discussion.

    do i need to comb through 9 pages of posts to pull quotes that prove that what you are saying is false?

    please don't tell me i have to do that... but if i have to, i will.

    sure. but he's the exception that proves the rule, isn't he? and he even seems to have run to a Francophone country to ply his craft at this point, n'est-ce pas?

    come on, dude... i've been misinterpreted right from my first entry in this post. i didn't see you crying foul and running to my defense then.


    and this means what, exactly? that it's not an issue worthy of discussion on this board?
     
  16. Sola

    Sola Administrator
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    Takestyle, this discussion ended several posts ago. You're beginning to repeat the same questions you asked and got responses to earlier. You wrote this:
    To which I responded thus:
    How do you now say this in relation to the above:
    Doesn't my post address your comment, something we have responded to multiple times already...something we cannot respond to authoriatively until a proper study is conducted? If that's unreasonable, then I don't know what else to say. I'm just not too good at going round in circles.

    You quote Ogonna below:
    And then chose to interpret it as
    I don't see where Ogonna says anything about a REJECTION in the quote above. A DISCONNECTION, yes. The only person so far on this thread who has made reference to REJECTION is Crazy T, and he meant a rejection via action, not necessarily verbalised, in NIGERIA.

    Nollywood has serious issues, as I have said multiple times. As much as you have read a few books on international cinema, you should also take the time to understand the deeper reasons behind what is NOT RIGHT with Nollywood and obvious ongoing changes that may take years, but will eventually translate into positives when the new lease on life of the industry falls into place. As long as the audience remains interested in the product, production and distribution hiccups will be worked out. Its inevitable. Change cannot be avoided. Growth will happen. Some of you are just so much in a hurry. Where are you all rushing to? The initial rush gave us the shaky foundation that's behind all these debates. Why do you want a second incarnation to also be rushed? Change, lasting change, happens one at a time. One filmmaker at a time. I would rather have Nollywood producing "junk" while learning in the school of hard knocks, than to have Nollywood non-existent just because the home vidoes are not aesthetically challenged or up to the international standards. A filmmaker makes films. He doesn't site down TALKING about it OR WAITING FOR THE RIGHT CONDITIONS OR KNOWLEDGE permit. He makes the darn movie. Let others worry about selling it. That's what the guys are doing, all obstacles notwithstanding. School is in. Let them make the Home movies. Good or bad, let them make the movie. The Spielberg of "Duel" is not the Spielberg of "Saving Private Ryan". Maybe they will graduate in our lifetime. Maybe the next generation be the ones to graduate. What matters is that graduation will come. What's the rush folks? Enjoy the experience and add your little bit to take it even further. Peace and I'm out. :)
     
  17. takestyle

    takestyle Well-Known Member

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    actually, the discussion did NOT end. it was largely inconclusive.

    you offered me an answer which i was not completely satisfied with, but i accepted nonetheless because it seemed to be sound.

    now, i have introduced a supplementary information (ie “Sembene’s films are not even screened in Senegal”) that adds a new dimension, while also rebuffing your earlier response to me.

    now, if you don’t feel like answering again because you’re tired of this discussion, then fine. but don’t tell me i’m talking nonsense or going in circles.


    ogonna did not actually use the word “rejection” (and i regret if i gave the impression that he did) but he DID say this:

    in response to this:

    so yeah, he DID cosign the idea of rejection

    i’m sorry to have to go through this web of regurgitated replies and counter-replies, but i just don’t like to be misrepresented.





    yeah, but don’t you think that it’s discussions like this that will facilitate that evolution?

    why is it wrong to talk about it in the meantime?

    i agree. let them make the movie.

    and in turn, let me critique it.

    anytime you put your art (or if you like, your “product”) out there for public consumption, you run the risk that someone is going to express an opinion on it. and it might not be an opinion you like.

    the same freedom of speech that allows them to make their films also protects my right to tell you what i think about them.

    but i don't think i have been snarky or unduly cruel to Nollywood, either. my criticisms have been quite fair, haven't they?

    right. and he got there by people telling him what was wrong with his earlier work.
     
  18. robbie

    robbie Member

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    Take style, i really like your style....you remind me of those rare hot blooded entrepreneurs... and i can't help wondering what you would do with a million dollars, if i had that kind of money i would risk it all on your rather controversal boat.
    Excuse my high praise, but i really couldn't help it..

    let me just say this no one ever breaks boundaries by playing according to the rules, you want to do something well follow the rules get your average applause get your average salary,pay your bills and manage your avaerage income...but then you want to break boundaries then go against all odds dare to be different...

    Some of you talk of research and give high numbers to purchases of nolly wood flicks around the globe, i talk of forcasts and downward trends of purchases if we do not change the style of the movies that we are making, we need to strive towards quality not make excuses why we shouldn't...you talked about acceptance of movies and carrying the movie audience along and i ask you who is your target audience,right now the movie audience in nigeria are mostly old generation people,semi illiterates,lower income earners, etc...that sort of audience might pay your bills might make you believe you have a market but that sort of audience will not sustain the industry..we need to expand the industry to include this present generation to include eduated people and we wont do that unless we break boundaries,
    GEEZ. what do you think is going to happen? that the audience will oneday pat you on the back and say i am ready for your high tech flicks,i am now mature....that won't happen atleast not in this century....we need to flirt with the audience, we need to lure them, intrigue them, challenge them...with new spell binding stories, things that havent been done before
    I see a great future for nollywood that will manage to go beyond the walls that movie makers in nollywood have imagined in their minds....if you think of walls you wont see beyond those walls....you can only see as far as your eyes take you...i rest my case.
     
  19. takestyle

    takestyle Well-Known Member

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    LOL man, what WOULDN'T i do with one million dollars!

    thanks for the vote of confidence. though!
     
  20. robbie

    robbie Member

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    takestyle do you sleep online?
    i meant what i said though...i have some ideas i'll like to pass by your very innovative mind
    here's my email address lets talk further...robbieosh@yahoo.com
     
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