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MONEY MAKING OPPORTUNITIES IN NIGERIAN HOME VIDEO INDUSTRY

Source: nigeriafilms.com

Equipment manufacture / sales/franchising Video/TV/Film production is a blend of art and science. While we continue to excel in the art aspect, there is a lot of room for growth and development especially in the technological area.

At present there are over 138 T.V.Stations in Nigeria. (Including private and government owned) There are even more privately owned production and post production facilities. While there are no shortage of good actors/actresses, writers etc, there is no single company that manufactures (or even assemble) the smallest camera, digital tape, or its shell locally.

Most filmmaking accessories we use are imported. Hence, many have no option but to send their cameras back to Europe and America at the slight hint of technical "headache." This is a unique business opportunity. If the industry is growing in the art aspect, the science aspect must also grow. otherwise the development will be incomplete. Big investors can consider setting up plants to assemble cameras, or manufacturer other important filmmaking Ingredients such as tapes.

The market for such business people will inevitably extend beyond Nigeria and even Africa. A less expensive involvement will be to seek franchise from big name Western brands such as Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon, Hewlett Packard and represent them locally. With adequate stock of the Equipment while offering excellent after sales service.

The producer

You may compare him to the entrepreneur who brings all the element of production together. This guy hunts for the idea/script, commissions the screen play, looks for a financier, hires a director - and basically brings the team together. The producer creates the product and looks for a buyer. If he succeeds in "manufacturing/selling" The product chances are he will smile to the bank. However our guy may not the be the financier of the film, so his income will be tied to other considerations. But suffice to say that one successful movie brings in good income, and many successful Productions can lead to a fortune.

Acting

Actors entertain us by portraying characters in dramatic productions such as plays, movies, soap operas and commercials. You may narrate a documentary one-week and play the role of a villain the next. You may work in theatre, film, radio or television, or specialize in one area.

Unless you are a well-established artist, you must compete for parts by auditioning. You spend many hours studying scripts to learn lines and cues, and doing background research to "fill out" characters. Some roles will require you to learn new skills such as how to juggle or handle exotic animals, or how to speak, sing or move in particular ways. In rehearsals, you work with others (directors, other actors, even playwrights) to fine-tune your interpretation of a role.

A crude estimation shows that in 2003 a couple of them earned over N40 million individually from acting alone. So what makes actors and actresses special? No easy answer, but perhaps it is because they are Entertainers and the world love entertainers.

Acting is mainly talent, but like football that talent requires training. Where you train, how you train is not the focus here. The key point is if you can act, and you Market your talent in the right places, fame and fortune could be your reward. Your income will rise as your popularity soars with the audience. If in doubt ask Genevieve Nnaji.

To be continued.

Cinematography/video camera operator

Filmmaking is teamwork. A collection of professionals from various disciplines. While actors act, writers write, the cinematographer has the responsibility of recording the picture. His job requires skill, knowledge and discipline. Video camera operators operate cameras to record news, live events and various productions including television and made-for-television movies.

You will move the camera to get the proper shot and operate the optical controls such as zoom and focus. You may align the camera and make minor electronic adjustments, as well as take care of the camera's storage. On small productions you will help with the lighting and staging.

You may operate your camera in the air-conditioned comfort of a studio or out in the field.

You have excellent motor co-ordination and good vision and hearing. You should be in reasonable physical condition with some stamina. You have an interest in electronics and technology and learn quickly.

What does it take?, You must have a practical educational training in Cinematography; a diploma in NFC (Nigerian Film College) is an advantage. You can also learn on the job.

Good cinematographers are in high demand. No producer wants to invest millions in a project and end up with badly recorded images. There are no fixed rates per job, but excellent cinematographers can Call the shot not only on set, but also while negotiating their pay.

Recording and sound engineer

Recording and sound engineers are the "wizards of the sound board" who record, mix, and edit sound for recordings and live performances. You will probably be called a recording engineer if you work mostly in studio environments, a sound engineer if you mix sound during live performances. The two types of work are related but few people do both.

