Find out money making opportunities in the Nigeria’s Movie Industry


Nigeria’s domestic film industry, popularly known as the home video industry, is one of the greatest African success stories. Nollywood began about 20 years ago with the birth of home video cameras, and is now a movie-making machine that churns out about 600 titles a year. Many are soap operas with titles such as Destiny and Tinsel — which are watched on new low-budget television channels mushrooming across the continent. Unesco, the UN cultural organization, said last year that Nollywood was now the second-biggest film industry in the world in terms of output, after Bollywood in India. It is now also the country’s second-largest employer, after the federal Government. There are about 150 million people in Nigeria, and more than 800 million in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, most of whom are spellbound by Nollywood’s outpourings.

Now that the Nigerian film/video industry is gearing for a global take off, it is time to re focus our searchlight, and dig up investment opportunities in “Nollywood.” For the benefit of those who desire to sow on fertile grounds and reap abundantly at the right season.

Acting: They are perhaps the biggest Beneficiaries of the Nollywood phenomenon. 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. In rehearsals, you work with others (directors, other actors, even playwrights) to fine-tune your interpretation of a role. They earn between N5,000 to N1.5Million per movie

Producer: You may compare him to the entrepreneur who brings all the element of production together. He 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. But suffice to say that one successful movie brings in good income, and many successful Productions can lead to a fortune. A good movie that is well accepted can bring in N10 toN500 million profits.

Animation service: Animation services are in high demand right now. Not only do film makers use animation services to create animated movies, but they also use them for special effects. Computer and video game manufacturers also utilize animation services to enhance their products. With such a high demand for animation this is an industry that is in desperate need of additional service providers; because of this you can turn your artistic abilities into a six or seven figure business. You will need a quality computer system with extra hard drive space to store your animation, digital cameras, lighting equipment, animation paper, cellulose, paint, pencils, general art supplies, drafting tables, light tables, sound equipment and editing equipment. The charge up to N250,000 to N50,000,000 per movie.

Equipment Manufacture, Sales/Franchising: 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 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. Make sure the equipment and accessories are available and offer excellent after sales service.

International Distributor/Agent Representative: Made in Nigeria Movies are products with universal appeal.   Hollywood flicks, Bollywood productions and Nollywood offerings may appeal to the least sophisticated viewer in any remote corner of the world. I grew up watching Indian films. I did not speak Hindi, and still don’t.   But I watched them all even without subtitles and many others did too. A Nigerian film that is shown on a Channel in England will certainly earns income for both the producer and the individual who facilitates the deal. Furthermore Nigeria has a large population outside its borders. They represent a good market. Africans in the continent and those in the diasporas are part of our target audience.

Marketing /Distribution (Local): The core strength of a distributor is the ability to provide the product to the target consumer. Many organizations or individuals with a network of offices or outlets in a city, region or across the country are indeed well positioned to distribute.   They may distribute through a SALES ON RETURN arrangement or outright cash purchase. Marketing is a lot more involved than mere distribution. It entails promotion, publicity and packaging the Product. Only those who want to be more involved may delve into the more intricate aspects full-fledged marketing.

Nollywood Webmasters: Science and Technology rules as the world shrink into a global village. The internet has come to stay as part of our lives offering tremendous opportunities as a source of information and tool for business (especially promotions, sales and marketing.       Nollywood filmmakers are beginning to look in that direction. Many now have Internet presence while a few sites have been established to showcase the industry.   The monumental marketing opportunities the internet offers is yet to be tapped. Thus webmasters with drive may devise their own campaign and go out to sell their services to publicity hungry Nollywood. If you know how to design a website you can charge between N5,000 to N200,000.

Nollywood Media: For Nollywood, a media is beginning to evolve comprising electronic and print.   Many publications diverted from their original themes to cash in on the wave of public interest in movies.   A few others have been launched primarily to report happenings in Nollywood.   Depending on your interest and knowledge, you may decide to be a movie reviewer on radio and television, focus on technical areas of the industry Or the juicy human interest/gossip/soft cell angle. You may write for local or international media or simply publish your own magazine. You will make a lot of money because new films are released into the market every monody morning and their producers are looking for an avenue to advertise their Movies

Printing/Graphic Designs: Printing and graphics have always been with us. The upsurge in filmmaking has generated more business for those in that area. No movie comes out without a cassette jacket, VCD sleeve or a deluge of posters announcing its arrival. If you do have a talent for graphics design or know about printing, you stand a chance of making good business from the growing legion of film producers just be innovative you will be surprised at the level of patronage. The interesting aspect here is that, you may simply be middleman between the film people and the designers/printers. Even without a single equipment of your own.

Subtitling/ Interpreters: As Nollywood productions attempt to take over Africa, there is an increasing need and urgency to penetrate Non-Anglophone countries. There is a sizable population of Nigerians living in Ivory Coast, Sudan, and perhaps Gabon. Many of them are third and second generations of the family that may never come back but still cherish their roots. You can earn between N10,000 to N200,000 from a single contract.

