The Nigerian Film Plot

Motion without Movement?

in Matatu
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The Nigerian film industry, otherwise known as Nollywood, has been acknowledged to be the second-largest in the world in terms of volume of production. This fact presents an interesting vista worthy of investigation, especially with regard to the quality of the films produced. It is in respect of this premise that this article examines the plot of the Nigerian film—a feature capable of affecting the popularity of the film. The essay, having dwelt on what plot is, critically examines the Nigerian film plot and finds that Nollywood films mostly adopt an episodic structure, thereby making them unnecessarily long. Besides (and this is systemically related to episodic structure and to a natural tendency in Nigerian rhetoric), many of the films tend to be too wordy, too chatty, over-padded, thus often earning them scathing criticism. The challenges of scriptwriting in this regard are examined, culminating in recommendations for how to improve the quality of scripts through plot construction in this vibrant film culture.

The Nigerian Film Plot

Motion without Movement?

in Matatu

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References

4

Bernard F. DukoreDramatic Theory and Criticism: Greeks to Grotowski (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston1974): 36.

5

Dorian S. Cole“How to Plot,” Visual Writer (1998) http/www.visualwriter.com (accessed 20 February 2013): 1.

6

Hyginus EkwuaziA New Approach to the Screenplay (Jos: National Film Institute2002): 35.

7

EkwuaziA New Approach to the Screenplay35.

8

Remi A. Adedokun“Hollywood Films—A Comedy of Errors in Camera and Continuity Interplay,” International Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Scholarship (Accra) 3/5 (2008): 259; Ladi Ladebo “Scripting/Directing” in Making the Transition from Video to Celluloid ed. Hyginus Ekwuazi Mercy J. Sokomba & Onyero Mgbejume (NFC/UNESCO workshop project; Jos: National Film Institute 2001): 82.

9

Ernest LindgrenThe Art of the Film (London: George Allen & Unwin1970): 52.

11

Jimi Odumosu“Writing the Feature Film Script,” in Making the Transition from Video to Celluloided. Hyginus Ekwuazi Mercy J. Sokomba & Onyero Mgbejume (NFC/UNESCO workshop project; Jos: National Film Institute 2001): 99–101.

12

Ernest LindgrenThe Art of the Film50.

14

Ferid Boughedir“The Principal Tendencies of African Cinema,” in African Films: The Context of Productioned. Angela Martin (London: British Film Institute 1982): 69.

19

Elo Ibagere“Towards a Theorization of the Nigerian Film” 10–11.

21

Tochukwu J. Okeke“Culture and Societal Change in Nollywood,” Nigerian Theatre Journal 12.1 (2012): 88.

23

Brian Larkin“The Nollywood Rising Conference,” Film International 5.4 (July 2007): 110.

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