FILM MAKING IN NOLLYWOOD
More4 Newsreports on the first ever professional film studio in Nigeria is vast, a sign of a booming industry known as Nollywood, with Nigeria the film production powerhouse of Africa.
Until now, it has been made-up of low budget films, shot in private homes around Nigeria's largest city, Lagos. With a lack of cinemas across the country, these movies go straight to DVD, sold at market stalls across the country, across Africa and increasingly, across the world.
What the films lack in quality, they make up with in quantity.
In fact that number grows all the time. The latest estimate is that somewhere between one and two thousand films will be produced this year alone. On average they'll sell 50,000 copies and cost $US50,000 to produce.
Pipiro is a typical Nollywood film, marketing itself as a supernatural thriller based around a family breakdown, with father and son fighting over the same woman and a healthy dose of witchcraft, common in Nollywood film.
The films may look relatively cheap, but the industry is big, the third largest national film industry in the world. Across Africa, Nollywood outsells Hollywood and the film industry is said to employ more Nigerians than the oil business.
Tinapa might be the world's most unlikely film studio, near Nigeria's border with Cameroon, hundreds of miles from the established Nollywood industry based around Lagos. The $US540m complex is due to open by the end of the year. It's hoped this largely public-funded project will be a catalyst that not only brings Nollywood standards up to those in Hollywood, but also attracts Hollywood productions to Africa.
It's an ambitious aim, with Calabar, the closest town to the complex, a long way from Beverley Hills.
This is a complex on a massive scale, intended as tourist attraction as well as working studio, with tours, gift shop and open air auditorium. But it's the studios themselves that are expected to generate the biggest revenues, a sign of growing confidence in Nollywood.
Nollywood is already big business in Africa. The idea of Tinapa studios is that it becomes big business across the world. Africa's gorillas no longer hiding in the mist.