As a sound engineer, you have to understand the needs of performing artists. Then, you produce the desired effect by using different types of equipment that will take separate sound feeds from different sources, alter the sound of each feed if needed, and mix feeds. You also set up and tear down the sound systems for live performances. As a recording engineer, you may use a mixing board, computer or other equipment to record and edit the music, dialogue and sound effects for sound recordings, films or videos. You work closely with producers, performers and others to achieve the desired sound.

Editing/special effects/animation

Some special effects technicians create many different types of illusions for movies, television commercials and shows, theatre productions and other special projects. You work with other people to decide what is needed, and then you have to figure out how to produce the desired effect, safely and convincingly. You may specialize in certain types of illusions or in a particular method of producing illusions. For example, you may specialize in pyrotechnics, make-up effects, computer animation, mechanical props or sound effects.

However, the more versatile you are, the more work options are open to you. For pyrotechnic effects, you have to be an expert in working with fire arms and explosives. To create the illusion of a monster or alien character, you need to know and sometimes create complicated prosthetic devices, masking and make-up techniques. To integrate animated figures with the actions of live actors, you have to be an expert in using sophisticated computer animation software.

To design, set up and operate mechanical props, you have to be able to work knowledgeably with electricians, welders, carpenters and robotics experts. To produce realistic sound effects, you obtain recordings of actual events or record sounds produced by artificial means. Technicians who specialize in producing sound effects are often called "Foley" artists.

Film editing

There are two types of film editing (1) Linear Editing (2) Non Linear Editing.

Linear editing:

This is an old fashioned way of editing; it is when you are editing in sequential manner that is you must start from the beginning 0mins -120mins duration.

Non-Linear editing

: This has taken over the linear editing as you must make use of your computer. It allows you to do your editing in a non-sequential way, it allows you to working in an order you desire using the computer. A knowledge of computer is very important, you can also learn on the job

Music (sound track production)

If you have talent, love for movies and an innate understanding of how music can help tell a story, then you can earn good producing sound tracks for films. Without some form of music, a movie may feel, sound and look totally flat. So producers in appreciation of this invest in sound tracks.

If you are good in composing, playing keyboards, you could be employed to play a sound track for a film. It is the sound track that will be taken to the editing studio to perfect the postproduction stages. Competition for work in Movie industry is not keen so, to keep in top form, you have to practice individually for hours as well as rehearse with others.

You must also look after the business end of music by promoting yourself or your group. You do media interviews and participate in other activities that are designed to get you and your group into the spotlight of public attention. You may perform in a wide variety of settings; you can be contacted to compose a sound track for a movie, ranging from nightclubs to theatres to concert halls and recording studios. You generally practice during the day. Performances are usually scheduled for evenings, weekends and holidays so your working hours are often long and irregular. You may travel with a touring group or drive to nearby locations for performances.

Graphics design/printing

The stream of Films that flow into the market from various zones of the country cannot start at all without some form of Publicity. Either as posters, hand bills, stickers or flyers. Additionally every VHS cassette requires a jacket just as the Video CD needs a sleeve. It is obviously an income opportunity for those in this line of business.

You might be contacted to print postal and jackets for film. You might change a product's shape to make it visually more appealing and to make it stand out from its competitors. You might combine the appropriate text with well-suited images to create a pamphlet.

If you supervise an art department you might be responsible for coordinating the efforts of other graphic designers, artists, writers and communications professionals. You will listen to clients and based on your understanding of their needs and desires, come up with rough sketches and ideas to sell them on your
design. These could range from simple pencil sketches to full colour layouts and

computer enhanced graphics and images.

You will synthesize input from a number of different sources to come up with a compelling image or graphic that meets considerations of budget, time, and market objectives.

Photography

Film makers needs photographs for posters and other publicity materials. In spite of the fact that digital Cameras take still shots many producers prefer traditional photography. They hire photographers to take shots on set. Once you are recognized as good and reliable, the flow of work is bound to be constant.

MAKE-UP ARTISTE

Movie make up is not strictly about making people look attractive. Rather its purpose is to enhance the artistic interpretation of the film in other words its objective is to help tell the story convincingly.

