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A Blind Spot Holding Back Indie Filmmakers In Nigeria


Nine out ten kids experienced this growing up. You are engaged in something; watching a great show, reading a great book or playing a video game, and just when it gets to the best part, your mom asks you to go and bring for her an item from her room. As you don’t want to get up, you respond, “I don’t know where it is.” She insists, and you get up to go look for it, and as you go, you’re saying to yourself, on the walk from your sweet spot to her room, “I don’t know where it is” over and over. You get to the room, open the cupboard and you are proven right, you can’t see it. You go back and forth as she insists it’s there and you say, “I’m looking inside the wardrobe and it’s not here”. Annoyed, she comes over, and picks it up; it was right in front of you the whole time. This is what’s called a Scotoma, a figurative blind spot in a person’s psychological awareness.

Basically it means that you can miss out on seeing something that is right in front of you because you have programmed yourself to believe that it isn’t there.

There is an epidemic of Scotoma in Nollywood (Nigerian cinema). We have programmed ourselves to believe that we can’t make certain types of movies. We can’t achieve certain quality of filmmaking and certain things are unachievable because of the Nigerian environment. Now, I’m not talking about movies that need a certain type of financing; that’s a different matter. I mean quality, within what we do have.

“All film is intelligent compromise; that’s the process. No matter what your budget is, you never have enough time, you never have enough money. It’s weird, when you’re doing a huge film, you’re in the same position as you were when you were doing a tiny film, and there’s a reason for that. You’re always trying to get on screen as much as you possibly can, beyond whatever the box that’s built for you by the economics of the project. You’re always trying to push up against those walls, so you need help from your team in order to make that work” – Chris Nolan

Filmmaking is HARD. It’s hard anywhere in the world for independent filmmakers without much financing ; take that difficulty, throw in power issues, hooligans, and untrained crew and a dash of Murphy’s Law, and that’s just half of how hard it is, getting it in the can in Nigeria, let alone making a great film.

Read the rest of the article on ShadowandAct.

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