CD/VCD/DVD Mass Duplication: After a movie is completed it has to be mass produced and sold. For years facilities that make mass copies of CDs have enjoyed good business. Demand for Mass produced VCD/DVD is growing and if you have the capital to invest in this area, you are not likely to lose out. Because your customer base will extend beyond film makers to religious preachers, musicians, and all those who wish to convert video tapes recording to VCD/DVD.   Furthermore you may start business with a low duplicating capacity and grow with time.

Exhibition/Cinema – Screening Venues: Cinema screening provides a good source of income for movie producers. and many are looking for quality venues. Nigeria movies have found their way to the Silver birds Cinemas located in some parts of the country which currently charge between N1,500 to N2,000. You can provide the same quality service and charge between N200 to N500 per movie and still make a lot of money. A community hall, church premises, School hall or even a renovated warehouse may prove appropriate. Producers of movies in indigenous languages (especially Yoruba) fight hard to secure good exhibition venues during festive periods. The reasons are obvious. If you do have such facility at your disposal it may be your “cash cow”. It’s worth milking. A conducive environment with good projection facilities, excellent seating arrangement, ventilation, accessibility and security are top factors exhibitors consider. If you can partner with a movie producer, you are entitled to 30 to 40% commission after the profit.

Equipment Rentals: Many filmmakers do not own the equipment they use   This includes Cameras, lights, microphones, power generators, production vehicles, plus accessories such as camera crane, Steadicam etc.the list is long. You can even specialize in one area e.g. Sound, lights etc. While the cost of acquiring these equipment to be hired out is not negligible, with the explosive volume of production going on, (including music videos, religious productions, documentaries, T.V. Programmes, Corporate/Social production coverage) you are sure of   patronage. Like every other business it comes with its fair share of risks. But the gains are indeed enticing. But suffice to say that before you invest your millions, talk, talk and talk to those who know.

Cinematography/Video Camera Operator: Filmmaking is team work 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.

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.

Still Photography: Film makers need 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. Shots taken are also use to follow the sequence of a film, for instance if somebody wears clothes at a location and they want to use the same costume in another location, it is the photograph that will give them the knowledge of the right costume to use

Make-up Artiste: Movie make up is not strictly about making people looks 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 makeup artiste may be called to create a gunshot 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. Some director earn as much as N150,000 to N600,000 per movie. The director is the most essential member of the creative team.

Props Manager: 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. You have to look at the movie scripts before you charge your fees, sometimes you may need to charge up to N1M to 5 Million, especially if the movie require props like the house of the president, helicopter, and very expensive accessories that will be fit the office of a President

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 throughout the camping period.

Costumier: To be a costumer, you must have an eye for colour and beauty; you must also know the colour that matches a particular background or situation. A costumer must be able to translate concept and ideas into practical terms. They charge between N50,000 to N200,000 per movie

Location Manager: A Location Manager 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. 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.

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.

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. A good scriptwriter in the industry earns between N80,000 and N500,000 per movie.

Setting up a video club: Setting up a Video Club is very lucrative 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 Censored Board. All these are agencies that control the Home Video and Entertainment Industry and you will need to register 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. Just make sure your shop is always stalk with new films you are bound o make money especially as new film are being released into the market every Monday morning.

Video Editing: the arrangement of rushes into logical sequence suitable for broadcast or domestic use is called 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 .They earn between N60,000 to N200,000 per movie

Special Effect Technician: He creates 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.

Continuity writing: A continuity writer records all the shots called by the director. He/she works directly with the director on set. It requires noting every continuity point in an actor’s performance, they earn between N40,000 to N150,000 per movie

Production designing: Shooting on 35mm or celluloid requires proper designing of the shot composition, feel of the fill mood and texture of the set which are depicted in sketches, which is referred to as story board, upon which the director basis his shots. Story board is more or less artistist impression of the film. In Nollywood production designing is given to those who plan the shooting of the film and they earn between N80,000 and N250,000 per movie.

Lighting: The lighting technician ensures the set is properly lit to enhance picture quality. They are called lighting men or personnel. They can turn the night to day and vise versa Their professional fees are between N50,000 to N150,000 per movie.

Stunting and Special talent: Some made in Nigeria and locally produced movies requires special stunting talent such as martial arts, sports, driving, high height jumping etc which are considered too risky for the actors in the movie. Their fees depend on how much the production needs them and the intensity of the task. They earn between N100,000 to N350,000 per movie they can earn more if they have good managers that is negotiating on their behalf.

Music/Sound track production: Some Nollywood movies need musical interpretation through sound tracks which is done by musicians and music composers who understands the physiology of music. As a music sound track producers you can earn up to N200,000 per movie

Voice-over/Voice Talent: Nigerians with good broadcasting voice also have a place in Nollywood. Voice talent is constructed to do voice over for movie adverts, jingles, they do radio plays, they also do the lip synchronization for movies in other languages. All you need to do is to register with the Association of Voice-Over artist (AVOA). They earn up to N50,000 per movie

Choreography/ Dance Instructing /Dancing: If you are a dancer, dance teacher or choreographer you will make money from Nollywood. Some creative Nigeria movie producers are now producing “Dance Movies” this has been able to create, an opportunity for talents in this sector. Interested Nigeria should join the Guilds of Nigerians dancers; their office is at the national Art theatre in Lagos. An average dancer collects N10,000 for a scene in a movie.

