Showbiz Sandbox 140: Nollywood Love – Inside The Booming Nigerian Film Industry

March 13, 2012


Oil rich Nigeria may be best known for political upheavals and brutal civil wars, though over the past twenty years the country has given birth to a thriving film industry. New York Times Magazine contributing writer Andrew Rice explains that what started out as a surplus of blank VHS tapes has grown into what is now called Nollywood; the world’s third largest movie business.  Nollywood films now suffer from the same issues faced by Hollywood and Bollywood; piracy and escalating production costs.

The budget for Disney’s “John Carter” was about five thousand times that of the average Nollywood film, which is probably why a $100 million worldwide opening is seen as a bit of a disappointment. Directing his first live-action film, Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton seems to be getting most of the blame for the movie’s lack of success, though it just as easily could be pinned on a studio full of senior executives that lacked experience producing big blockbusters.

Speaking of pricey failures, Fox canceled its sci-fi series “Terra Nova”. Producers hope the show will be picked up by another network, though at $4 million per episode few can afford it.

We also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories, including the Justice Department’s claims of collusion in the publishing industry, Warner Bros. picks up Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” franchise and Britney Spears may become a judge on “X-Factor”


Ishtar Lands On Mars

The Inside Story Of How John Carter Was Doomed By Its First Trailer

‘Terra Nova’ Is Canceled, But Seeks New Home

Netflix Expresses Interest In Picking Up ‘Terra Nova’

Sony Caves To Artists In Class Action Suit….

U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers….

Rush Limbaugh Sponsor Exodus Hits 43 As Sandra Fluke Fallout Continues

Netflix In Talks With Cable Operators About Distribution Deals

Nicolas Cage Comic-Book Heist To Become Movie At Lionsgate

Britney Spears Nearing Deal To Judge ‘X Factor’

Billions Of DVDs Headed To Digital Cloud, Warner Executive Says

Warner Bros. In Talks For Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’; Will Javier Bardem Saddle Up?

Did Amazon Exec Give Away Its TV Production Plan

Name That Tune Getting Rebooted

No More Silver Screens In France

China Steps Up Anti-Piracy Fight

The Damning Backstory Behind Homeless Hotspots At SXSW

A Scorsese in Lagos: The Making of Nigeria’s Film Industry

The Teeth May Smile But The Heart Does Not Forget


  • About “silver screens”…

    Sperling’s answer made it sound like he forgot that the aluminum paint that is lathered on the screen for passive systems (RealD and MasterImage) is there primarily for a science reason: the filter in front of the projector lens spins the photons clockwise and counter-clockwise every other frame so that the optical filters in the glasses can discriminate the every-other-frame-on, every-other-frame-off (left-eye/right-eye) gimmick that these systems use to trick the brain into thinking that they are receiving a single image with parallax. The aluminum holds the spin.

    They are also typically high-gain screens, so really, they exacerbate the narrow-field-of-good-seat problems that white screens have with their own hot-spot and darkening problem(s).

    The amount of tweak that France’s standard adds to the SMPTE/ISO/DCI standard is practically insignificant. What is significant is that they are saying that they will hold the cinema theater to the standard that has been in place for decades! That right, silver (aluminum painted) screens have been banned in France. The politics of EU decentralization requirements and the politics of different organizations took some of the control and bite out of the agencies who used to enforce this, but the CNC is saying that this has gone too far…after nearly letting it slip through and getting a lot of backlash a few months ago that would have humiliated them if they let this go through. Really, the same is true of all the SMPTE specs…there is a spec that determines some important factors of 3D, and none of them give permission for the light levels to be so low, and none of them allow the luminance uniformity aberrations that high-gain and silver screens create…paraphrasing what Stalin asked of the Pope, how many tanks does SMPTE and ISO have?

    Well, the CNC does have tanks…they have the force of the law in France, and they have an enforcement arm in AFnor and the CST.

    And indirectly, the DCI has tanks. Any facility that signed a Virtual Print Fee deal says that they will follow the SMPTE standard. Typically DCI allows people to ignore a standard if there is no other way to get a movie on the screen…low resolution, light and contrast of early digital light projection chips, MPEG instead of JPEG are two early examples. But when a manufacturer shows that the standard can be followed, they cut off delivery of product. There are no more 1.3 meg chips, there are no MPEG DCP deliverables. Soon, when lasers allow the correct levels to the screen, there will be no silver screens.

    I hesitate to pimp my own writing, but since I based my whole article on Sperling’s article, I’ll mention the explanations and references that I make at: The Death of Silver Screens~! Vive la France.

    Thanks for the continued good work.

    C J Flynn