Actress and filmmaker Ufoma McDermott feels that the whole Nollywood system is faulty. Her opinion is hinged on claims that actors and filmmakers never get their supposed pay. The ‘Christmas Is Coming’ producer explained, what she would do if she had a magic wand to change the movie industry
“If I had a magic wand, I will love to see the industry get a lot of money, I will let it rain a lot of money to every filmmaker, that has given their sweat, their passion and their life, to see that this industry does not die.
Not one person in the industry is remunerated the way they should.” she said.
The actress, who is also popular for her beauty and her mole said she wished everyone in the movie industry could get a health plan, a pension fund and a mortgage plan.
“I see people who give their lives and have given their intellectual property, they have nothing to show for it. The same things that our counterparts get in Hollywood that you compare us with.
Rodgers and Hammerstein died years ago but their estate are still leaving off films that we love to watch like Sound Of Music, The King And I and South Pacific.
How many people in Nollywood get remunerated or their estate get remunerated when their intellectual property is being reused?” she asked.
Even though the actress wants to see changes, she knows it will only come slowly, and when the economic cycle favours Nollywood.
“You will never be bothered to reshoot a film if you were not spending money or if you did not mind. We know what to do, knowing that you have the money.
“We know what is the truth and the truth is that we do not have the money to do them” she said.
“Our highest film in terms of money made is Wedding Party and how much did it earn? If you talk of the stars in that film, they should not be doing another film for the next 2 years.
No film maker is paid their dues, not even near their dues.”
Apart from social and health reforms or residual income from past works, Ufoma believes that the Nigerian government could do more for an industry, that is made up of so many layers.
“Unlike producing a song in a studio, one person cannot make a film no matter how you do it, you can never make a film alone, its a team effort. Everyone has a role to play including the government.”
Nollywood is beginning to show sparks of brilliance, but while we wait for the proverbial ‘magical wand’ that will make things better.
For the time being, movies will keep hitting shelves in Alaba and cinema halls will keep getting patrons.
Life just goes on.