Speech Doctoring/Line producing: This is the process of making the actors speak or say their lines or dialogue with the appropriate tone, speech, pronunciation, enunciation, diction, projection, articulation, modulation etc It is a specialized area that is gradually gaining popularity as many of our movies now feature in international film festivals. Speech doctors or line producers get up to N200,000 to attend to all cast on a movie set.

Movie funding: Those who have capital or know any special source of funding can come to the Nolywood and invest, Nollywood producers are looking for financiers who can help them get by the funding problem, if you can provide the needed funds for a movie, producers are ready to produce a movie and give good return on the investment, if you have up to N2 to N5Million, why not contact a movie producers today, and you will be amazed at the level of return on your investment.

Painting: Whether you come in as a painter- in real sense of it or as a fine artiste, you will still make your money in the industry, Movie producers most times need to paint the set before shooting of a film, sometimes they may need a back drop which is provided by a fine artiste. Painters and Fine artiste charge according to the intensity of the job.

Training capacity Building: Trainers earn good money in Nollywood, a lot of criticism is going on about the low quality of our movie hence the need for capacity building to enhance the quality of the movies being released into the market. I have also organize training to enlightened Nigerians on the money making opportunities in the industry and stake holders in the industry have organize workshops and invited speakers from America Hollywood to trained the investors in the Nigerians movie industry. This has provided unlimited income for resource managers who are ready to share their skills and experience with other colic’s in the industry. Some experience actors in the industry do run a training school at the National Art Theater, while we have PEFTI which is a training school in Lagos.

Set Construction/carpentry: Set designers are like draftsmen who design the plan and architectural outline of the house, or set in this case. Any set that is to be constructed is first designed.

Script editing/Proof reading: Script editing involves technical and Methodological restructuring of the script in line with acceptable format and industry regulations, while proof reading is simply dotting “Is” and crossing the “Ts” and in some cases grammatically restructuring of the script in line with the rules of the grammar. You could earn up to N50,000 editing or proofreading a movie script

Story Sales: Do you have a story to sell, if yes I want to congratulate you, as you can make some money by just selling your story idea, but you will only get N10,000 to N20,000 per story but if you learn the act of script writing you can put the story together and arrange it into a script and sell it for N300,000 to N5000,000.

Poster Posting: Movie marketers needs poster to publicize new movies, that is why opportunity exist for people who can paste posters, such people charge N5 per posters, movie marketers may need to pay more if they want the posters of their movie all over the Country. Interested investors are to contact the movie marketers who release movies into the markets every Monday morning.

Artiste Management: If you have a corporate office, you can begin to register an artiste and get them a role for a fee, you will need to give them a form which they will get for a fee, and ask some relevance question that will allow you to invite them to the roles as specified by your clients, you can charge some percentage of the artiste fee. You will need to register your company and synergize with some movie producers to get regular jobs.

Insurance cover for Artiste: Some big productions in Nollywood do insurance cover for their artiste especially the especially risky roles that will need stunt men. You can earn commission by connecting some movies producers to insurance companies. To give an adequate cover for their artiste

Book Publishing: Opportunity exist for writers who can write a book about the history of the Nigeria movies Industry, you can even write about the legends of Nollywood, which will chronograph the biographies of great contributors to the industry. You can lunch the book by inviting the stake holders who are ready to contribute to the lunching of the book. I can authoritatively tell you that you can this information if you can interview top movie producers and they are ready to give you this information for free.

Proposal Writing: If you can write a good business proposal to for the Nigerian movie producers, you can make money writing proposal for Movie producers. I was the one that wrote the business proposal for one of Nollywoods popular movie “Stone face” I charged N150,000. The executive producer is from cote de voire and he read one of my articles from one of the national dailies, my experience in the industry made me convince him that I am the right person for the job. The movie which cost N12million is has been released on the CDs after it has been screened in cinema houses in the West African countries.

Selling their portrait to them: Nollywood celebrities are ready to pay handsomely for their portrait, you don’t need to be a fine artist, You can commission an artist to design for you. I know a lot of people who have made a fortune just selling art portrait to some of these Nollywood Celebrities

Fans Club: Lots of Nigerian celebrities wants to increase and maintain their fans, this is an opportunity for you to help them create a good fan base

Honour them with awards: Nollywood celebrities cherish awards; such awards are given to celebrate and honour actors whose public and private lives reflect integrity hard work, diligent service and selfless pursuit. All you need to do is to honour few of them, invite their friends to the award event; you will be amazed at the level of patronage. You can lunch a small foundation to complement the award event.

It is time to start making money with your talent because the Nigerian movie industry has a potential of turning talents into millions of naira. These money making ideas are genuine, workable and practical ideas, one or two of these money making ideas might be a footprint to success.

Published by

Agric consultant

Tunji A. is a small business finance expert, with wide knowledge in agro commodities export.

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