A make up artiste may be called to create a gun shot injury, spilled guts, gray hair, sweat, a missing tooth, age wrinkles or a festering Injury. It is a growing sector in Nollywood and the income opportunities look bright as well.

DIRECTOR

The artistic success of a film project is often credited to the director; this underscores his importance in the creative process. No wonder good directors are always in demand, with producers waiting in line for them.

How much a director earns depends on his rating in the industry. But successful directors don't complain about no income, they only want more

Directors have a lot of creative power over your production. A bad director can ruin a great script, and a great director can save a bad one. He or she is also responsible for the "feel" of the set. The screaming, frenetic directors we see characterized in movies would lead to a very uncomfortable set, disgruntled crew and probably a bad product. The director is the most essential member of the creative team.

STILL PHOTOGRAPHERS: They are invited into the Location because, the movie producer will need the picture snapped on location for film jackets, the pictures snapped are also use for postal and to publicize the film in the Magazines and Journals. The pictures snapped on location are also used for continuity during shooting, if a film was shot in Abuja with the Actor /Actress wearing a particular costume, to continue the story in Lagos the picture will be used as guide before the shooting commences.

COSTUMIER: To be a costumer, you must have an eye for colour and beauty. He/She must also know the colour that matches a particular background or situation. A costumier must be able to translate concept and ideas into practical terms

LOCATION MANAGER:

They manage the locations. They scout out good places to shoot and work with the director and producers to decide which ones to use. They deal with authorities, property owners, and etc. to get all the necessary permits and secure the location. From paying the big bucks to landlords, to dealing with the public, right down to keeping the locations clean - Location Managers have a huge and varied job, and usually require a lot of assistance on big productions. Whatever the case, make sure your creative team thoroughly and realistically assesses the needs of the production in regards to locations. You must have an eye for quality. If a producer need an ancient looking home or an eyebrow area for Film Production it is the Location Manager that sought for this, after which he will now invite the director, they will now go for a Location wrecking to inspect the Location.

MAKEUP ARTIST: He must be creative, he must also be able to create impossible from possible, because at times if you are directed to make somebody cry, to show pain, or agony, while the artist will show the emotional expression a Make up artist is requested to show the physical expression we see on the screen, e.g. tears. You can learn on the job

PROPS MANAGERS: Props are accessories used during the shooting of a Film; they are physical things that form part of your set during the shooting of a Film e.g. Cars, Helicopters if needed, Police Stations, and Sea etc. The props man must know what his director wants, he must know what the story is all about, so that he can make his input. You can learn on the job as some of the props men also learn on the job.

PRODUCTION MANAGER: He work works with the producer and other members of the crew. He is the person that Co-ordinates both the administrative and the logistic aspect of the production, like transportation, arranging for accommodation for the Actors and Actresses and other members of the production crew, he also make sure that he provide for their need of the crew members through out the camping period.

WELFARE MANAGER: A welfare man takes cares of all the members of the production crew during the shooting of a film. Artistes well being are paramount to welfare man as he his the one that seeks for the services of a good caterer. We cannot rule out accident during the shooting of a film and it is the duty of a welfare person to provide the medical facilities when the need arises. You can learn on the job by working as an assistant to a welfare person on allocation. A welfare person must take into consideration the number of the crewmembers before quoting his fees to the movie producers.

SCRIPTWRITING: A script is a document that outlines every aural, visual, behavioral, and lingual element required to tell a story, while a scriptwriter is someone who can visualize a scenarios in his mind and put it on a paper. He must also be a good storywriter as he uses the method called sequence, description and plotting. He must have a creative mind, because it is what the writer puts on paper that will be translated on the tube by the actors and actresses

SETTING UP A VIDEO CLUB: Setting up a Video Club is very lucreative business, especially if you follow the rules of the game as laid down by the federal government agencies like the Nigerian Copyright Commission and Video Cencored Board . All these are agencies that control the Home Video and Entertainment Industry and you will need to registar with the Video Clun Owners Association Of Nigeria (VCOAN).Before you can display your film on the shelves, you need to obtain rental permit, this is called the royalty permit